Role of the State Tag

02 Jun 2010 Religious faith is the civic oxygen of our social ecology

In yesterday's Globe & Mail, Ray Pennings, Senior Fellow and Director of Research at Cardus, writes a response to Marci McDonald's latest book 'The Armageddon Factor: The Rise of Christian Nationalism in Canada',  echoing earlier remarks that he delivered at an ARPA Canada Parliament Hill event, arguing faith, rather than posing a threat to the country's political process, is in fact the oxygen of civic life. The policy analyst addresses McDonald's anti-theist fear-mongering and appeal to the American concept of the separation of church and state, noting the former Maclean's bureau chief ignores Canada's founding values and denies the important contributions of the country's religious communities to the public good of the nation:
Read More

29 Apr 2010 Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely (Part Two)

 Limiting Power - By James Zekveld (writing for www.ARPACanada.ca). Part One can be found by clicking here. Whether your political allegiance is  to the right or to the left today the complaint against the existing order is the same; some entity has too much power.  To a greater or lesser extent, a person on the right will complain about the government’s power while the person on the left will complain about the corporation’s power.   Some will complain about both.  
Read More

29 Mar 2010 Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely (Part 1)

Power and Rightly Ordered Love  (Part one of two) Written for www.ARPACanada.ca by James Zekveld: Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.  Few thoughts encapsulate the history of human political action more.  Without the seemingly natural devolvement from power to corruption, old empires might still exist, poverty might have ended long ago and communism might be a legitimate though unnecessary option in the world today.  Power among Christians is hardly an exception to this rule.  Two questions present themselves.  How do we overcome corruption and how do we minimize the potential for corruption?  The second will be left for a later article.  The first is answered through an understanding of the order God has put into this world.  To keep ourselves from corruption we must have a rightly ordered love; love that God has placed into the world from the beginning, when He created the world.
Read More

04 Mar 2010 Our duty to the public square

By David Daniels, ChristianWeek Columnist: Contending for biblically-informed moral values can be daunting for Christians in Canada's public square where religious values are increasingly shoved to the sidelines—to the realm of the private. But as John Redekop, then professor at Wilfred Laurier University, said some years ago: "Christians have a stewardship responsibility to be engaged in the political process of democracies." [Keep reading this article here.] ...

Read More

22 Feb 2010 To Rule is Sacrifice

By James Zekveld (February, 2010 - www.ARPACanada.ca): When a Christian enters into the realm of politics he faces many challenges.  He is at war with a system that has been perverted to serve the interests of man rather than those of God.  While he works toward a system that submits to the rule of Christ, he must simultaneously ensure that he is not compromising.  Compromise is easy.  A man can give up a basic Christian principle in order to obtain power, in the hopes that by having that power he can obey the rule of God. Meanwhile, what he supports can no longer be considered truly Christian.  There is one basic rule that he must remember when he takes power.  A ruler must be able to sacrifice himself for his sheep.  If he rules for some other reason, he has given up a basic understanding of what authority is.
Read More

27 Jan 2010 A Modest Proposal

By Kevin DeYoung: I’d like to make a modest proposal for Christians of all theological and political persuasions: don’t use the term “social justice” without explanation. The term is unassailable to some and arouses suspicion in others. For many Christians, social justice encompasses everything good we should be doing in the world, from hunger relief to serving the poor to combating sex trafficking. But the phrase is also used to support more debatable matters like specific health care legislation, minimum wage increases, or reducing carbon emissions. If something can...

Read More

20 Jan 2010 The Mark of citizenship: Baptism

This article is the second of a two-part series for ARPA Canada by James Zekveld. Click here for part one "The Church as City State". Christians are part of a city, the City of God.  This is a city full of citizens.  What marks out these citizens as separate from the City of Man?  Deeds are one mark.  The City of God lets its light shine in the world by being a city that is justified and is being sanctified.  The members of that city use the tools and the talents that God has given them for their mission of subversion.  But there is something more objective here.  Every Christian has the mark of Baptism and that mark gives him/her a power and a mission to change the world that is hard to imagine.
Read More

14 Jan 2010 Two Pulpits Competing for Our Hearts:

The Influence of Secular Media in Reformed Homes By Mark Penninga (first printed in Reformed Perspective magazine, November 2009): The Reformed faith is challenged on many fronts. Some of these challenges we are well aware of. I’m guessing that everyone thirteen and older who attends a Reformed church has been warned many times of the danger of “Arminianism” and how we ought to be on the lookout for its ugly face in songs, books, and almost everywhere else. But other challenges we hear little about, regardless of whether they are even a greater threat to the faith. The influence of the secular media in Reformed homes is one such challenge that we are aware of but seem all too hesitant to respond to.
Read More

21 Dec 2009 The Church as a City-State

Baptism is a mark of our citizenry: Why a Christian should be involved in Politics (a two part series) This article is the first of a two-part series for ARPA Canada by James Zekveld. Click here for part two: The political language of Augustine’s The City of God lends itself well to a discussion of the Christian’s role in politics. In The City of God, he describes two cities. He tells the story of the City of Man and the City of God, represented by Rome and Jerusalem. There is a clear antithesis between these two states, with clear battle lines drawn. The destruction of the city of Rome cannot hurt the city of God, because the City of God does not have a physical city on this earth. It is a city that is in Christ and lasts through all time, no matter what human city may be shaken to the foundation.   However, at the same time they are inextricably linked to one another. The members of the City of God have been placed here, dual citizens, with a mission on behalf of our native land. A mission that Abraham Kuyper has called “redeeming culture”.
Read More