Different Views of God and Politics

Today, I read an unusual article where a preacher/author had asked Biblical scholars a  general question, “What is the chief political concern of the Bible?”

The article reported eleven responses. The text of the responses is included as well as the person and institution with which they are affiliated.  I would have thought there would be one theme in all the answers, but that was not the case. You can read the article and make up your own mind, but I took from it about three, maybe two and a half, different things that are “the main political concern”.

One is the liberal view the Bible’s main political preoccupation is justice.  The main people who should receive this justice are the poor.

Another expressed by two or three of the Biblical experts is that the political concern of the Bible is about a God-centered society.  Not being one of the experts myself, it strikes me that a God-centered society is a different goal than a justice-for-poor one.

One mentioned an “orderly” society.  That comes closer to my own take on the Bible’s political agenda.  It has always seemed to me to be about political control.

What one can take from the article is two people can study the Bible all of their lives and come out with different views as to what it says.  What they would eventually take from it probably was determined before they ever started by their respective emotional attachments to it.


15 Responses

      1. Profile photo of Jon Lindgren

        entech, Mac There must be some BIG impressive word in academic theology that means, “anything do to with sex leads to eternal damnation.” Maybe, “pleasurdamnationing”? Other suggestions??

          1. Profile photo of Jon Lindgren

            entech “You are asking the wrong ones….”

            Let’s not sell ourselves short, here. If one side of the argument can come up with endless big words that contribute nothing to the content of the debate, there is no reason we can’t do the same thing. Let’s keep trying. In this case, another possibility might be, “sexualnoneternailzation.” :)

        1. entech

          Jon, thinking about it you are being to obvious, we need something that sounds good but is actually meaningless. How about antihyperstimulationism

  1. Wanna B Sure

    Since Jon is a famous economist, and expert in the field, I think it would be appropriate for him to make an indepth comment on agorism and individualist anachism. How they work together, how they contradict each other, how they have worked in the past, and how they would be implimented in the future. Both in the context of social structure, and in in the political arena.

    1. Profile photo of Jon Lindgren

      Wanna 5:38 I’ll bite on that one.

      To our readers, agorism is close to a more modern term, “exchange theory”, and part of an even more modern term, “game theory”. It’s about people making their way through life negotiating voluntary exhchanges with others where we are both better off from the exchange. Every human being in the world does it. It’s the church hiring its pastor. It’s marriage.

      We all know about anarchism. I’ll apply anarchism to religion: It’s when everone reads the Bible and interprets it in a way that makes themselves feel better about themselves. That’s how we have come to have so many denominations and more are formed every year.

      1. Wanna B Sure

        Sounds a little like the underground economy, swap meets, and the black market.
        Now can you tell us how anarchism would be applied in the political arena?

        1. Profile photo of Jon Lindgren

          Wanna 7:24 “..underground economy, swap meets, and the black market.”

          I would disagree with that. Exchange theory is about any two people or parties trading money, time or loyalty when both gain from it. It’s why we had breakfast at a local hotel restuarant this morning and filled the car with gas. Both we and the merchants benefited. It is a way of explaining why young people are less inclined to be church people, they are not receiving enough in return for their time and money.

          I know hardly anything about anarchism. It seems so impractical as to not be worth studying. Dictators would not like it because it would not be in their interest. Democracies would not do it because the majority would not see it in their interests either.

          In Afghanistan, the government does not control the famous mountainous relgions. But, there is not anarchism there, warlords run things and people knuckle under to them.

          1. Wanna B Sure

            It was my understanding that “the underground economy” included “You bail my hay, and I’ll plow your land.” I think the IRS would look at it like that. Goods or services provided at a determined value.

          2. Profile photo of Jon Lindgren

            Wanna 11:29 You are correct and I should have acknowledged that. That concept of the “underground economy” by the IRS is, from the point of views of economics, no different than if I paint my own house or cook my own breakfast. It’s generating value. There is just not a way for government to measure and tax it. It is measured for purposes like wrongful death–someone sueing for the loss of a spouse, for example.

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