Tony Blair is back in the new for his Christianity. Years back Alistair Campbell ruled that Blair in public politics doesn't do God. And yet now he calls God back into the equation. Comments in the BBC News report about tonights interview with Michael Parkinson conclude Blair is justifying his decision to go to war. But from the clip I saw yesterday I'm not sure that's what he was saying.
Seems to me that Blair was saying that either our conscience judges us, or God does for our actions. That is not to say "God told me" but rather I'm accountable to God for what I did. Meanwhile Evan Harris of the Liberal Democrats and the National Secular Society warns about allowing private religious faith enter public politics. Classic secularism!
And yet the Bible things that all of life is fair game for God. Moreover God is God over all of it. That doesn't mean we can necessarily say "God told me" to go to war. But rather that a Biblical Worldview is supposed to shape all of life, not just private life. The Bible knows nothing of a private faith, other than to comdemn it. It is deeply insulting and erroneous to consider Biblical faith to be private irrelevance - indeed it would be heinous hypocrisy if Blair's beliefs didn't shape the way he lives, raises his family and does his job.
The Bible tells us much about life when we remove accountability to God from the equation. A life live under the sun, rather than under the fear of God is, in the words of Ecclesiastes: meaningless, futile, vanity... Life is very different depending on whether or not you consider yourself accountable.
Tony Blair is right to consider himself accountable to God. I don't think that necessarily means he can claim a divine mandate for the war on Iraq, and I don't think that's what he said. But we must all remember that we stand accountable to the God who made all things, and rules over them. Whether Blair's actions fit with a Biblical worldview is another matter altogether.
BBC News Report | Interview transcript