Amy Black has been professor of political science at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, since 2001. She served as general editor for “Five Views on the Church and Politics,” an edited volume that introduces the political thought of five theological traditions (Anabaptist, Lutheran, the Black Church, Reformed and Catholic). Black also authored “Honoring God in Red or Blue: Approaching Politics with Humility, Grace, and Reason.” Black holds a B.A. in government from Claremont McKenna College and a Ph.D. in political science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
What role should Christians play in politics? What are our civic responsibilities? And, how do we glorify God as we engage in policy conversations? Amy Black, professor of political science at Wheaton College, joins Today’s Conversation podcast to answer these questions and more.
In this overview of civics for Christians, you’ll hear NAE President Walter Kim and Amy discuss:
- How we can apply Scripture to our current political experience;
- What principles should guide Christians when voting;
- Whether Christians should join political parties; and
- What the difference is between “politics” and “policy.”
Read a Portion of the Transcript
Walter:Churches are also struggling to remain nonpartisan, recognizing that they are undoubtedly composed of viewpoints that are varied and that they want to maintain a witness to the world that would welcome anyone through their doors. So even if churches seek to be nonpartisan, what about the individual believer? Should the individual believer join a political party — seek to influence a political party with an agenda from the inside?
Amy: It’s really important. Should believers join parties? Absolutely. I want to see individual believers active in political parties. I want them to be salt and light. If we think about it, one of the best ways to influence the direction of political parties and of elected officials, is working from within those parties — raising questions, sharing ideas, offering critiques when needed. This can happen obviously at the grassroots level when people are working on campaigns or they’re part of a county party organization. It can also happen all the way up at the leadership level, helping direct priorities and policy choices. I want to see Christians involved in both parties at all those levels.
As a professor at a Christian college I am delighted when I see my former students working for both Democrats and Republicans. I see them working on campaigns, on the Hill, on the executive branch, they can be bringing a distinctive Christian voice to both major political parties and trying to make a difference, and that to me is just a perfect part of our Christian mission.
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- Check out “For the Health of the Nation”, a discipleship resource on civic responsibility that has also served as NAE’s policy guide since 2004.
- Read Amy Black’s cover article “Evangelicals & Politics: Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Headed.”
- Books by Amy Black:
Today’s Conversation is brought to you by Christian Community Credit Union.