In BJU Press’s Biblical Worldview: Creation, Fall, Redemption we gave some attention to the political virtues of prudence and boldness (p. 280).
Prudence means understanding your situation, seeing what good can be accomplished in it, knowing what options are both morally legitimate and likely successful—and then pursuing the wisest goal in the wisest way. Prudence is a key virtue for Christians involved in politics (Prov. 8:12–16). The Bible does not provide specific revelation about how to frame laws, manage campaigns, or even who to vote for in a presidential election. But the Bible was written to help Christians live wisely in every aspect of their lives. Prudence is knowing the best way to get from here to wherever you ought to be. For example, Christians and radical feminists fundamentally disagree about the structure of the family and the roles of men and women in society. But they both see pornography as degrading, and both oppose domestic abuse of women. A politically prudent Christian can reach across the aisle and cooperate with someone who wants the same biblical things even if their motivations are ultimately different.
Of course, some fundamental disagreements will always remain. Cooperation is sometimes impossible. On these matters the Christian should state the Christian position boldly, but not brashly.
Another example of political prudence can be seen in the abortion debate. Ideally, the Christian would see a constitutional ammendment passed that would see the life of the unborn protected in the nation without exceptions. But such an ammendment is a political impossibility. The prudent Christian, however, sees that abortion can be constrained and limited though more limited laws that Congress and state legislatures pass. If a pro-life politician agrees to a law that will prevent or hinder him from reaching the goal of ending abortion in the United States, that would be compromise. But he he is pressing for laws that move toward the goal even if they don’t reach it, that is political prudence.
This kind of prudence is not a weak-kneed approach to politics, even if it avoids making Quoxitic stands. It typically requires a great deal of foresight and boldness if it is going to be successful.