Our Library - Tag: Psalms 2:1
Posted by Douglas on Jun 12, 2018

How the Nations Rage (subtitled "Rethinking Faith and Politics in a Divided Age") is an excellent and timely book by Jonathan Leeman. Leeman is the editorial director at 9Marks, and has spent many years serving in churches in the Washington D.C. area. His experiences have given him a very keen understanding of how the comingling of faith and partisan politics can deeply damage the integrity and witness of the church.

The title of the book comes from Psalm 2:

2:1Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain?2The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying,3“Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.”Psalms 2:1-3 (ESV)

Leeman writes compassionately but firmly about the issues facing the church today, but just as important, he writes about the timeless issues that the church will always face - the desire for power and control within a society, the confusion of that which is Biblical with that which is partisan politics.

Leeman shows that in many cases, policies that we think are dictated by Biblical morality may actually be what he calls "jagged line" policy issues - they require a stringing together of many Biblical concepts to form an argument, and another believer can, in good faith, string together another set of verses and concepts to result in a different policy argument. In these cases, we must be careful to give each believer freedom of conscience. Those who believe differently on policy issues must hold those views lightly enough that they can worship side by side with their brethren without animosity.

I grew up in a strange little bubble of evangelicalism that suggested that it was impossible to be a Christian and politically liberal. Leeman's even-handed treatment of both the left and the right was refreshing to me; he takes both sides seriously, and expects both sides to be able to sit down together in Christian love and celebrate their unity on that which matters most.

I highly recommend this book - especially to pastors and church leaders - but also to the laity of the church. Read it prayerfully and with an open mind.

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