God's Politics offers a clarion call to make both our religious communities and our government more accountable to key values of the prophetic religious tradition, that is, make them pro-justice, pro-peace, pro-environment, pro-equality, and pro-family (without making scapegoats of single mothers or gays). Our biblical faith and religious traditions simply do not allow us as a nation to continue to ignore the poor and marginalized, deny racial justice, tolerate the ravages of war, or turn away from the human rights of those made in the image of God. These are the values of love and justice, reconciliation, and community that Jesus taught and that are at the core of what many of us believe, Christian or not. Jim Wallis inspires us to hold our political leaders and policies accountable by integrating our deepest moral convictions into our nation's public life.
©2005 Jim Wallis; (P)2005 HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.
"Wallis provides a refreshing alternative voice to the polarizing rhetoric currently popular." (Library Journal)
Yes, this book could have been cut down by eliminating much of the repetitve language and examples, but I have also discovered that my children won't listen to me unless I repeat myself over and over.
This book is a scathing indictment of the current political climate. Righties hate this book because it calls them hypocrites for professing God's support but not implementing God's policies. Lefties hate this book because it calls them to task for claiming to support the poor and the working class, but not really doing anything for either, all the while being ashamed of God.
The main premise of this book as I read it is "Don't be ashamed of God, and prove your faith by supporting policies that are in tune with ALL of God's will, not just the ones that you like."
Read it for what it is, the words of a real Christian who is frustrated with the current climate. If you allow yourself to listen to his arguments rather than to have a knee-jerk "hate it" response, you might surprise yourself by changing your mind on a few things.
Sometime in the 1990s, a friend said to me, "Isn't there a political party that wants to get all the children born AND feed them?" Jim Wallis asks essentially the same question, quickly concludes that the answer is no, and then excoriates both major parties for failing to hear and respond to the cry of the poor. Reading this book is like an examination of conscience for political junkies and policy wonks.
The title was intriguing which got me to order the book. I must admit that I also was a bit skeptical when I ordered the book. As I listened, this changed. I was duly impressed that the author provided the vantage point of both sides, backed it up with facts, and did not resort to ungrounded ideology.
How long I have been feeling just what this book proclaims. Wallis' book is the beginning of how we can re-integrate faith into politics without merging church and state.
The theme of the book is most certainly politics and how a person's personal faith plays in their life lived. Certainly if a person of faith also has integrity, their faith will be a part of their whole life. He writes that a heresy of the previous century was that faith became intensely personal. His corrrective for this is that "God is personal, but never private."
The repetative nature of the book is important, I believe, to the complexity of the subject Wallis is dealing with. He tells the reader what he's going to say, then he says it, then he tell the reader what he said. I found it to be a good book in the sense that its purpose is clear and lots of examples and support for the argument were given.
I would have liked to have written this book. Of course, I would have written it differently, but nonetheless it is a necessary voice which counters the left, the right and really the middle, too. Wallis' is on the side of the Gospel and not any political agenda.
Refreshing, to say the least.
A minister I respect told me about this book. I can say two very important things. There were parts of the languge that was phrased such that I have memorized it and that other ideas from the book have stayed with me and shaped my thinking.
Jim Wallis has been around for many years and he's written quite a few books, but this is the crowning achievement of his writings. Somehow you feel that Wallis was made for this moment - a time when America's religious Right has never been more powerful, but also never been further from the heart of the Christian faith.
In a debate that often collapses into name-calling, Wallis is respectful but insistent. Traditional ideologues of the Left and Right might not like it, but this is the voice of a prophet who challenges both sides of the political spectrum. Wallis speaks with warmth, hope and the wisdom of a man who has spent a lifetime answering Jesus' instruction to feed the hungry and give shelter to the homeless - but who also understands political realities.
This is a profoundly important book and it's unlikely that anyone in our generation will put together a more authoritative yet reader-friendly book on how Christian belief should influence our politics.
Great read - takes both the left and the right to task, and lays out what our priorities ought to be, based on what the Bible has to say. Explains the value of faith in public policy while discrediting single-issue evangelical screeching. I'm sure some will claim it has a liberal slant - I don't think it let the left off the hook at all.
trying to see the world with my ears
Although written in 2005, this ought to be one of the recommended reads in Audible's current list for Election 2008, just as Wallis' more recent "Great Awakening" should be. Unfortunately, even with all the hope given by the "emerging church," the book will probably still be relevant in 2012.
I loved Jim Wallis since I first stumbled across his "Agenda for a Biblical People" in the mid 80s.
I agree that his message of the prophetic potential of politics can be sound repetitive, but the Biblical prophets tended to repeat themselves, too - and we are still far from realizing God's call to justice.
Sometimes nonfiction audiobooks don't work for me because the content is NOT presented for an aural audience and I would prefer to read them. More than just presenting info, Wallis "teaches" in this text, so the audio version seems fine to me, repetition and all.
Some interesting points -- made over and over again. Seems biased toward liberal/progressive ideas, which I welcome but seemed counter to some main points about how we come together around biblical principles rather than partisan politics.
It was so repetitive that I kept losing track of what I had already listened to. Tried to share and discuss it with two friends, but they couldn't endure listening. Sounded like a string of newsletter articles and blog posts that were not edited to fit with each other.
Still, was glad to have listened and gave me much to mull over.
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