I'm just about finished reading Counterfeit Gospels by Trevin Wax. This is a great book and I highly recommend it. The semester is just starting and political campaigns are in full force. What do these two things have to do with each other? Not much, but the following two quotes touches both of these realms:
1) "Education makes us smarter sinners, but it does not address the heart" (page 177). Hence the need to proclaim the gospel in our churches and the classroom. I could spend 3 or 4 hours talking about the date the Gospel of John was written, and my students might walk away with a wonderfully nuanced understanding of that issue, but if they leave my class without a better understanding of the gospel, I have failed as their teacher.
2) "Stay centered on the gospel that brings social change, not the gospel of social change" (page 182). While their might be a particular candidate that I'm excited to vote for, my hope is never in him. My hope is only in the One who can change the hearts of the citizens of our nation. I am all for voting for someone who will hopefully stand against the tide of immorality, someone who has compassion on the poor, someone who has wisdom in fiscal and foreign policies, but my hope does not rely upon any politician, but upon the God who uses preachers to proclaim a message that takes hearts of stone and turns them into hearts of flesh, that turns those who are wicked to their core and makes them love God and people. That is where our hope must ultimately remain.