Wayne Grudem is no stranger among our readers. We have benefited from many of his previous writings, such as his Systematic Theology. We have also known and appreciated his input and leadership in the translation of the English Standard Version of the Bible which we recommend as our preferred translation. This latest contribution on a highly relevant topic which carries the baggage of much misunderstanding, even among Christians, will prove to be most helpful. As stated in the book by Nancy Pearcey, the younger generation is cynical regarding politics, yet it is so influential as it touches almost every area of life in some way or other. This need not be from a Christian perspective. God’s Word has some clear things to say about the topic of politics.
We need not be reminded, given our current situation, both in North America, especially the United States, and throughout the world, we need to know what God would have us know and do regarding this topic. It appears that people are looking in all the wrong places for an understanding of politics without realizing the importance of starting at the right place with God.
While this is a big book and could be somewhat overwhelming and intimidating, it should not be. Grudem has covered the waterfront with this book, but he has written it in such a manner that the topics and chapters are not long and his style of writing makes it highly readable. As a matter of fact, I had the occasion to say to him that I think this should be a standard text book for high school students in the political science curriculum. J. I. Packer referred to it as “a giant tract for the times.” Marvin Olasky writes, “If you read only one book this year, read Politics-According to the Bible.” Chuck Colson writes, “This can be a wonderful resource as we face growing tensions from an ever more powerful state.”
Realizing we are living in a pluralistic country and not a theocratic one, at least until the Kingdom comes in its fullness, Christians need to know that God cannot be left out of or separated from any area of life, especially the political. What does a Christian need to know and do in such a circumstance to think clearly about politics from a biblical perspective?
The first part of the book deals with the basic principles where differing views about Christians and government are discussed. How can and should a Christian seek to influence government and what are the biblical principles concerning government? Added to those topics he includes a biblical worldview regarding politics and a most important section entitled ‘The courts and the question of ultimate power in a nation.”
Part two focus on specific issues, such as marriage, the family, economics, national defense, private property, foreign policy, freedom of speech, freedom of religion and special groups. Those are enough to encourage you to want to read this book.
Grudem concludes this outstanding book in part three by addressing the problem of the media bias, application to Democratic and Republican policies today, and trusting God while working in politics. I was intrigued by his closing section. As he refers to revival in our country, he asks, “What might it look like if God brought about a revival of the church and a transformation of the nation for good?”
While the church has the spiritual mission of making kingdom disciples, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded, as Jesus said, and while the church must avoid moving outside its given role in the kingdom by becoming involved in political and civil government, it must disciple its people with the biblical framework to be involved in politics.I appreciate Grudem’s labors. Read it! Study it! Teach it in the home, church, and certainly in the educational systems as early as possible.