Sunday, June 10, 2012

Public Reason

         Public reason is reason offered to the public in order to persuade them that a particular policy is wisest, most efficient, and in their best interest.  Biblical reason can be public reason if you frame it effectively.  Public reason and Biblical reason might well have the same content and produce the same effect.  But public reason is presented without the overtly Biblical language or the explicitly noted Biblical reference for its source.
         Think of it as stealth political theology:  It sneaks into the enemy’s perimeter undetected in order to accomplish its mission even before the other side knows what’s happened.
         Given the predictable, almost reactionary, animosity of secular culture towards religion and Scripture, the prudent Christian presents and supports Biblical political theology, which has the great advantage of being correct, but he or she does so in ways most accurately calculated to slip through the opponents’ defenses.  The prudent Christian also opposes anti-Biblical political theory, which carries the fatal shortcoming that it is false, but does so in a manner well-suited to the interests of the hearers, at least as the hearers understand them.  To prove the wisdom of the one policy and the foolishness of the other does not require that we quote Bible verses or supply Scriptural locations.  Rather, it requires us to master the facts and the arguments drawn from life in the real world.  Christianity is, so to speak, a reality game, and it works better in the real world than do the utopian delusions of the leftist Pollyannas.
         You’ll notice that the leftists in question have operated for decades in precisely the fashion I advocate here.  (If you have not noticed it, it worked.)  They find ways of making their radical ideas prevail without quoting, say, Saul Alinsky or Karl Marx, which is why 58% of Christians polled recently said that the phrase “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need” came from Jesus, probably the Sermon on the Mount.
         If we hope to communicate our own views and ideas effectively in the public square, we need to present them in the most compelling way possible.  We need to beat the secularists at their own game -- at least they think it is their own game.
         But it’s not.  It’s His game.
         Jesus is Lord of all things, including political rhetoric.
         If I have to quote Him on the point in order to prove it to you, or if I have to tell you where to go to see Him doing what I say, then you’re not ready yet.
        The truth sets you free, not its chapter and verse location, and not its articulation in King James' English.  You can produce compelling public reasons for a policy without ever using the words "thee" and "thou." 


Ilíon said...

Next, you'll figure out that "natural theology" is a part of beating secularists and atheists at what they vainly imagine is their own game.

Dr. Michael Bauman said...

Or not. (wink)

Ilíon said...

Will he will or will he won't? The suspense builds!