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We are pleased to publish the text of the 24th Paul B. Henry Lecture, delivered at Calvin University on April 4, 2023. The annual lecture is sponsored by the Paul B. Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics, located at Calvin University. The lecture and the institute are named in honor of Paul B. Henry, who after teaching for eight years in the political science department of Calvin, beginning in 1970, went into electoral politics. He was elected first to the Michigan House of representatives, then to the Michigan Senate, and then to the United States House of representatives, where he served for nine years until his tragically early death in 1993. Richard J. Mouw is a senior research fellow at the Henry Institute for the Study of religion and Politics at Calvin University. Prior to his return to Calvin and the Institute in 2020, he served as president of Fuller Theological Seminary (1993–2013) and directed Fuller’s Institute of Faith and Public Life (2013–2020). Mouw’s initial career in academia began at Calvin College, where he taught philosophy from 1968 to 1985.

Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” I have often heard that line, attributed to Lord Acton, used to express misgivings about the use of political power. When Christians have cited it, which frequently occurs, I have wanted to ask them about their theology. If we truly believe that power as such “corrupts absolutely,” and if we also believe that God possesses absolute power, then aren’t we implying that God is absolutely corrupt?

I have come to realize, however, that we can avoid that theological quandary simply by quoting Lord Acton correctly. What he actually wrote, in an 1887 letter to Mandell Creighton, the Anglican bishop of London, is that “power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” And he immediately made it clear that it is human beings that he had in mind. “Great men,” he continued, “are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you superadd the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority.”1

When understood in that context, then, Lord Acton’s observation is completely unobjectionable—certainly from a Calvinist perspective. That the human possession of power over others brings with it serious sinful temptations is confirmed by many historical examples.

Of course, none of that should compel us to be suspicious of the human use of power as such. The fact is that from a biblical perspective “power” is not a neutral term. As richard Foster made it clear in his study of the subject, there are two kinds of power at work in the world. “Power can destroy or create,” Foster observes. Destructive power “destroys relationship; it destroys trust; it destroys dialogue; it destroys integrity.”2 Creative power, on the other hand, “gives life and joy and peace. It is freedom and not bondage, life and not death, transformation and not coercion.”3 In a similar vein, Andy Crouch has recently devoted a whole book to the idea of power as a gift that can be used by Christians to promote human flourishing.4

The proper Christian use of political power was a topic that was very much on Paul Henry’s mind during the 1970s, in a time when he was transitioning from his academic role into fulltime elective politics. In 1974 he addressed the topic in his book Politics for Evangelicals, and in the next couple of years he wrote two important essays on the topic.

Paul’s reason for paying attention to the topic of political power can strike us as ironic in our present-day context. He was urging evangelicals to get involved in the give-and-take of power politics, and that hardly seems necessary today, as evangelicals have gained a reputation for having aggressively “politicized” their faith. Some of us have to confess that there are moments these days when we wish that we could somehow get evangelicals out of politics. But we know that would not be the right solution. The better way is to pay attention to what Paul and others had in mind when they called for active evangelical political engagement.

The evangelical community of a half-century ago had the reputation of being “a-political,” fostering a “private” faith, with a strong emphasis on evangelism and personal spiritual growth. Those of us raised in that subculture—as was the case with Paul and myself—were taught to see ourselves as being on the margins of the larger North American society with little interest in matters of public policy. Our kind of people did see voting in elections as our civil duty, but in doing so we took it for granted that we should cast our votes for candidates who shared our conservative values. Beyond that, however, we took seriously the words of what for many of us took to be a theme song: “This world is not my home, I’m just a-passing through/My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue.”5

Paul Henry began distancing himself from this perspective in the 1960s, by serving in the Peace Corps, established by President John Kennedy to enlist young people in international community development and anti-poverty programs, and then working on the staff of republican Congressman John Anderson, who actively opposed both the Vietnam War and the involvement of his party’s president in the Watergate scandal. While serving in Washington, DC, Paul was also enrolled in a PhD program in political theory at Duke University.

Paul was not alone in arguing for a new kind of evangelical political engagement. During the 1960s an emerging generation of evangelicals had been politically energized by civil rights and anti-war concerns and began to make their commitments known in the evangelical community. In their search for a Biblical grounding for political engagement many evangelical activists took inspiration from the Anabaptist case set forth by the Mennonite theologian John Howard Yoder in his influential 1972 book, The Politics of Jesus. Yoder insisted that because the existing political systems are dominated by the use of a coercion that it is inappropriate for those who are committed to Jesus’s way of loving servanthood. Christian political action must take the form of communities of radical disciples who stand outside of the political system, witnessing to the political authorities from a perspective shaped by the norms of Christ’s Kingdom.6

While Paul disagreed with the Yoder perspective, he did welcome its emphasis on political witness, and he wanted to be in dialogue with it. Soon after he joined the Calvin faculty in 1970, Paul organized the 1972 Calvin Conference on Christianity and Politics, where evangelicals gathered to discuss various perspectives on political engagement. He also worked with Ronald Sider and Jim Wallis—both advocates of an Anabaptist perspective—to convene an evangelical gathering on Thanksgiving weekend in 1973, which resulted in the issuing of the Chicago Declaration of Evangelical Social Concern, a document in which the forty participants repented of the past neglect by evangelicals of the issues of racism, poverty, militarism, and gender inequality.

The Declaration received considerable coverage in the media. A reporter at the Chicago Sun Times observed that “someday American church historians may write that the most significant church-related event of 1973 took place last week at the YMCA Hotel on S. Wabash.”7

The identification of the Chicago document as an expression of “social concerns” is significant, since the Declaration was essentially an announcement that evangelicals were now concerned about social ills that have long been neglected in their community. Again, Paul Henry wanted more than an expression of concern, but he was willing to celebrate the Declaration as a much-needed preface to the “more.” In his Politics for Evangelicals, he quotes the Declaration in its entirety, after offering a detailed discussion of the pros and cons of official church pronouncements on political matters. While much of what he says is critical of the “procedural weaknesses and political ineffectiveness” of such edicts, he does allow that they can “serve a prophetic function . . . as protestations of conscience from within the Christian community against the failure of the church to show true discipleship in the social and political spheres.”8 And he lifts up the Declaration as a model of the kind of “protestation of conscience” that can serve a good purpose.

Again, though, while the Declaration was for Paul a positive step in the right direction, more was required. The document identified important social concerns but it offered nothing by way of expressing the need to link those concerns to concrete political strategies. Instead, the document concludes by affirming that “[b]y this declaration, we endorse no political ideology or party, but call our nation’s leaders and people to that righteousness which exalts a nation,” adding that in making this declaration “we accept [Christ’s] claim on our total discipleship till He comes.”9

Having given the call to political discipleship its due, Paul goes on in a lengthy final chapter of his book to offer practical advice regarding some concrete modes of involvement in politics. One is active participation in a political party. Another is working on behalf of specific candidates in political campaigns. Yet another is joining interest groups that focus on public policy on specific issues: he mentions here, among others, the Sierra Club and Common Cause.

Significantly, Paul issues a warning that has special relevance to our present situation as evangelicals. We should not take on political engagement, he says, by “entering into the political world as a block engaged in some sort of holy crusade to usher in a new era in the political life of a community.”10 Such a strategy fails to allow for a careful airing of honest disagreements among Christians on political specifics. What is essential is that these disagreements be explored and debated “with the aim of achieving political justice.”11

The focus on justice looms large in the two essays where Paul places his own perspective within the broader context of evangelical approaches.12 In the first of these essays he addresses the Yoder perspective, arguing that Yoder leaves Christians with a false choice. Either we opt for love against the use of the coercive power that is essential to our political system or we join that system, conforming to its coercive ways of making things happen. Thus, as Paul puts it, we are asked by Yoder to choose between “powerless love” or “loveless power.” But, Paul insists, there is an alternative: the loving use of power to promote justice: “it is justice which enables us to be servants of both power and love.”13

Paul brought these thoughts with him to the Calvin College faculty, and he clarified and expanded upon them here in a reformed context that welcomes the kinds of theoretical ideas and Christian sensitivities that he understood as foundational to the political calling.

This university has chosen to celebrate Paul’s contributions both in his scholarship and his practical political service by establishing in his name an institute for the study of Christianity and politics. In doing this the Calvin community is acknowledging that sustained explorations of faith is a very reformed thing to do. Indeed, it is something that needs to be encouraged because the Calvinist tradition has the resources for addressing key issues in political thought and practice in profound ways.

Lest what I have just observed be taken as a bit of in-group boasting about the merits of Calvinism, I will elaborate on my claim by drawing on the insights of a Jewish political theorist, the late Sheldon Wolin, who during his distinguished career was professor of politics at Princeton University. In his insightful book, Politics and Vision, Wolin portrays John Calvin as unique among the sixteenth century reformers in seeing social-political life as exhibiting a benevolent order established by God for the good of human life. While the Lutherans and the Anabaptists saw the church as a community that promoted the bonds of mutual love and a shared faith, Wolin said, the political system was for them held together by coercion and domination. They viewed politics, in Wolin’s words, as “a dark, disordered mass trembling on the brink of anarchy and seemingly outside the beneficent order of God.”14

Wolin sees Calvin as challenging this perspective, taking a much more positive view of political life than did Luther and the Anabaptists. Calvin insisted that “there was a kind of virtue attainable only in the political order.”15 The political arena is a unique setting for teaching us lessons that cannot be acquired elsewhere. Wolin quotes Calvin giving us a delightful image in this regard. It is an important task of government, the reformer said, “to shape our manners in accordance with civil justice.”16

I must confess that when I first came upon Sheldon Wolin’s account of Calvin’s positive view of political life it caught me by surprise. I had long been aware of the reformer’s insistence that Christians can and should accomplish God-honoring things by engaging in political activity. On many occasions I had enjoyed shocking my students by quoting Calvin’s declaration depicting the office of the civil magistrate as “not only sacred and lawful, but the most sacred, and by far the most honourable, of all stations in mortal life.”17

All of that had to do, though, with Calvin’s urging Christians to view political engagement as the means by which we can accomplish good things in serving the larger human community. But that was not what Wolin was affirming in Calvin’s political perspective. Wolin was saying that in Calvin’s way of seeing things our active engagement in politics can accomplish positive things in us. Calvin observes that political participation can cultivate virtues in us that we cannot attain elsewhere. And in what I have described as Calvin’s delightful image it is a benefit of the use of political power that working for justice can “shape our manners.” Again, to put it simply: Wolin was telling us that for Calvin it isn’t just that our being involved in politics can bring about some good things in our service to others—-which certainly is the case. But it can also contribute in unique ways to our own spiritual and moral formation.

In my own studies of Christian political thought and action in recent years I have become increasingly convinced of the need for developing resources for what I think of as a spirituality of political engagement. Paul Henry certainly had this concern in mind when, as I quoted him earlier, he warned against Christians “entering into the political world as a block engaged in some sort of holy crusade to usher in a new era in the political life of a community.”

In my writing and speaking about “convicted civility” during the past couple of decades the need for a moral-spiritual formation for public life has loomed large for me. And I have been helped in this by Aristotle’s views about how we come to develop the capacity for “civic friendship.”18 Our earliest experiences of social bonding happen, Aristotle observed, within the family, as we are nurtured as infants by our parents.

Then as we grow a little older we begin to make friends with people who are not our kinfolk. Those relationships are sustained by common interests. Eventually, however, we need to extend these lessons in bonding to the public square, where we encounter people whom we may not know individually—persons of different ethnicities, ideologies, classes, and lifestyles, but with whom we sense the bonds of citizenship, simply upon the basis of our shared humanity.

John Calvin made a case very similar to Aristotle’s in his explanation of what it means to love our neighbor: The “neighbor” whom God commands us to love, Calvin says, “includes even the most remote person,” extending beyond “the ties of kinship, or acquaintanceship, or of neighborhood.” It is a love that should “embrace to the whole human race without exception in a single feeling of love,” with “no distinction between barbarian and Greek, worthy and unworthy, friend and enemy, since all should be contemplated in God, not in themselves.”19

Obviously, the church can have an important role in nurturing this capacity for seeing every human being as created in the divine image. The late Harvard theologian ronald Thiemann put it well when he proposed that local congregations should function as “‘schools of public virtue,’ communities that seek to form the kind of character necessary for public life.” Unfortunately, though, our evangelical “schooling” for citizenship has been an obvious failure. In fact it has been virtually non-existent in the twentieth century, with six decades of “a-political” evangelicalism followed by an entry into a “culture wars” activism that exemplifies the syndrome that James Madison feared in Federalist Paper 10, where, as he put it, a “zeal for different opinions concerning religion” is one of the main factors that “divide[s] mankind into parties, inflame[s] them with mutual animosity, and render[s] them much more disposed to vex and oppress each other than to co-operate for their common good.”20

As an antidote to this phenomenon Madison recommended a form of government that would employ systemic means for keeping this kind of zeal from getting out of hand. However, since these days we are seeing how fragile those structural safeguards are, as Christians we do better to think about how we can foster a commitment to the common good that is in the deep places of our souls.

In his fascinating study, The Fall of Public Man, richard Sennett argued that in our modern industrial society we have lost an appropriate sense of the benefits of a public selfhood. Our obsession with intimate warmth in human affairs amounts to what he labels an “ideology of intimacy,” according to which “social relationships of all kinds are real, believable, and authentic the closer they approach the inner psychological concerns of each person.” This perspective, Sennett argued, “transmutes political categories into psychological categories.”21

The result of this transmutation, Sennett said, is a lack of appreciation for— and his Aristotelian commitments are obvious here—the kinds of “bonds of association and mutual commitment which exist between people who are not joined by ties of family or intimate association”; we have lost our sense of the value of “the bond of a crowd, of a ‘people,’ of a polity.”22 This loss of public selfhood creates, in turn, private disruption: “confusion has arisen between public and intimate life; people are working out in terms of personal feelings public matters which properly can be dealt with only through codes of impersonal meaning.”23

That concept of “codes of impersonal meaning” constitutes a much-needed corrective to our own evangelical version of the “ideology of intimacy.” Because we tend to think of love of neighbor in terms of face-to-face bonding we have difficulty to think of what it means to love neighbors as collectivities of persons whom to love requires our grasping the systems of suffering and oppression that afflict them. The leaders of an urban ministry told me that it is easy to enlist suburban church members personally to deliver turkeys to urban families at Thanksgiving, but it is difficult to get those church members to attend events discussing urban poverty.

The challenge here is to get clear about what we must do to gain the capacity for the kind of systemic “seeing” that is guided by the kind of empathy that our Savior demonstrated as he encountered human beings in public spaces: “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”24

Systemic empathy—seeing the crowds with compassion—does not simply come about by accepting the teaching that all human beings are created in the divine image—although we need much more teaching on that doctrine. Internalizing the necessary codes of interpersonal meaning has to come to us in a process of formation. And here is where we must take seriously John Calvin’s insistence that in political engagement—in the actual give-and-take of politics—we are able to learn moral-spiritual lessons that are not accessible to us elsewhere.

When I first began exploring the idea of civility, I was helped by the writings on the subject by John Murray Cuddihy, particularly his book The Ordeal of Civility. Cuddihy was not being hyperbolic in his use of the ordeal image. Maintaining a civil spirit in our pluralistic culture is indeed a challenge. We need to show a positive spirit toward people with whom we seriously disagree. Yet Cuddihy—a Catholic believer—clearly understands that we cannot in any way give in to the requirement that we set aside our sense of our “sacred particularity”25 as believers. He quotes approvingly rabbi Arthur Hertzberg’s observation that “the American experiment” has asked “something previously unknown and almost unthinkable of the religions,” namely, that “each sect is to remain the one true and revealed faith for itself and in private, but each must behave in the public arena as if its truth were as tentative as an esthetic opinion or a scientific theory.”26

Cuddihy finds a theological solution for coping with the ordeal. We can, he says, adopt an “ethic for the interim.” We can patiently live with the requirements of civility as we await God’s future victory over the forces of unrighteousness. To claim our glory here and now, Cuddihy writes, “is precisely vainglory—it is vulgar, empty, and in bad theological taste. ‘Whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted (Matthew 23:12).’”27

This is helpful, as long as we avoid the smug sense that we are tolerating the present in the confidence that it is a mere matter of time when we will be declared the victors. On the contrary: we have the gift of time for engaging in the important work of cultivating the political “manners” that John Calvin wants us to learn.

The best way of cultivating those manners—as I see it—is to encourage and support the brand of pluralism that is a key feature of Abraham Kuyper’s approach to political life. In the neo-Calvinist movement we often refer to this perspective as “principled pluralism,” as a way of signaling our conviction that a political system that encourages the interaction among a plurality of political ideologies has an intrinsic value from a Christian perspective.

I won’t spell out the details of the system of principled pluralism here. That would require attention to a variety of themes and topics, such as sphere sovereignty, the Christian critique of the Enlightenment, the inadequacy of a political order designed to promote liberty to autonomous individuals, and much more.28 My focus here is on what I see as the moral-spiritual requirements for actively engaging a pluralistic political culture. What does it take for us to want to participate in a political system that encourages the interaction among persons representing diverse worldviews and lifestyles?

Obviously for Christians to value that kind of political culture does not mean seeking by legislative means to establish a political order that is biased in favor of Christian faith-based teachings and practices. It is to be clear that God requires a freely offered obedience to his will and not a grudging conformity. We do want the freedom to witness to the power of living in obedience to the God of the Bible, but we will not want to impose that perspective on others by legislative mandates. Political pluralism can serve as the arena for our realizing our public calling as disciples of Jesus Christ, as we learn the “manners” that John Calvin prescribed.

A helpful resource for guiding that learning process is a document, “The Dialogue Decalogue,” published in 1983 by the theologian Leonard Swidler.29 Swidler intended his ten guidelines for use specifically in interreligious conversations, but it has become a popular resource for other contexts where people are making an effort to understand their differences of belief and practice. Swidler’s document focuses on the importance of approaching other perspectives with a desire genuinely to learn, as well as on the need to cultivate the humility that allows one to engage in self-critique.

Swidler’s principles can be seen as providing an account of what goes into effective dialogue. One of his important emphases is the need for each group to be granted the right to define its own perspective. Our attempt to grasp properly the other person’s belief should have the goal of our stating that person’s position in a way that the person himself/herself would endorse.

In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel, The Marble Faun, Miriam, who struggles much with guilt, is hoping for empathy from her friend Hilda, whom Miriam admires as a model of purity. When Hilda does not come through with the empathy that Miriam was hoping for, Miriam gives her friend a theological evaluation. “You have no sin,” she tells Hilda, “nor any conception of what it is.” What her friend needs, Miriam says, is “a sin to soften you.”30

On that kind of theological assessment we Calvinists have a good reason to be soft in debating our opponents. The awareness of our own sinful tendencies should provide us with the motivation to receive correction from others in our quests for clarity about the issues regarding our collective lives.

Our ability to learn from others, however, is not just because we are convinced of the depravity that we share with them. We also have good reasons to look to them for insights into the truth about things. Abraham Kuyper offers encouragement to us in this in his application of his theology of common grace to the issues of political life. Kuyper did not just see God’s producing good things in the world by providentially keeping unbelievers from being as bad as they could be in their sinfulness. Common grace also empowers unbelievers to make positive contributions to the cause of righteousness. We see the non-salvific working of God’s favor, said Kuyper, “wherever civic virtue, a sense of domesticity, natural love, the practice of human virtue, the improvement of the public conscience, integrity, mutual loyalty among people, and a feeling for piety leaven life.”31

Kuyper likely came up with that list of positive traits from his own experiences in the Dutch Parliament, where he probably saw much “civic virtue” and “public conscience” in his non-Christian colleagues. Kuyper was even willing to get more specific on this. He did not want it said of him and his followers, he observed, that they failed to

. . . appreciate our Conservatives’ historical bent, neglected to honor our Liberals’ love of liberty, overlooked the radicals’ sense of justice, and counted as nothing the nobler Socialists’ compassion with so much indescribable misery. We therefore do not cast any slur on our opponents personally, nor do we stigmatize the conscious motive that drives and stimulates them.32

It would be an interesting assignment for evangelicals today to come up with a comparable list of positive qualities that we see in our political opponents!

Paul Henry spoke to evangelicals at a time when they had as Paul put it, long “shunned politics as a dirty, worldly, and humanistic endeavor alien to the concerns of the Gospel.”33 These days evangelicals have earned the reputation of acting like we are quite at home in pursuing a dirty and worldly brand of politics. If we are to commit ourselves now to the proper use of political power, it will require some remedial work on our part in cultivating the “manners” prescribed by John Calvin. I have attended here to some ways we can make this effort in our specifically political engagements. But there is also a broader assignment. The Calvinist political theorist David Koyzis reports that when an interviewer once asked his friend (and mine) Gideon Strauss to explain what he means by “justice” Gideon gave this reply:

In the biggest sense, justice is when all God’s creatures receive what is due them and contribute out of their uniqueness to our common existence. We are called to do justice in every sphere of our lives: How I love and educate my daughters, collaborate with my colleagues, interact with neighbors. Public justice is the political aspect—the work of citizens and political office bearers shaping a public life for the common good. Social justice is the civil society counterpart—nonpolitical organizations that promote justice.34

Gideon Strauss is right to point us to the urgency of seeking justice in the broader regions of civil society, beyond the sphere of electoral politics as such. But engaging in that broader task of seeking justice can also reap benefits for our efforts in the important work of political engagement. In order for our involvement in politics to be taken as good faith activity we must gain the trust of our fellow citizens who right now do not think well of evangelicals in politics. This means demonstrating our commitment to human flourishing—to shalom—in other spheres of human interaction: the education of children, the arts, business practices, civic organizations, the world of entertainment, standing in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles.

It has become obvious in recent years that a robust commitment to justice also requires supporting our fellow human beings from abuse in these various spheres: altar boys assisting priests in Catholic liturgies, women interviewing for careers in television journalism, servers in restaurants, homeless folks living on the streets, Muslim children being bullied on school playgrounds—all of these deserve to receive what is “due” to them as persons of created value. By demonstrating our commitment to the well-being of our fellow citizens in these other spheres of our collective life we may gain a new trust in our efforts in the specifically political arena to seek justice by means of a God-honoring use of political power.


  1. John Acton, Acton-Creighton Correspondence, Indianapolis, IN: Unknown, 1887, Letter 1, para. 22,
  2. Richard J. Foster, Money, Sex & Power: The Challenge of the Disciplined Life (San Fran- cisco, CA: Harper & row, 1985), 175.
  3. Foster, Money, Sex & Power, 196.
  4. Andy Crouch, Playing God: Redeeming the Gift of Power (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2013).
  5. Anonymous, “This world is not my home, I’m just passing by,” in Joyful Meeting in Glory Song Book No. 1, ed. Bertha Davis (Columbus, OH: Unknown, 1919), hymn d93.
  6. John H. Yoder, The Politics of Jesus (Grand rapids, MI: Eerdmans, [1881] 1972), 92.
  7. Cited by David r. Swartz, Moral Minority: The Evangelical Left in an Age of Conservatism (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012), 181.
  8. Paul B. Henry, Politics for Evangelicals (Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press, 1974), 102–103.
  9. Henry, Politics for Evangelicals, 106.
  10. Henry, Politics for Evangelicals, 111.
  11. Henry, Politics for Evangelicals, 123.
  12. Both essays are included in Douglas Koopman, ed., Serving the Claims of Justice: The Thoughts of Paul B. Henry (Grand rapids, MI: Paul B. Henry Institute, 2001): “Love, Power and Justice,” 79–88; “Christian Perspectives on Power Politics,” 89–108.
  13. Henry, “Love, Power and Justice,” 83–84.
  14. Sheldon S. Wolin, Politics and Vision: Continuity and Innovation in Western Political Thought (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2004), 180.
  15. Wolin, Politics and Vision, 183.
  16. John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion. Book IV, Chapter XX, section 4, quoted by Wolin, Politics, 182. Wolin is quoting here from the older Henry Beveridge translation (Grand rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1953).
  17. John Calvin, Institute of the Christian Religion, ed. John T. McNeill, trans. Ford Lewis Battles (Philadelphia, PA: Westminster Press, 1960), Book IV, Chapter XX, section 2.
  18. Aristotle discusses this topic in Nicomachean Ethics, Book viii.
  19. Calvin, Institutes, II, VIII, 54–55, 417–419.
  20. The Federalist Papers, selected and edited by roy P. Fairfield (Garden City, NY: Anchor Books, 1961), 18–19.
  21. Richard Sennett, The Fall of Public Man: On the Social Psychology of Capitalism (New York, NY: Vintage Books, 1978), 259.
  22. Sennett, The Fall of Public Man, 3–4.
  23. Sennett, The Fall of Public Man, 5.
  24. Matthew 9:26, ESV.
  25. John Murray Cuddihy, The Ordeal of Civility: Freud, Marx, Levi-Strauss, and the Jewish Struggle with Modernity (New York, NY: Basic Books, 1974), 108.
  26. Cuddihy, The Ordeal of Civility, 108.
  27. Cuddihy, The Ordeal of Civility, 202.
  28. The theorical complexities are spelled out with care and at length by James Skillen, Recharging the American Experiment: Principled Pluralism for Genuine Civic Community (Grand rapids, MI: Baker, 1994).
  29. Leonard Swidler, “The Dialogue Decalogue: Ground rules for Interreligious, Interideological Dialogue,” Dialogue Institute, 1983, dialogue-principles.
  30. Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Marble Faun (Boston, MA: Ticknor and Fields, 1860), Chapter XXIII.
  31. Abraham Kuyper, Common Grace: God’s Gifts for a Fallen World, 3 vols., trans. Nelson D. Kloosterman and Ed M. van der Maas (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2019), 1:539–40.
  32. Abraham Kuyper, “Maranatha” in Abraham Kuyper: A Centennial Reader, ed. James Bratt (Grand rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1998), 213.
  33. Henry, Politics for Evangelicals, 21.
  34. Mark Moring, “Graceful Justice,” Who’s Next, Christianity Today, June 22, 2010,

Richard J. Mouw

Dr. Richard J. Mouw serves as Professor Emeritus at Fuller Theological Seminary and Senior Research Fellow at Calvin University's Paul B. Henry Institute on Christianity and Politics.