God and Politics: Jesus’ Vision for Society, State and Government (Youngstown OH: 10Publishing, 2016)

In this brief treatment (the book states its case in around fifty numbered pages) Mark Dever uses Jesus’ “give to Caesar what is Caesar’s” statement (Matthew 22:21) to answer the question about Christianity’s vision for the government and culture.

Dever points out that Jesus effectively authorized the Christian to pay taxes to and thus indirectly support even the pagan proclivities of the reigning emperor (or constitutional republic, as the case may be). Because the state’s is a derivative, not ultimate authority, the Christian can contribute to and positively influence the governing authorities while reserving ultimate allegiance to the kingdom of God.

The Muslim view, by way of contrast, is to conform all of society — both secular and religious — to Islam’s dictates, the “way of submission.” It has, as some would say, a “grander vision” for society than Christianity has.

Dever asserts that because Christianity recognizes the limits of governments in this time between the times (as we await Christ’s return), competing “visions” for the transformation of government and society are actually too shallow, and don’t go far enough toward God’s design of transforming the hearts of men to make them ready for the kingdom of Christ.

Christians should be involved with government because Christians are good for society, though we should recognize God’s claim on and design for our hearts.

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