These are tumultuous times, and we all feel it. 2024 is shaping up to be perhaps the most divided time in a generation, not only here in the United States, but around the world.

While seasons of tremendous division and social tension feel especially significant — even catastrophic — as we walk through them, this is not new. In an article in The Atlantic, David Brooks has called our current moment a “moral convulsion,” and proposed that such convulsions happen every 50 to 60 years in America. I think he is right, but in my editor’s column for Outreach Magazine, I argued that it was more of a cultural convulsion. We are walking through a convulsion of many cultures in our increasingly interconnected world.

Throughout this issue of Talbot Magazine, we will look at how to thrive this year with gospel truth and Christian conviction. To start the conversation, here are two thoughts on navigating this political year faithfully and, Lord willing, fruitfully.

First, we must choose biblical truth over any earthly tribe. Christian leaders must stand on the truth of Scripture no matter what is happening in any given political or cultural moment. The eternal truth should shape our opinions more than any cultural pressure or pragmatic consideration. The Bible guides us through the choppy waters of political discourse. We must think and speak according to the truth, regardless of the political winds of the day.

We should engage in the political process and advocate for policies that reflect our values. And, we must remember that we ultimately serve Christ alone. Earthly tribes beckon us to beat the “other side” at all costs — but biblical truth tells us that our neighbor, regardless of any ideological difference, is part of the world that “God so loved” (John 3:16). Second, we must engage this political year with Christian character, specifically with faith, hope, and love.

The unshakable truth is that we serve a God who is both the creator of the universe — standing above all the circumstances of the world — yet also our loving Father, concerned with righteous, justice, and the plight of the vulnerable. In this paradox of God’s grandiosity and his nearness, we can rest secure that no matter what happens with the election, with cultural conflict, or whatever else, God is both near us and abiding with us and he still holds the control lever of his sovereignty.

Christian hope is this unwavering expectation that we can hold onto the promise that one day the kingdoms of this world will give way to the kingdom of God in Christ (see Rev. 11:15). As we navigate this turbulent year, we must model both conviction for the truth and humility, coupled with prophetic witness and pastoral care. Such balance will require prayer, discernment, and dependence on the Holy Spirit.

So, let’s be people of truth and grace as we approach the moment with a posture of faith, hope, and love.