Ecclesiocentrism is both a theoretical framework and a practical agenda for a Christian politics after liberalism.
1. The gospel is an inherently political message, announcing the Lordship and Kingship of Jesus.
2. Christian political theory is ecclesiology. Or, more moderately, no political theory can be Christian without a central focus on ecclesiology.
3. Ecclesiocentrism is simply the Bible’s sanctuary theology. Every sanctuary (Noah’s ark, the tabernacle, the temple, Ezekiel’s temple, new Jerusalem) is a microcosm, a world-model. The church is the new covenant sanctuary. Therefore, she portrays and anticipates the world as it ought to be, setting a pattern for the nations.
4. The church is the realization of human sociality. The church is an inherently political reality, a way of living together. In her union with Christ, she is the reality to which marriage points; as an outpost of the heavenly city, she is the fulfillment of all polities. She is the only true political body, the sole holy nation.
5. The state doesn’t encompass all other societies, reducing the church to one among many intermediary institutions. Rather, as the firstfruits of the eschatological polity, the church encompasses the state, nation, and all other social groups. We grasp the nature of nations and cities through the church, rather than vice versa.
6. Ecclesiocentrism implies a genealogy of liberalism, characterizing it as the rejection of the church’s claim to be an independent polity with her own sources of power and solidarity. Liberalism is a heretical ecclesiology and liberal order frequently is a counterfeit church with a counterfeit catholicity.
7. As the fulfillment of human sociality, by her sheer existence the church measures, critically reads, and tests all other human groupings.
8. Ecclesiocentrism diagnoses the ills of liberalism. A society that marginalizes or suppresses the church lacks resources of solidarity, and leads many to seek social goods in counterfeit churches.
1. Christians must learn to say: The church is my first family, my first city, my first nation. Yet, precisely because the church is the eschatological marriage, family, city, and nation, she establishes the significance of these lesser social institutions.
2. The church forms the social semiotic, world, or social imaginary for believers. As Christians witness to and live out this social imaginary, they offer hope to society.
3. As the site of solidarity in Christ and the Spirit, the communion of the church provides antidote to modern fragmentation and restlessness. Baptism and Eucharist are thus key political practices of the church, forming and renewing the church as the true, eschatological political body.
4. Pastors and other church leaders have genuine authority that does not depend on the political system. They must learn to exercise it without apology, even if, at times, it conflicts with the state’s dictates.
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