Monday, October 23, 2006

GOD'S POLITICS author to appear at Schwartz booksellers, Downer Ave, tomorrow night, 7:00 pm

Secular liberals and religious conservatives will find things to both comfort and alarm them in Jim Wallis's God's Politics. That combination is actually reason enough to recommend the book in a time when the national political and theological discourse is dominated by blanket descriptions and shortsightedness. But Wallis, editor of Sojourners magazine, offers more than just a book that's hard to categorize. What Wallis sees as the true mission of Christianity--righting social ills, working for peace--is in tune with the values of liberals who so often run screaming from the idea of religion. Meanwhile, in his estimation, religious vocabulary is co-opted by conservatives who use it to polarize. Wallis proposes a new sort of politics, the name of which serves as the title of the book, wherein these disparities are reconciled and progressive causes are paired with spiritual guidance for the betterment of society. Wallis is at his most compelling when he puts this theory into action himself, letting his own beliefs guide him through stinging criticisms of the war in Iraq. In his view, George W. Bush's flaw lies in the assumption that the United States was an unprecedented force of goodness in a fight against enemies characterized as "evil." Indeed, although both the right and left are criticized here, the idea is that the liberals, if they would get religion, are the more redeemable lot. Wallis's line between religion and public policy may be drawn a little differently than most liberals might feel comfortable with, and while he pays some lip service to other faiths most of his prescription for America seems to come from the Bible. Still, for a party having just lost a presidential election where "moral issues" are said to have factored heavily, God's Politics is a sermon worth listening to. --John Moe --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Bookmarks Magazine
God’s Politics has struck a chord with contemporary Americans who, according to bestseller lists, are buying Wallis’s book in droves. Regardless of how critics feel about the author’s religious beliefs (evangelical Christian) and political leanings (traditional on family values; progressive on issues like poverty and social justice), they are hard-pressed to argue with his central tenets: God belongs to no single political party and true faith transcends political categorization. Wallis writes that liberals and conservatives alike should work for a "new spiritual revival … that could transform our society." While at least one reviewer complains that Wallis glosses over the religious left’s failures, no one denies that he has produced a timely, thought-provoking book.

Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From AudioFile
Jim Wallis reads the introduction to this work, and though it's useful to hear the author himself, in a way, it's a distraction. Sam Freed's delivery is clear, focused, and smooth, covering the many facets of Wallis's discussion of contemporary politics and the role Judeo-Christian religion and morality should play in it. However, Freed speaks more quickly and more lightly, without the deep personal emotion that fills, and slows, Wallis's delivery. That aside, this work adapts well to audio, as Wallis returns to key points repeatedly, wrestling with them time and again and relating them to various useful contexts. G.T.B. © AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Jim Wallis is compelling, provocative, and inspirational, with faith that can move mountains and can certainly move people and communities. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Bill Moyers
Jim Wallis is an inspiration to me– for his witness of faith and his engagement with politics. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Cornel West, author of Race Matters and Democracy Matters
Jim Wallis is the major prophetic evangelical Christian voice in the country. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Bono, lead singer of U2
How far should we go to understand each other’s points of view? Maybe the distance grace covered on the cross. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

E.J. Dionne, author of Stand Up Fight Back and Why Americans Hate Politics
Wallis at his usual passionate and brilliant self: he will move you to examine your conscience and search your soul. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Library Journal
"Wallis provides a refreshing alternative voice to the polarizing rhetoric currently popular." --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Book Description

New York Times bestseller God's Politics struck a chord with Americans disenchanted with how the Right had co-opted all talk about integrating religious values into our politics, and with the Left, who were mute on the subject. Jim Wallis argues that America's separation of church and state does not require banishing moral and religious values from the public square. God's Politics offers a vision for how to convert spiritual values into real social change and has started a grassroots movement to hold our political leaders accountable by incorporating our deepest convictions about war, poverty, racism, abortion, capital punishment, and other moral issues into our nation's public life. Who can change the political wind? Only we can.

About the Author

Jim Wallis is the leading figure at the crossroads of religion and politics in America today. He is a public theologian, nationally renowned preacher, faith-based activist, author of seven books, and the founder of Sojourners, a nationwide network of progressive Christians working for justice and peace.

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