I had higher hopes for this book than it delivered. The title made me think of "Gaudium et Spes," the document of the Catholic Ecumenical Vatican II Council, regarding the Church in the Modern World. But The Politics of Discipleship divided World from Church, not interweaving the two, as much as Gaudium et Spes did.
When I hear or read the word 'Politics,' even when it claims to be about the Aristotelian notion of politics, humans acting to govern their city (polis), or nation, I reach for my wallet, and I'm glad i did in the case of this book.
From the title, one would expect that the author would be equally congratulatory, or equally severe, on every human political party (in this case, American) orientation. But one would be wrong. By my count, there are at least 7 or 8 references to US President George W. Bush, and each one of those are derogatory. Now, it is fine for one to deplore the presidency of George W. Bush, but do not make him into paradigm of all evil. Also, the first half of the book, and many places in the second half, on the Church, are very hard on "laissez faire" capitalism, and not nearly as hard on the much more materialistic Marxism--the words 'Soviet Union' are not found in the book.
But no one I know is in favor of laissez faire, completely unregulated capitalism, so Ward is arguing against the proverbial straw man. Indeed, the word 'capitalism' is most reminiscent of Marx' Das Kapital, which hardly qualifies as a reputable source in our day.
Regarding both capitalism (which Pope John Paul II would rather call the 'market economy) and democracy, everyone would agree that they are the worst economic and political systems, except for all the others. Thus, Ward's book comes across as a brief for the Left.
On the other hand, I found in Chapter 7, the last chapter, much good Biblical exegesis.
Take this book 'cum grano salis.'