Q & A: Timothy Goeglein on Redemption After Plagiarism
So how about advice for people about being a Christian in public life? Is it possible?
We don't choose angels or perfect men and women to be our leaders. I believe for my fellow Christians that we ought to be very careful that we understand that we, as Christians, are citizens of two places. We're citizens of the country where we live, but we are ultimately citizens of heaven where we're going. Chuck Colson has rightly called these the kingdoms in conflict. It happens in Jerusalem. It's the city of God and the city of man. We have to be very careful to understand that there are two realms. We can't expect perfection in one realm because there was only one perfect human being.
That sounds pretty Lutheran.
Luther was an Augustinian monk, and he was very influenced by St. Augustine in the concept of the place in which a person's faith and public life cross. The Augustinian view is one that I think is pushed a lot among leaders. I love America; I think it's the greatest country. But I'm very careful not to conflate pride in my country with heaven itself.
Some complain that evangelicals have been too involved with the Republican Party in predictable ways. Are you concerned about that?
I am. You had this rise of people like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell who helped bring a lot of people into public life, which I think is a good thing. A certain duty of the Christian life is to vote and to be involved. But I also believe in prudence. The U.S. Constitution is not the Bible. A political party is not the church.
Copyright © 2011 Christianity Today. Click for reprint information.
Previous coverage of Timothy Goeglein, Focus on the Family, and George W. Bush includes:
Focus on the Family Action Taps Former Bush Aide who Resigned for Plagiarism | He was special assistant to President Bush and public liaison deputy director, often acting as a pipeline for social conservatives, including evangelicals. (January 28, 2009)
Refocusing on the Family | Like many evangelical organizations that were built in the past 50 years, Focus on the Family is attempting to thrive—and survive—past its founder. (July 1, 2011)
Bush's Defining Moment | The President, facing a grief-stricken nation under attack, finds his voice and his mission. (November 12, 2001)
Christianity Today covers political developments on the politics blog.