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You might have heard the phrase ‘politics is a dirty business’. You may also have heard Christians saying phrases such as ‘there’s too much politics in the church’ or, ‘Jesus had nothing to do with politics’. But what exactly is politics? And how should Christians think about, and engage with, the sphere of government? This module seeks to provide a biblical basis for thinking about politics— in all its many facets and dimensions.

The word ‘government’ conjures ideas of power, authority and law. When we read about the actions and words of politicians, we often feel that our lives are rather distant from politics, yet we also know that the decisions made by politicians (from issues like taxation to immigration) affect our daily lives. So what, or who, is government? Government is the system by which a country is governed. It is a group of people with the authority and power and to govern a country.

Over the past century, Christians have, on the whole, had an ambivalent or negative relationship to politics. Of course, there have been many exceptions to this, but nonetheless certain facts remain. As Christians, we have struggled to understand how matters of personal salvation relate to issues of justice in public life. There have also been a number of examples of Christians engaging with politics in a way which has been damaging and has dishonoured the name of Christ. Christians have used coercion to enforce our faith on the whole of society and in order to persecute dissenters. The challenge facing Christians today is knowing how to take seriously our call to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19), whilst doing this in a way that honours the name of Christ.

The four units of the Politics Module will provide you with a sound biblical basis for thinking broadly and clearly about politics, democracy, human rights and international relations.


Learning Objectives:

Unit 1 – Introduction to politics

What is government? What is the role of the state? A biblical basis for exercising authority.

Unit 2 – Democracy

What is democracy? A critique of democracy.

Unit 3 – Human rights

What is human rights? How should it be applied and realized in society?

Unit 4 – International politics

God’s view of nations and their relationships.

Happy learning!

To begin with, watch the introductory video with Dr. Jonathan Chaplin explaining some of the broad themes and issues you will learn about in the Politics module.

Course Content

Lessons Status

Lesson 1: Introduction


Lesson 2: Democracy


Lesson 3: Human rights


Lesson 4: International relations

Posted in: 3 Politics Module

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