Is There Such a Thing as “Public Theology?”

“What if we Christians want to influence public life, public policies? Then we have to search for and find middle axioms. These are ethical principles that have something in common with our Christian worldview but do not require full blooded and authentic Christian faith—to see their rightness. But this is not really ‘public theology.’” - Roger Olson


I appreciate Olson for asking a lot of interesting questions. Here he seems to overthink it and split hairs though.

Time will tell, but I get the impression Christianity Today is interested in its own version of ERLC. So, by “public theology,” they’re probably just talking about a) helping Christians think Christianly about ethical challenges of our times and b) messaging and maybe lobbying — so statements to major media outlets and letters to congress etc. about what’s going on.

I wish I could be really excited about this. But CT doesn’t fill me with confidence. It’s great that they saw much of the downside of hitching the Christian conservative bandwagon to Donald Trump. But I’m not sure they have the theological roots, courage, and winsomeness to seriously impact the social ethics conversation much in a conservative, non-Trumpian (and non-populist) way. I sincerely hope I’m wrong and that Moore can help CT clarify some boundaries and sharpen its voice.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.