3) Subsidiarity and solidarity help guide the way. Whenever possible, we are called to work on problems at a local level, having compassion for the vulnerable. This is especially important for those working in Washington, and those vocationally engaged in the battle of ideas. These guidelines from the Center for Public Justice can help guide our thinking, and whenever possible we should ground our best ideas in personal relationships at the local level.

4) Economics impacts everyday life more than we often think it does. I've seen this first hand in work on AEI's Values & Capitalism project, which engages directly with Christian college students and professors. On many of these campuses there is widespread misunderstanding about the relationship between biblical principles and the economy. Wiser thinking can and should guide us—and a new 32-page Economic Wisdom publication offers practical, enduring insights that can inform any of us as citizens.

5) So should we pull back? This strikes me as the wrong question, falling prey to the "all or nothing" fallacy, which makes either an idol of politics or recommends full withdrawal from political engagement. A preferable question is to ask: How do we rightly engage the public square in ways that recognize Christ as Lord of all, including politics as well as all other human institutions? Those whose true identity is in Christ are free to plod steadily, consistently, and humbly along—sowing seeds faithfully as educators, writers, lobbyists, congregational leaders, and intellectuals.

Worthy examples are all around us, but we need eyes of faith to see and learn from them. Ironically, as the final portion of 1 Corinthians 15 suggests, those who grasp the reality of the city still to come are often more effective in the City of Man and its public square.