Kevin Rudd, a man who has been described by the media as "a bookish, intellectual Christian" has triumphed in the Australian general election against long term right-wing incumbent John Howard.
The new Prime Minister-elect has been open about his progressive Christian faith, but has argued that the role of faith is not to dominate the political arena but to contribute to it.
He declared last year in the journal The Monthly: "A Christian perspective on contemporary policy debates may not prevail. It must nonetheless be argued. And once heard, it must be weighed, together with other arguments from different philosophical traditions, in a fully contestable secular polity."
Rudd added: "A Christian perspective, informed by a social gospel or Christian socialist tradition, should not be rejected contemptuously by secular politicians as if these views are an unwelcome intrusion into the political sphere. If the churches are barred from participating in the great debates about the values that ultimately underpin our society, our economy and our polity, then we have reached a very strange place indeed."
In an article in the Sydney Morning Herald last October, Kevin Rudd wrote about German theologian and intellectual Dietrich Bonheffer, who was killed by the Nazis in the last days of the Second World War: "Sixty years after his execution, Bonhoeffer's gospel of social justice still speaks to us. Regrettably, much of this social justice tradition of Christianity has been drowned out by a new brand of political Christianity which is being systematically exploited in Republican America and John Howard's Australia."
He continued: "It is a brand of Christianity that celebrates private morality and personal prosperity alone - to the virtual exclusion of equity, solidarity and compassion."
According to some analysts Labor's victory will presage significant policy changes including more action on the environment and global warming, the likely withdrawal of Australian personnel from Iraq and a more compassionate approach to migration.