Real Kingdom, Real Power

“National political issues have…displaced theological and ecclesiastical concerns in the ‘agenda’ and priorities of many churches. As a result, churches, especially those dominated by an activist model of the kingdom, fail to address the world in a distinctively Christian manner – that is, as the church. They tend to fall captive to conservative political ideologies and run the risk of being reduced to yet another interest group. Whatever the political merits of such a strategy, it is theologically offensive to treat the church as an interest group.

Activist Christians tend to assume that, if the church is to be politically influential, her first task is to become more political. They need to feel the full force of Richard John Neuhaus’s superb formula: ‘The first political task of the Church is to be the Church.’ …I wish to stress that the church’s task – even her political task – is not directly political.”

                       -Peter J. Leithart, The Kingdom and the Power (p.xii,xiii)


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