The Political Bible

It will not do to argue that the Bible provides us with no guidance in political matters. Let us remind ourselves of our starting-point. Man is to serve the glory of God in every aspect of his life as a creature in creation. His religious obedience to his God is expressed in his work as a maker of culture. Politics is very definitely a part of man’s appointed sphere of religious labour. It would be astounding if the volume which is to serve as man’s guide in glorifying God refrained from saying anything about politics. And in fact, the Bible is a surprisingly political book. Is is rather interesting, in the view of the attention being paid at the present time to both the ‘Theology of Politics’ and the ‘Theology of Liberation’ that some of their leading principles were being promulgated in Wales well over a century ago. Gwilym Hiraethog knew his Bible. Worship and politics are not the same thing; but they cannot be divorced from each other without denying that God is God and that this world is his by right of creation and redemption.

Not my words but the words of R. Tudur Jones. Very interesting.


4 Responses to “The Political Bible”

  1. Jo Fisher Says:

    Very interesting. These principles of political theologies in Wales a century ago, what principles are these exactly?

  2. welshwilderness Says:

    Thanks for the comment Jo.

    Well, i guess something along the lines of that Liberation must not be interpreted in a too restrictive a way. Is it something much wider than reforming the machinery of government. Is it concerned with releasing the creative energies of the Welsh people (or Latin American colonized people in relation to Liberation Theology) so that they may live a fuller, more humane, more democratic life and so contribute responsibly to the making of history. And such a renaissance of national creativity cannot be inspired by acts of parliament, not even a Cardiff parliament. That can only come by a rediscovery of our Christian faith. But the political struggle is a necessary preliminary people like R. Tudur Jones would argue. How can the Welsh people be fully free to discover God if they aren’t free culturally and politically? Another way of putting it is to state that it’s harder (not impossible, but harder) to look towards the clear sky when you’ve got shackles round your feet.

  3. welshwilderness Says:

    Sorry… a further explanation to actually answer your question! Welsh political and Christian leaders a century ago mixed the political and faith crisis of Wales together. How exactly is very complex but it stems from the fact that Wales was a ‘Christian Country’ and when a crisis came to de-rail wales culturally and politically it effected the Churches and their witness deeply and so men like Hiraethog argued that the remedy would have to be sought as well within politics, culture and christianity hand in hand. If you want to understand all this the book to read is “Faith and Crisis of a Nation: Wales 1890-1914”

    After reading this book you really understand how Wales’s faith, political and cultural crisis during the twentieth century came about and how they were linked and how, hopefully, the church now can help Wales sort out the three.

  4. Jo Fisher Says:

    Ah,I see. I must admit my history knowledge is not up to scratch at all, and I’m not entirely sure I understand the need for Welsh ‘liberation’ nowadays particularly… I might be wrong but can’t see how it correlates with the context of Latin American L.T or Black theology for instance. Perhaps I have been living in England too long! Also those theologies were appropriate for their contexts because the religious orientation of the people they were looking to liberation could be largely assumed. Is Wales not one of the most secular countries in the world now? Maybe the church isn’t as appropriate a vehicle for political liberation as it was a century ago.

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