Culture

#trending: Political Discourse

In our trending series, we are tackling topics where there is a lot of disagreement – not just within our society or culture, but even among those in our own church. These are topics that can be energizing, but also tend to divide people. Perhaps nowhere is this truer currently than with the first topic we are addressing, “political discourse”.

As Chris reminded us in his message, Scripture provides us with both the foundational truths as well as “rules of engagement” as we enter into and navigate the waters of political discourse as Christ followers. As a companion to our Sunday messages in this series, we want to encourage your continued engagement on these topics here on the Next Steps blog by providing you with resources and opportunities for reflection.

Further engagement:

Here are some books we recommend on the topic of political discourse and our current culture of increased polarization (some of these Chris quoted from or referenced in Sunday’s message):

Political Discourse books

How would Jesus Vote? by Darrell Bock

Christians in the Age of Outrage by Ed Stetzer

Confident Pluralism by John Inazu

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt

 

If you’re looking for something a little shorter, we recommend a few other resources from authors quoted in the message:

From Timothy Keller (noted author and pastor, Redeemer Church, New York City) – a short, but poignant challenge and an encouragement for Christians to be involved in politics.

In addition, Tim Keller wrote a thoughtful article for the New York Times titled “How Do Christians Fit Into the Two-Party System? They Don’t.” It’s worth the read.

From the Breakpoint Podcast: this is an interview with Ed Stetzer (Missiologist, Wheaton, IL) in reference to his book mentioned above, Christians in the Age of Outrage, shedding light on the current polarization around politics, both inside and outside of the church.

Breakpoint Podcast

 

Deeper Reflection:

Even as you engage with these resources, emotions may have stirred up within you as you read or listened. Don’t let that throw you. What is important is that we keep growing and taking next steps – both in our understanding as well as in our attitudes.

As Chris challenges us in his message: Wouldn’t it be great if as Christ followers we could be an example to others in our community on how to love others, even when we have disagreements on various issues? We can start with reflecting and praying about ourselves, then for others.

  • Where are you sensing a need to grow in humility, respect, and love toward others with whom you disagree? Take a moment to bring that to God in prayer.
  • Who comes to mind in your life that you might disagree with politically, but can lift up in prayer?
  • What’s an area where you can pray and work toward the flourishing of your community?
  • How can you make these kinds of prayers a regular habit in your life?

In an age of contentiousness and polarization, may we grow – both individually and as a church – to be known for loving our neighbor, marked by humility, love, and respect as followers of Christ.

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About the Author: Craig Gartland
Craig is Pastor of Spiritual Formation at Blackhawk and oversees Adult Ministries. He completed his Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and spent over two decades of his career in campus ministry. He is married to Sharon and they have four children. His passions include cycling, listening to jazz music, photography, and the writings of C.S. Lewis.