From this preview of an upcoming book, it appears Horton has grown so busy, he’s hired Zrim as a ghostwriter (is that why Z’s posting pace has slowed of late?)
Mouw insisted it was the church’s duty to address these issues directly, [Carl] Henry wanted him to say it was the Christian’s duty. The church has a responsibility to proclaim God’s Word, even with specific application, wherever it speaks. It has the authority from God to announce a final judgment of oppression, wanton violence, and injustice and to call all people (including Christians) to repentance and faith in Christ in the light of this ultimate assize. However, “The institutional church,” said Henry, “has no mandate, jurisdiction, or competence to endorse political legislation or military tactics or economic specifics in the name of Christ.”
Henry quoted Princeton University ethicist Paul Ramsey: “Identification of Christian social ethics with specific partisan proposals that clearly are not the only ones that may be characterized as Christian and as morally acceptable comes close to the original New Testament meaning of heresy.’” At the same time, Henry argued that evangelicals are not only authorized but commanded to proclaim God’s clear “No!” to excessive violence, racial injustice, and other serious moral crises. God’s Word shapes the moral conscience of its hearers, but where it does not offer specific policy prescriptions, the church has no authority to speak.
…Evangelicalism risks merely changing its political affiliation, tying the gospel to a different political agenda. Many evangelicals have come to see that the movement was largely co-opted by the Republican Party, but this repentance seems somewhat superficial when the alternative is simply to switch parties and to broaden political agendas.
The preview says that this book will be the next installment of the Christless Christianity, Gospel-Driven Life series, and that it is still untitled! Therefore I hereby announce a contest to find the best title! The prize: I’ll buttonhole Horton (or at least his wife) at our kids’ school some day and pass along the best submission.