Quote of Note #69 — Our Allegiance to our King not some Party


Downtown Pittsburgh from the north
Downtown Pittsburgh from the north; photo by GAC

“The gospel that Paul preached was not a message about some private, interior transformation of the heart.  It is a message about a new allegiance to a King-in-waiting.  As such, there was something radically political about the gospel–which didn’t mean, of course, that Christians sided with a particular political party.  In fact, there was a sense in which Christians, who pledge allegiance to a resurrected King, could never find themselves at home in any party of the empire.  The call to discipleship is a call to be formed into the kind of people who pursue a telos which is found in Christ.  This translates into a way of life that is governed by justice and mercy, not power and the accumulation of goods.  Thus first-century cultures recognized that the gospel subverted the interests of the empire and the interests of the ‘market.’  There is a sense in which Christians were not very good Romans, not very good participants in idolatrous economies, and so were ‘bad for business.'”

James K. A. Smith, The Devil Reads Derrida and Other Essays on the University, the Church, Politics, and the Arts.  Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2009, page 76.

See also:
Pastor Note #76: Citizenship in the Only Christian Nation on Earth

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