In a friendly debate before an overflow crowd Sojourners' editor Jim Wallis and pastor/theologian Greg Boyd exchanged views on what should be the nature and extent of the involvement of Christians in politics.
Wallis argues that the church should be deeply involved in the political wars and that a Biblical politics would look a lot like contemporary liberalism. It's through political engagement that one lives out the Gospel in the world. He urges Christians to follow the examples of Dietrich Bonhoffer and Martin Luther King in working for justice in the societies in which we live:
To be a Christian means to care about social justice. Gandhi and King didn't just live the principles: They engaged the culture to fight for them.
Aside from the fact that mention of Ghandi as an example of Christian obligation seemed a little dissonant, I agree with Wallis on his general point. Christians should be politically engaged. Part of the reason that our culture is in the depauperate condition it is is because too many Christians had, throughout the 30s, 40s, and 50s, ceded much of the culture to the world and retreated to the shelter of personal piety largely disengaged from the arts, education, science, philosophy and politics. By the time this started to change in the 60s there was simply too much ground to make up, the church was too far behind, and the train of secularization and degeneration was accelerating unimpeded down the track.
On the other hand, I think Greg Boyd is correct when he insists that no political stance should be labeled Christian and that a Christian is defined by his or her imitation of "the self-sacrificial love of Christ," and not by his/her political stance. He's also on target when he says this:
Jesus never said a word about political issues .... I worry about calling some stands 'God's politics' (The title of Wallis' recent book). It invites polarizing politics into the church. Republican Christians care as much about the poor as Democratic Christians do; they just have different ways of approaching it. Good Christians can agree or disagree on war, abortion, taxes and immigrants.
There's more on their debate at the link.