Saturday, October 23, 2010

Not Your Average Saturday

Today I did something quite out of the ordinary, at least for me. The last two Saturday mornings found me knee deep in a local river hunting ducks. Normally I would’ve done something in the great outdoors today as well. However, I was invited to attend a panel discussion at the Russell Kirk Center  on the topic of “Protestantism and American Politics.” The panel consisted of Dr. Richard Gamble and Dr. Darryl Hart from Hillsdale University along with Dr. Glenn Moots of Northwood University. Dr. William Stephenson from Calvin College moderated the discussion.

Glenn Moots led off with a review of Protestant thought concerning civil religion and church-state relations going back to the Reformation. Richard Gamble’s message was entitled, The Problem of America: The City on a Hill vs. The City of Man. Darryl Hart rounded out the panel with a discussion of the rise of the Evangelical Left and how this was caused by the Moral Majority. All three entertained questions before breaking for lunch. After the meal we reconvened in Dr. Kirk’s library for some additional discussion on civil religion.

Our group was not large – about 25 people – consisting of university professors, students, a couple of pastors and three Wilbur Fellows currently studying at the Kirk Center. Our host was the lovely and gracious Annette Kirk, whose home, Piety Hill, was the location for lunch.

During my years in Michigan God has allowed me to cross paths with a number of people who are directly involved in politics or who advocate public policy through think-tanks. I am not a political animal nor particularly well-read in this areas, yet I have grown to appreciate those who are called to serve in these vocations. As an American citizen I have much to learn from those whose business it is to address life in the City of Man. As a minister of the Gospel I remain committed to those things that pertain to the City of God. Today was a valuable lesson as I learn how to live as a citizen of both cities.

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