Here’s one of the most important observations that Steve Wilkens and Don Thorsen make in their new book, Everything You Know about Evangelicals Is Wrong (Well, Almost Everything): An Insider’s Look at Myths and Realities .
Not all Evangelicals are Republicans.
And in this chp the authors map the difference between Republicans and Democrats along four principles.
Which of these is the most important in public debates today? How would you rank them in significance?
1. Governments are authorized by God to punish wrongdoers and provide for the common good.
Repubs: govts are to do what individuals, families and communities can’t do, so this principle must be restricted. National defense and federal highways.
Dems: interpret the common good more expansively; govt needs to be more involved in distributive justice.
2. Governments inevitably abuse their powers and extend them beyond roles authorized by God.
Repubs: Always be wary of investing powers in govt; avoid centralization.
Dems: When we focus on individuals, selfishness obtains; centralized structures take the edge off of individual selfishness.
3. Salvation occurs through Jesus alone.
Repubs: salvation is not mediated by laws, but the majority has a right to vote its moral views into law.
Dems: we live in a pluralistic society so we should craft laws that protect [the minority from] the tyranny of the majority and that protect the rights of the minority.
4. Christians should work for the benefit of the society in which they live.
Repubs: individual, family, community or church efforts are closest to home and do the most good for families and society.
Dems: social problems are systemic in nature; Christians should engage in broad-based approaches that resolve underlying causes rather than just treat symptoms.