Thursday 11 March 2010

Jonathan Chaplin on How Christians Should Vote in 2010

Jonathan Chaplin, ‘How Should Christians Vote in 2010?’, Ethics in Brief 15, 2 (2010).

This is a helpful, short piece from Jonathan Chaplin, making it clear from the start that the question is not ‘who should Christians vote for in 2010?’, but ‘how can Christians prepare to vote as Christians in 2010?’

He notes in the Introduction that the article proceeds from four assumptions:

(1) that ‘all Christians should strive to allow their political thinking and acting to express their Christian discipleship just as in any other part of their lives’, seeking the welfare of the city.

(2) that ‘such striving is best done, not in solitary acts of private judgment accountable to no-one, but in open, respectful, rigorous and prayerful deliberation in the community of believers’.

(3) that ‘in engaging in that task of corporate discernment we do not have to start from scratch’, but are able to ‘draw on the rich legacy of Christian political wisdom’.

(4) that ‘when Christians reach considered judgments on the task of government, they need to make their contributions within the normal channels of public democratic debate and action’, working for the common good of the whole nation, not just our own interests.

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