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Political Church: The Local Assembly as Embassy of Christ's Rule

(Studies in Christian Doctrine and Scripture)

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  50 ratings  ·  12 reviews
The church is political. Theologians have been debating this claim for years. Liberationists, Anabaptists, Augustinians, neo-Calvinists, Radical Orthodox and others continue to discuss the matter. What do we mean by politics and the political? What are the limits of the church's political reach? What is the nature of the church as an institution? How do we establish these ...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published April 1st 2016 by IVP Academic (first published March 26th 2016)
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Apr 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Summary: Explores the nature of the church, arguing that it is a political institution that serves as an embassy of the kingdom of God, with implications for both its internal life and its engagement with the nations and governments of the world.

It seems that the relationship of church and state, which we often frame as spiritual versus political, and organic versus institutional, is a perennial discussion. In this work, Jonathan Leeman does a fine-grained analysis of both the biblical material
Matt Tyler
Feb 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
While reading Jonathan Leeman's Political Church I regularly found myself thinking, "How does someone develop the biblical and theological ability to formulate such an argument?"

Leeman's book is technical, particularly in the first couple of chapters, though the argument is logical, well-informed, and (in my opinion) never boring. While I agreed with (and have thought about) most of Leeman's conclusions (particularly those related to the local church), this was the first political theology I
Spencer R
Oct 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
My fuller review on SpoiledMilks (10/24/18).

Jonathan Leeman makes a case for the political nature of the local church and argues that it is possible to be politicalanda Christian. “Thepurpose of this political community… is to publicly represent King Jesus, display the justice and righteousness of the triune God, and pronounce that all the world belongs to this King. His claim is universal” (294).

Thefirst two chaptersasks what “politics” and “institutions” are (being the most technical chapters,
Anthony Locke
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thm-reading, 2019
Really enjoyed this biblical-theological approach to political theology that Leeman takes. He argues that political theology can and should primarily be understood on the Bible's terms, namely through the covenants. At the same time, he argues that modern conceptions of institutionalism can help us understand the political nature of the church. This book is an interesting blend of Bible and political theory, all to essentially make one point - the church is a political institution. Good stuff, ...more
Jul 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very well written, and a very important topic. Leeman puts biblical theology, systematics, and political philosophy in dialogue (with Scripture in the appropriate place of supremacy!) and produces a very thought-provoking view of the church as an embassy of Christ's rule.
Steven Robertson
This is an EXCELLENT book, one I'll no doubt be returning to regularly. There's much to think on and benefit from.
Phillip Howell
Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book with lots of great content but like many academic books it would have been more enjoyable if it were shorter.
Mar 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
As the author acknowledges, this book is not for everyone. But if you want to read from someone who has thought deeply about a biblical approach to the institutions of church and state, there are jewels well worth mining here. Chapter Six is transformational.
Read an excerpt here.

Leeman wrote this review of Smith's Awaiting the King.
Paul D.  Miller
Oct 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The best book on political theology written since Augustine's City of God.
Garrison Greene
Jan 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Best book I've read on the subject!
Brad Smith
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Shane Williamson
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Eric Chappell
Apr 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-reading
Great book. Like a technical biblical theology of 'politics.'
Ryan Dean
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JONATHAN LEEMAN is the editorial director of 9Marks, which involves him in editing the 9Marks series of books as well as the 9Marks Journal. He has written a number of books on the church, including Reverberation, and he teaches theology at several seminaries. Jonathan lives with his wife and four daughters in a suburb of Washington, DC and serves as an elder at Capitol Hill Baptist Church in ...more

Other books in the series

Studies in Christian Doctrine and Scripture (4 books)
  • Theology and the Mirror of Scripture: A Mere Evangelical Account
  • Called by Triune Grace: Divine Rhetoric and the Effectual Call
  • The Lord Is Good: Seeking the God of the Psalter
“The division between politics and religion, I dare say, is an ideological ploy. Imagine an airport security metal detector standing at the entrance of the public square, which doesn't screen for metal for but for religion. The machine beeps anytime someone walks through it with a supernatural big-G God hiding inside of one of their convictions, but it fails to pick up self-manufactured or socially-constructed little-g gods. Into this public square the secularist, the materialist, the Darwinist, the consumerist, the elitist, the chauvinist, and, frankly, the fascist can all enter carrying their gods with them, like whittled wooden figures in their pockets. Not so the Christians or Jews. Their conviction that murder is wrong because all people are made in God's image might as well be a semi-automatic. What this means, of course, is that the public square is inevitably slanted toward the secularist and materialist. Public conversation is ideologically rigged. The secularist can bring his or her god. I cannot bring mine because his name starts with a capital letter and I didn't make him up.” 0 likes
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