How can Christians best participate in political life? In one of this week’s pieces, Zachary McCartney and Ben Peterson make a richly considered and theologically grounded case for the church as the archetypal polis: the political community of which all our other political communities are symbols. To be good citizens of the United States or of other polities, we must first strive to be good citizens, good subjects, of the new Jerusalem and its king, of which the church is an embassy. They examine both the Greek and the Hebrew roots of the idea of the church as a polity, and end with a challenge to all of us to live fully into the implications of this message.
It is not a quietist message. But it is one that can bring peace and focus to one’s public life. In a week, and a year, when the fractures of US public life are on painful display, their careful and sane words serve as a bridge back to where our hope truly lies.
In this week’s other essay, Tara Isabella Burton invites us to another reflection on what it is to be a social creature—she calls for a post-pandemic return to parties, as exuberant and joyful celebrations of what it is to be a human. One of the ways in which we learn to love each other, after all, is by sharing the common good over bottles of prosecco.