Liberty hosts Every Square Inch Conference where guests discuss how college students view politics over two days

The Every Square Inch (ESI) conference is an event centered around a quote by Abraham Kuyper, Dutch politician and theologian, “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!” 

At the 2020 conference, the focus was Christian values in politics.

As the fourth annual ESI conference, this year’s main speakers were Dr. Mark Allen, executive director of the Center for Apologetics and Cultural Engagement, and Keith Faulkner, dean of the School of Law. The main event on Thursday evening began with a time of worship led by the bluegrass band E-41 from Liberty’s School of Music. 

In the following lecture entitled “Christian Civility in Politics as Gospel Witness,” Allen spoke on connecting biblical principles with the political world.

“This talk is about how to embody kingdom values into politics,” Allen said.  

Allen said he pulled from the Sermon on the Mount to prepare for the lecture.

“I thought I was the one who should give this talk, and now I think I’m the one who should receive the talk,” Allen said. “I’ve realized since then that I want to have a critical mind, but I don’t want to have a critical spirit.”

Allen said he noticed two different political engagement approaches among Liberty students. The first approach is what he called “political overreach.” Allen described someone with that mindset as believing the national stakes are high and that victory should be the goal no matter what the cost.

“In political overreach, politics is the solution to the problem,” Allen said.

The second view Allen sees is “political underreach,” when someone considers politics to just be a twisted, hot mess without bothering to care. Allen said that politics is the problem in political underreach.

Allen then said he wants a third way for Christians to view politics: political engagement and discourse as gospel outreach.

“Most of us have political conversations. What if these conversations could be designed to advance the kingdom of God?” Allen said.

For Allen, politics is a realm where Christians can bring the message of the good news of Jesus and his kingdom.

Locklear is a news reporter. Follow him on Twitter.

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