City of Man: Religion and Politics in a New Era  -     By: Michael Gerson, Peter Wehner
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City of Man: Religion and Politics in a New Era

Moody Publishing / 2010 / Hardcover

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An era has ended. The political movement that most galvanized evangelicals for more than a quarter-century, the Religious Right, is fading away. What lies ahead is unclear.

Into this uncertainty, former White House insiders Michael Gerson and Peter Wehner call evangelicals toward a new kind of political engagement -- a kind that is better both for the church and the country, a kind that cannot be co-opted by either political party, a kind that avoids the historic mistakes of both the Religious Right and the Religious Left.

A product of the authors' own wrestling with the complicated relationship between religion and politics, City of Man assesses the past, surveys the present, and deals with questions central to evangelicals' future political role, including:

  • How can religious people exercise influence while maintaining their integrity?
  • What tone should they be known for?
  • How should they think about the role and purpose of government?
  • Which causes and issues, both at home and abroad, ought to be a part of their agenda?


Incisive, bold, and marked equally by pragmatism and idealism, Gerson and Wehner's book charts a new political future not just for civic-minded Christians and "values voters," but for the nation as a whole.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 176
Vendor: Moody Publishing
Publication Date: 2010
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.25 (inches)
ISBN: 0802458572
ISBN-13: 9780802458575
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

An era has ended. The political movement that most galvanized evangelicals for more than a quarter-century, the Religious Right, is fading away. What lies ahead is unclear.

Into this uncertainty, former White House insiders Michael Gerson and Peter Wehner call evangelicals toward a new kind of political engagement -- a kind that is better both for the church and the country, a kind that cannot be co-opted by either political party, a kind that avoids the historic mistakes of both the Religious Right and the Religious Left.

A product of the authors' own wrestling with the complicated relationship between religion and politics, City of Man assesses the past, surveys the present, and deals with questions central to evangelicals' future political role, including:

* How can religious people exercise influence while maintaining their integrity?

* What tone should they be known for?

* How should they think about the role and purpose of government?

* Which causes and issues, both at home and abroad, ought to be a part of their agenda?

Incisive, bold, and marked equally by pragmatism and idealism, Gerson and Wehner's book charts a new political future not just for civic-minded Christians and "values voters," but for the nation as a whole.

Author Bio

MICHAEL GERSON, former policy advisor and chief speechwriter to President George W. Bush, writes a nationally syndicated column that appears in the Washington Post. He is the author of Heroic Conservatism.

PETER WEHNER, former deputy assistant to the president and director of the White House Office of Strategic Initiatives, is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. He writes widely on political, cultural, religious, and national security issues for Commentary, the Weekly Standard, the Washington Post, the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, and other publications.

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  1. Wichita, KS
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Should you engage in today's political world?
    November 8, 2010
    Pastor Dan
    Wichita, KS
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Gerson and Wehner are two former White House staff members under the presidency of George W. Bush. These men were staff writers who helped to craft policy and the statements to the public about those policies. They are both conservative and they are both Evangelical Christians.

    Their book is unapologetically Evangelical and Conservative. Their goal is to give Evangelical Christians a wake up call to their need to become involved in the political and moral life of the communities and the country that they live in.

    In their conclusion of the book they state that they hope they have providing three broad propositions to the Evangelical Christian Community. Those are;

    1. Politics is the realm of necessity

    2. Politics is the realm of hope and possibility

    3. Politics can be the realm of nobility

    It is their premise that Christians should be decided vocal about politics and become more involved in helping form and shape the political landscape of our country.

    Chapter 1 of the book takes us on an exploration of Religion and Politics and whether they are friends or enemies. I think they do a good job of addressing the Biblical aspects of why we need governments and that God is not opposed to the formation of governments. They explore also how governments ought not be formed with an absence of religious thought, but should give consideration to the moral values that religion brings to society.

    Chapter 2 gives a history of the Religious Right and does a good job, I think, of showing the good and the bad inherent in what happened with the Religious Right. The movement wasn't bad, but it did birth some individuals who tended to take more pleasure in their power than what was prudent, Biblical or necessary. But the movement itself was not poor.

    Chapter 3 gives their view of what "A New Approach" ought to be now that the Religious Right has had it's moment in the sun.

    The final chapters are very good in regards to Human Rights, Morality and the Role and Purpose of the State. I specifically enjoyed Chapter 5. I felt it had the most nuggets of gold for what I was looking for. The following quote was my favorite from the book, "A wise government, constructed around a true view of human nature, thus creates the conditions necessary to allow the great mass of the people to live well and to flourish, the enjoy both order and liberty, to live under the protection of the state without being suffocated by it."

    This book gave a good introduction to the need for us to be aware of our politic culture and able to articulate our beliefs and disagreements.

    I think a good reference tool for Christians looking for a Biblical answer to the social questions and political questions we face today will be found in Wayne Grudem's book on "Politics".

    But I think thoughtful Evangelicals will enjoy this book for the concepts that it promotes for us.

    Enjoy.
  2. Chicago, IL
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A Primer for Christian Political Activism
    October 2, 2010
    Daniel Darling
    Chicago, IL
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Younger generations of evangelicals are wrestling with the proper way to engage in the political arena. As a one-time political activist and now a pastor, I have personally felt the tension between radical engagement and radical withdrawal. At times I have felt Christians have been too passive and at times (lately), I have felt that Christians have been far too active.

    Plus, American Christians have been afforded a rare historical stewardship. Few if any civilizations have had the opportunity to shape, change, and move their government in a way that we have. But just what is the biblical blueprint for involvement?

    History has shown that when the church is too cozy with political power, it has abandoned its Christian witness and influence and has at times actually been the oppressor instead of the protector of the oppressed. GK. Chesterson said, "The coziness between the church and the state is good for the state and bad for the church."

    We've also seen the moral vacuum left when the church withdraws into itself. Slightly more than half a century ago, the Christian witness in Germany was so weak that Hitler was largely able to co-opt the Church for his own diabolical purposes.

    So what is the proper balance? How can Christians engage their world?

    This week I was delighted to receive a review copy of City of Man by Michael Gerson and Peter Wehner. Its part of a new series called, Cultural Renewal, by Moody Publishers. This series will be edited by Tim Keller and Collin Hansen.

    If this first offering by Gerson and Wehner is any indication, this series promises to offer believers a robust, winsome, and scripturally sound basis for engagement.

    City of Man is a short read, but it is well-written, thoughtful, and honest. The authors explore the depths and difficulties of civic engagement. They peruse history, flesh out the Scriptures, and ultimately provide a working outline for believers who seek to shape the world. What I most love is that it calls Christians to resolute action, but also discernment, integrity, and above all, a winsomeness that opposes policies, but not people.

    In my experience with politically active Christians, I have found these traits to be largely lacking. We seem more content with filtering our worldviews through entertainment-based talk shows, ideologically-driven blogs, and snarky pundits. We're tuned in more to Rush than the book of Romans, we've got more Hannity in us than Heaven, and we're quick to generalize, stereotype, and alienate.

    This book suggests Christians do not retreat, that they remain firmly active in shaping government and culture, but adjust their tone for greater effectiveness. I think this is an important book, a must-read for every believer. Here's hoping it gets wide distribution and is accepted into the mainstream of conservative Christian political activism.
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