Norman De Jong
Reviewed by: Robert M. Van Manen
Date posted: 09/18/2016
When Democracy Comes to Church: The Intersection of Theology and Politics, by Norman De Jong. Redeemer Books, 2015. Paperback, 69 pages, $10.00 at Redeemer Books (6527 Leisure Creek Dr., S.E., Caledonia, MI 49316; 616-862-2821); $14.95 on Amazon.com. Reviewed by OP pastor Robert M. Van Manen.
Norman De Jong, an OP minister and former college and seminary professor, has published a new study guide entitled When Democracy Comes to Church. His previous writings, including Education in the Truth, Christianity vs. Democracy, God’s Wedding Band: Reflections on the Creation-Evolution Debate, and Lies, Lies, and More Lies: Waging War with Satan, have served the educational and church world with much-needed insights. In addition, he has published nine inductive Bible studies.
De Jong states that this study guide “provides a powerful antidote for all churches who are trying to resist the allure of radical feminism and the human rights agenda.” Additionally, he writes, “Democracy is not a form of government, but an ideal of sinful humans who desire the right to make their own laws, control their own lives, and refuse to be ruled by anyone who wants to lord it over them. A true democrat will insist on making his/her own laws and rules. This becomes devilish when he/she rebels against the LORD, the Creator of the universe, and the source of divine law.”
De Jong begins the study guide by looking at some current issues in the church today, namely feminism and homosexuality. His analysis is that these issues in the church are a result of churches being run as democracies rather than by the truth of God’s Word. The guide continues with chapters dealing with the history of the United States, the actual form of government in the United States, and how the educational system over the years has taught a false view of man. The final chapters include an analysis of the both the Democratic and Republican parties’ official platforms.
This study guide consists of fourteen chapters followed by study questions. It is ideal for a semester in a church education program, a small group Bible study, or personal use. Our congregation made use of the materials, and they proved to be a source of lively discussion and extremely beneficial in helping to understand the current political and church climate. While not everyone in your church will agree with everything he writes, De Jong does provoke a discussion on topics not always thought about in today’s society.
This work continues De Jong’s practice of identifying a problem, seeing its ramifications in society, and offering a biblical solution. Given the present state of the world, the nation, and the church, this work is timely and worth the discussions it will create.