Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Catholic Perspective (Clark Cochran) #3: Church and State in Tension

There needs to be division so the church can pursue its mission, but it will be in constant interaction with the state. There is not a strong wall. Tension is Cochran’s key word in all of this. There are four points of tension in CST. Cooperation with the state, transcendence, competition, and challenge are the key points of tension that shift according to seasons and issues. Virtues are stressed in CST more than structures.

The church needs to walk the line between assisting the state to help people flourish without assimilating into the culture. This tension means, based on the issue, the church needs to cooperate with the state for the good, transcend the state when it comes the eternal things the state cannot speak to. The church must challenge the state when it is unjust and compete when it will help raise the bar for the state’s performance and contribute to the common good.

The book I’m reading is one of those “five views” books, but I’ll let the differences emerge with each summary rather than comment on their rebuttals. I’m already getting tired of blogging this, which means I’ll never finish if I look at each rebuttal. Feel free to rebut, however.

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