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Recap: Left, Right & Christ: Evangelical Faith in Politics

Left, Right & Christ: Evangelical Faith in Politics The role of faith in politics was the topic of discussion at the American Enterprise Institute on Friday, October 28, as two evangelical thought leaders talked about how Christianity influences political beliefs on the left and the right. The presenters both emphasized the need for Christians to understand the proper relationship between the Bible and politics, but they disagreed on God’s purpose for the role of government. D.C. Innes, an associate professor of politics at The King’s College in New York City, expressed his view that God’s established purpose for government necessitates that it be limited so that it will expand liberty and secure the family. In his opinion, a limited government is dignified because it creates liberty and prosperity, which are seen as good in God’s eyes. Lisa Sharon Harper, the director of mobilization at Sojourners, argued that the focus should not be on big or small government but on discerning good or bad policy. She suggested that Christians should be concerned with policies that deal with “the least of these” and stressed the problem of uneven distribution of wealth in the United States. Innes and Harper both agreed that governments were created for good but that good intentions are not enough in public policy debates. Evangelicals are required by their faith to seek out biblical examples for policy issues by using a spirit of humility and discernment. After their presentation, the two panelists took part in a dynamic question-and-answer period to discuss the implications of this timely subject.