Ep 364: Faith, Allegiance, and Empire: Exploring Political Theology with Preston Sprinkle

Summary – Faith, Allegiance, and Empire: Exploring Political Theology with Preston Sprinkle

Join us as host Doug Stuart welcomes Preston Sprinkle, accomplished author and president of Theology in the Raw. Together, they tackle the weighty topics of politics, allegiance, and the teachings of Jesus as explored in Sprinkle’s latest book, Exiles: The Church in the Shadow of Empire.

Dive into a discussion that journeys through the political implications wrapped in Jesus’ teachings and their connection to contemporary issues such as power dynamics, citizenship, and nonviolence. Sprinkle dissects the often misunderstood statement about “rendering unto Caesar,” unpacking the rich historical and contextual background that reframes this passage far beyond a simple lesson on taxation.

The episode further delves into the pressing question of what it means to give “allegiance” in a biblical sense. Listeners are invited to reflect on the concept of faith as not just intellectual assent, but a soul-deep commitment that challenges notions of political and national loyalty, especially within the American evangelical context.

Sprinkle and Stuart wrestle with the deep-seated views often conflating patriotism with faith, tackling the complex issues of submitting to government authorities, engaging with empire mentality, and what repentance looked like in the 1st century.

Prepare for a deep examination of the essence of being strangers and sojourners in God’s kingdom as Preston provides a fresh understanding of Romans 13 and advocate for a life lived in the tension between respect for earthly governance and ultimate devotion to a higher King.

This episode is essential listening for those seeking to unravel the interplay between their Christian faith and political surroundings, urging believers to consider their true allegiance and what it means to be a part of a global, multi-ethnic body of Christ.

https://youtu.be/MGaBRw7jzDk

Main Points of Discussion

00:00

Preston’s Interest in biblical studies

04:38

Understanding kingdom, Revelation, and faith in life.

09:48

Christian beliefs conflated with militarism and politics.

15:58

Allegiance to God versus allegiance to empire.

17:09

Is the United States an empire?

22:08

Gospel Allegiance

30:23

What about Romans 13?

36:06

Render Unto Caesar

40:43

Revelation scholars analyze lion and slaughtered lamb.

42:09

Jesus conquers evil through nonviolent action.

Additional Resources

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The Christians for Liberty Network is a project of the Libertarian Christian Institute consisting of shows and hosts offering various perspectives on the intersection of Christianity and libertarianism. Views expressed by hosts and guests do not necessarily reflect the view of the organization, its staff, board members, donors, or any other affiliates (including other hosts or guests on the network). Guest appearances or interviews of any incumbents, officials, or candidates for any political, party, or government office should not be construed as endorsements. The Libertarian Christian Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and does not endorse any political party or candidate for any political, government, or party office. For information about the Libertarian Christian Institute’s core values, please visit this page.

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