Following Jesus without fighting the culture wars

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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In his book, “Beyond Politics: Following Jesus Without Fighting The Culture Wars,” set for release in April 2012, faith and culture writer Jonathan Merritt advocates for Christians to engage in politics without getting sucked in to partisanship or the quest for political power. I was fortunate enough to get a sneak peek at the book, and recently had a conversation with Merritt about the topic.

“The question is how, if we are engaging in politics, does our faith inform the way we engage?” Merrit said. “I think it actually leads us away from that brand of politics – that culture warring brand of politics.”

“I think that when the American church buys into the culture-warring mentality, we, in some sense, both cease to be American and cease to be the church,” he said.

Merritt said members of the new generation of evangelicals, especially those ages 18–35, are making decisions based on issues rather than party lines.

“They’re reading the same Bible that their grandfather read and they hold more or less the same basic orthodox beliefs, but they’re coming to very different conclusions when they’re applying those truths to the real world,” Merritt said.

Merritt, referencing a conversation he had with evangelist Billy Graham and his family, said Christians should focus on loving others and allow God to judge their actions.

“If more of us Christians could engage the public sphere like Billy Graham has, I think not only our country but our faith would be a lot better off as a result,” he said.

Listen to our full conversation here.

Matt K. Lewis