Project Augustine

Appendix C: “Political Theology”

Barth: That our political decisions as Christians, which must always be as concrete and well informed as possible, must always be disciplined and directed by exegetical attention to the Bible. (p. 388)

Niebuhr: He criticizes Barth’s political theology as being too theoretical or “high-up-in-the-clouds” to be of practical use in the everyday world, and instead opts for a political theology where our faith and theology are continually tested, corrected, or verified by common experience and general culture, by what he calls “Christian realism”. (p. 392)

Liberationist: His main concern begins with the experience of the poor and their struggle for justice and freedom.  Christians must enter into solidarity with the poor and through this experience the transforming grace of God will be evident.  (p. 395)

Feminist: She believes that Barth’s and Niebuhr’s political theologies are from a different era in the past and that Christianity should instead move forward with a new agenda for a new era.  She wants “integral liberation” and says that the church needs to address rampant sexism (which is a form of oppression) and male-dominating themes that are existent within not only the church but in theology as well.  (p.398)

Who has the strongest argument in regards to how Christians should act in a political way?  Should Christians always be a strong presence or voice in politics or should they really rally only during times of extreme political turmoil?  Is Christianity sexist and too male-dominated?  Is theology too impractical and unrealistic at times to be a force of real change in the real world?  Is Christianity nothing more than mere lip-service and don’t do enough to help the poor and address issues of poverty, the poor, and economic disparity, injustice, and inequality?  Should Christians base their political decisions on what the Bible says?  Does your Christianity play a vital role in your political views and actions?


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