“Is “Constantinianism” all bad?” asks this provocative blog piece over at The Christian Century…
Is Constantinianism all bad?
By David Heim in The Christian Century
“Constantinian” has lately been a favored pejorative in theological circles. The term–an allusion to the fourth-century Roman emperor whose conversion to Christianity turned a marginal sect into a state religion–has been used to deplore any alliance between the church and the state or, more broadly, between the church and the dominant political culture.
Thanks to the influence of John Howard Yoder and Stanley Hauerwas, among others, anti-Constantinianism has provided an edge of energy to much mainline preaching and theology and has fueled a healthy suspicion about ways that churches can lose their identity by aligning themselves with power or the mindset of modernity.
But is Constantinianism entirely wrongheaded? Don’t Christians want people in power to embrace Christianity and Christian values? Is it a bad thing if they do? Is it impossible or meaningless for them to try?