I have been working my way through Peter Leithart’s book: The Kingdom and the Power: Rediscovering the Centrality of the Church. It is in a sense an exposition of the role of the church in the shaping of society. Leithart argues that while evangelicalism today is largely interested in changing this secular culture, evangelicalism in general lacks “an adequate appreciation of emphasis on the validity–in my judgment, the centrality–of the ecclesiastical or sacramental model of the kingdom (xi-xii).” Pastor Leithart indicates that there is a growing trend of evangelicals who want to be more political, but they are going about it the wrong way. They tend to think that in order for the church to be politically influential, “her first task is to become more political(xiii).” Though the church’s involvement in the political scenario is essential, the church cannot betray its proper identity by abandoning its ecclesiastical priorities.
Leithart concludes chapter one by summarizing the purpose of the book:
The book is not a summons to retreat from the world, but a rally cry to conservative Christians to engage the world–not as isolated Christians or as an interest group, but as the church. It is the burden of this book to stress the primacy of holy war, which, being translated, means the primacy of the church (22).
Peter Leithart’s blog can be found here.