Such callings and concerns have profound theological foundations on at least three levels of shared life between redeemed and unredeemed.
- Common origin: God’s ownership and image as a universal reality.
- Common Concerns: stewardship of the earth as our shared dwelling place
- Common Connections: Universally accessible truth about God, moral order and transcendence.
Human flourishing and the common good are based on the truth of the Imago Dei. But the Imago Dei is also part of a theological case for believing that, “God has lawfully ordered his creation in a way that all human beings have some sort of cognitive access to that lawfulness.” (Richard Mouw). Romans 2:15-16 appear to validate this cognitive access — even among those who don’t have access to Scripture.
The realm of common grace presupposes an ability to have rational conversations about a common good. Obviously in some political circumstances, Christians must accept limitations and pursue other means of influence because they are not permitted to participate in choosing laws and policies. But, as long as we live in a system that allows us a seat at the table, why shouldn’t we join in seeking the good that leads to laws and policies? Why would we neglect such a privilege?
There are many different ways to have conversations and we need more thoughtful creativity about the best ways to engage others in these contexts. More importantly, all that we have to say should be deeply rooted in the two great commands to love God and neighbor.
How could those who honor the Creator and care about a common good for His creatures withdraw from the table where policies and laws are formed that profoundly effect the people?