The politics of Advent

17 December 2016

Sometimes our faith in Jesus and our political life can seem disconnected, especially at Christmas.

In this new resource, Wilberforce Academy fellow Prof. Jonathan Burnside gives insights from the Bible and from ancient history to show how the nativity story is relevant to politics.

He tells us: “Advent is all about preparing our hearts to receive Jesus Christ as King … and kingship is political.”

Jesus overthrew the political powers of his day, but he did it in a way that nobody was expecting. His story will forever change the way we engage not only in political life, but all areas of life.

i. Government, in the form of Caesar Augustus [12mins]

Professor Burnside explains what it looks like to “give our primary allegiance to heaven, not to Rome”.


ii. Monarchy, in the form of Herod the Great [12mins]

Professor Burnside explores the concept that “the path to greatness is the path to self-denial, servanthood and humility”.


iii. Culture, in the form of the Magi [8mins]

Professor Burnside discusses what it means for these “cultural kings” to bow down before King Jesus.


iv. Religion, in the form of the Priests [10mins]

Professor Burnside investigates how the promise that the government would be on Jesus’ shoulders empowers us in our own political life and has the power to turn all our expectations upside down.

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