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Badly needed view of the other side of genuine Christianity,
This review is from: God's Politics: Why the American Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It (Paperback)This book is important in these days of deep political problems in the church. It is written by an American to a primarily American readership, but it's important for the entire English-speaking world -- maybe more than that as well.
I was raised in what might be called a "conservative" background. (I'm wondering if "conservative" means now what it did then, but I digress) And I still do tend to favor private enterprise, I am not socialistic in my politics and when looking for answers to issues, I tend to not to go to "government" first, although I don't object to all government help. I am two months and ten days younger than George W. Bush Junior, and for quite a while, even as a teenager, I was watching so-called "conservatism" turn into something else, but I wasn't articulate enough to express what it was. It's only been in about the last nine and a half years when it finally came to a head.
This book, in my opinion, is exactly what Christians need to be reading. It focuses Christians on the things that truly matter. In addition to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, it concentrates on justice for the poor, social justice in general, and he strongly opposes the hawkish actions of the US in Iraq, etc. Yet this book is not really a partisan one. He simply tells us to start focusing on what he feels Christ emphasized the most.
Although finances and circumstances have not allowed me to go to the UK/Europe to visit, if I were a betting person, I would guess that situations "just like it only different" are happening there, too. The examples that Wallis gives in this book are now dated (Bush Jr. is no longer president) but the principles are the same.
This book is valuable for two reasons, the first of which I've mentioned already -- turning our attention to the poor, to justice and other issues that Christ was concerned about. The other is to inform people who don't live in America that not all American evangelical circles are part of the extreme Religious Right. And maybe there's a third reason -- it can focus people in any country on what Christ Himself most valued.