Theology 101

Do Christians Need a Theology of Public Life?

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Why do Christians need a theology of public life?

This question was posed to IFWE contributor Dr. Vincent Bacote during a recent radio interview. Speaking on Word FM’s “Ride Home with John and Kathy” program, Bacote responded to host John Hall’s question by saying:

We live our lives beyond Sunday. That’s the world of work, but it’s also where, in a country like ours, we can actually contribute in some ways to how we manage our lives together.

Bacote was on the air to discuss his new book, The Political Disciple: A Theology of Public Life. Over the course of the interview, he discussed:

  • Whether or not political life extends beyond elections.
  • How Christian public engagement should look different from worldly public engagement, especially when it comes to our motives for getting involved in public life.
  • How Christians can articulate truth and compassion at the same time.

A big question that came up was whether or not Christians “needed permission” to get involved in public life. Bacote argued that many Christians feel permission is needed because,

For many Christians, there is a big question whether we should be involved in anything that’s not readily identified with what some people regard as ‘spiritual life.’

Bacote went on to delineate between worldliness and participation in political and public life, saying that what matters is the disposition of our hearts as we approach the public square.

Listen to the interview below. It begins at the 40:00 mark and ends at 52:10.

Do Christians need a theology of public life? Leave your comments here

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  • Jonathan McGuire

    Shouldn’t this be called a “theology of life”? We laity live this every day.

  • Robert Kramer

    Not sure we need something formally called, “A Theology of Public Life”. I do think that a very robust worldview that integrates business and mission together, and also affirms calling as our work whether in specific christian ministry on in the business world. It is all God’s!!

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