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To Change the WorldThe Irony, Tragedy, and Possibility of Christianity Today$
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James Davison Hunter

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199730803

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199730803.001.0001

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Rethinking Power: Theological Reflections

Rethinking Power: Theological Reflections

(p.176) Chapter Seven Rethinking Power: Theological Reflections
To Change the World

James Davison Hunter

Oxford University Press

Only by narrowing an understanding of power to political or economic power can one imagine giving up power and becoming “powerless.” The creation mandate is a mandate to use power in the world in ways that reflect God’s intentions. The question for the church is not about choosing between power and powerlessness, but rather, how will the church and its people use the power that they have. The church has two essential tasks. The first is to disentangle the life and identity of the church from the life and identity of American society. The second task is for the church and for Christian believers to decouple the “public” from the “political.” The way of Christ differs. His way operated in complete obedience to God the Father, repudiated the symbolic trappings of elitism, manifested compassion concretely out of calling and vocation, and served the good of all, not just the good of the community of faith.

Keywords:   Georges Sorel, power, politics, Herbert Rosinski, homo potens, social power, post-political, Nietzschean, Jesus, altera civitas

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