Here are some strongly recommended texts if you are unable to apply for the Lachlan Macquarie Internship but still wish to engage more from a Christian perspective with public policy:

The Universe Next Door

JAMES SIRE

For more than thirty years, The Universe Next Door has set the standard for a clear, readable introduction to worldviews. In this new fifth edition James Sire offers additional student-friendly features to his concise, easily understood introductions to theism, deism, naturalism, Marxism, nihilism, existentialism, Eastern monism, New Age philosophy, Islam and postmodernism.

The book continues to build on Sire's refined definition of worldviews from the fourth edition and includes other updates as well, keeping this standard text fresh and useful. In a world of ever-increasing diversity, The Universe Next Door offers a unique resource for understanding the variety of worldviews that compete with Christianity for the allegiance of minds and hearts. For a copy click here.

Political Visions and Illusions

DAVID KOYZIS

The end of the Cold War has brought about more than the triumph of some political ideologies and the disappearance of others. In fact, the collapse of communism has created a vacuum quickly being filled by various alternative visions, ranging from ethnic nationalism to individualistic liberalism.

Political ideologies are not merely a matter of governmental efficacy. Rather, political ideologies are intrinsically and inescapably religious--each carries certain assumptions about the nature of reality, individuals and society, as well as a particular vision for the common good. These fundamental beliefs transcend the political sphere, and the astute Christian observer should thus discern the subtle ways in which ideologies are rooted in idolatrous worldviews.

In this comprehensive study, political scientist David Koyzis surveys the key political ideologies of our era, including liberalism, conservatism, nationalism, democracy and socialism. Each philosophy is given careful analysis and fair critique, unpacking the worldview issues inherent to each and pointing out essential strengths and weaknesses. Koyzis concludes by proposing alternative models that flow out of Christianity's historic engagement with the public square, retrieving approaches that hold promise for the complex political realities of the twenty-first century.Writing with broad, international perspective and keen analytical insight, Koyzis offers a sound guide for Christians working in the public square, culture watchers, political pundits and all students of modern political thought. For a copy click here.

 

Silent Legacy

PAUL HENDERSON AND JOHN FOX

Silent Legacy invites you into conversation with some of the great minds that have formed history; those who have thought and dreamed great things, shaping and moulding the culture and the civilisation we have inherited. It invites you to think about truth, reality, knowledge, beauty and community and to look deeper into contemporary culture and see the imprint and impact of ideas.

Silent Legacy is the story of philosophy: from ancient Greece to the contemporary West; a primer, an introduction to digging a little deeper. It encourages you to take time to think and to engage with ideas, to show that the thoughts that have shaped our history are accessible—that they originate in flesh and blood and that they are up for debate. As we lose sight of the ideas which have shaped our world, and the people who formed them, we lose the tools for understanding who we are, and the culture we live in. For a copy click here.

The Bible in Politics

RICHARD BAUKHAM

Richard Baukham's second edition of this book is essential reading for understanding the relationship between the Bible and politics. The enduring value of 'The Bible in Politics' is that it teaches the reader how to read the Bible politically and to gain an understanding of the social relevance of the Bible that is more disciplined, more informed, more imaginative, and more politically fruitful than many interpreters, past and present, have acheived.

Often commentators in this area seem to make the common area of reinforcing their own political ideologies through Biblical verses taken out of context (or eisegesis). Baukham however has a wonderful ability to take hermeneutics (interpretation of Scripture) seriously while at the same time opening up creativity for law-makers in relation to the Old and New Testaments.

The book can be ordered here.