This I Vote: 9.5 Theses for a Politics of Jesus

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1. Secular politics fails to satisfy human needs: it drys out the heart, neglecting questions of meaning and significance, of spirituality; it fractures community, leaving tribes, nations--even neighbors--suspicious and afraid of one another.

2. When Christians today overlook Jesus as a basis for vision and action in politics, the oversight reflects captivity to the dominant secular culture: its individualism, its ethos of competition, its cynicism.

3. The vision of Jesus (and the Hebrew Bible he honors and interprets) is that God's creatures should experience overall well-being--prosperity, security, harmony and joy; in company with God and one another, they should, in a word, enjoy shalom, or "peace."

4. For Jesus, the purpose of life under God is the making of shalom; the vision is an ideal--a goal still ahead of us--and we are called to be God's companions and partners on the journey to that goal.

5. Compassion--love as steadfast as a mother's and as transforming as the refiner's fire--is the heart of the politics of Jesus.

6. For the politics of Jesus, the agenda is (Biblical) justice: a bias for underdogs, a passion for equality, a focus on what people need in order to achieve their full potential.

7. The key strategy for the making of shalom is the embodiment of God's will and way in a faithful, joyous community; by exposing delusion and revealing truth, by expressing compassion and struggling for justice, the church is God's healing agency; by the beauty of its fellowship and witness, the church transforms the world.

8. In the politics of Jesus, evil is overcome by goodness: offense by forgiveness, violence by non-violence; compassion extends even to the enemy.

9. The goodness of Christ's followers is not passive but aggressive; it is not self-obsessed "righteousness" but deliberate, outward-looking effort to defeat callousness and effect social transformation.

9.5 The politics of Jesus says nothing about the size of government.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at