from the bookshelf: gospel politics

Last week, I posted about the gospel. And I posted about politics. So it must be time to post about the gospel and politics. Ha ha.

A great read is Jared Wilson’s Gospel Wakefulness. While the book really isn’t remotely political (Wilson focuses on the gospel and its place in our affections), he relates how his own increasing love for the gospel re-oriented his political zeal:

In the week of Thanksgiving 2000, my father-in-law and I sat in my living room for several days and did what many others around the world were doing: watching men and women on the television examine punch-card ballots in a little room in Florida. FoxNews was on practically non-stop at my house. I was captivated by hanging chads. My energies were invested in the outcome of those votes. Was my man going to win? Or was the United States of America going to suddenly betray all that was decent and holy by electing the other guy? This was how my politically-entertained mind thought.

This was before gospel wakefulness.

For those unfamiliar, gospel wakefulness is Wilson’s way of describing an all-consuming, abiding, soul-shaping love for the gospel. It involves setting aside any lesser loves in light of this single, greater love. His words: Gospel wakefulness means tasting and seeing that the Lord is good. It means losing the taste of worship for anything else.” That includes losing a “taste” for politics:

Politics used to engage me, firing me up on all cylinders. I was always up for debate, always willing to duke it out – always willing to take anything and everything political quite personally. But I have lost my taste. I haven’t stopped caring, not really. But my hopes for the future of this nation, its government, and all that it touches and reaches – for the very world itself – are not placed in who’s in what office or what laws get passed (or don’t get passed). My hope is in the kingdom that is eternal and unshakeable.

Let us remember, those who pledge allegiance to the kingdom of heaven before we pledge allegiance to any flag, country, or political ideal, that politics and elections hold no power to save, redeem, or renew. Only Christ’s kingdom does. Let our affections rest in that kingdom – and in the gospel announcing it – above all.

One comment

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