Easy to read, and very thought provoking about the way President Obama lives out his Christian faith. I appreciated the chapter where the author compares the faith walks of senators John McCain and Hillary Clinton, and former President George W. Bush. I was glad to have read it before the Inauguration ceremonies. It gave a different insight into the man taking oath.
The inaugural this morning calls to mind Stephen Mansfield's "The Faith of Barack Obama," published by Thomas Nelson.What to make of Obama's faith? While reading the book I waited in vain to read of the moment that Obama met the risen Savior.From Mansfield's telling there doesn't appear to be any absolute moral standard to which Obama adheres. Like all leftist, he shares a belief in the perfectibility of man and his policies reflect that socialist vision. Remake society and you will remake man.Obama's faith is in the power of the state as guided by the radical few who truly know what's good for the rest of us.
I have just finished reading The Faith of Barack Obama by Stephen Mansfield. I will admit, that like most people Im sure, I chose to read this book purely out of curiosity. No matter what we personally think about Barack Obama, hes young and is going to be in the political spotlight a long time. In my opinion, this was the most historic election ever held in American history. I received the book before the election but have just now had time to read/review it.Mansfield seemed to approach this topic from a journalistic point of view. He does not include any personal interviews with Obama himself. The chapters of the book unfold from Barack Obamas childhood with an agnostic mother to living in Indonesia with his mother and Muslim stepfather to his 20+ years at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. This book was an easy enough read. I believe Mansfield saw an opportunity to get this book out fast; however, with more time, I believe there could have been more to it. After reading this, I believe Barack Obama truly believes himself to be a Christian. I also believe, however, that he allows his politics/constituents to run his life rather than his religion. For a Christian to say, There are aspects of the Christian tradition that Im comfortable with and aspects Im not. There are passages in the Bible that make perfect sense to me and others that I go, Ya know, Im not sure about that that really bothers meeither you take the Bible as COMPLETE truth, or you dont.I would recommend this book to anyone who is curious. It was NOT a waste of time in my opinion.
I did find it a rather challenging book to read, because I could never quite figure out from which direction Mansfield was coming or to which conclusion he was headed. It seemed almost like a book bi-polar in nature, one chapter devoted to the defense of the Black Liberation Theology, the perspective from which Obama was mentored, followed by a chapter that seemed almost derisive of Obama's sincerity and intentions. I'm fine with a balanced point of view, but this seemed to bounce between the extremes rather quickly before landing in the lap of Obama like a toy poodle begging for a treat. one side note: I'm interested in reading the counterpart book dedicated to George W Bush, because I expect that the tone of that book was much more positive towards President Bush than what was referenced here.What I found most compelling about this book was the references to Obama as a postmodern candidate and a mention that McCain was something of a last chance to infuse the values of a generation that fought for and helped establish this nation as the more traditional religious views are being fazed out in a sense, replaced by what Obama refers to as a civil religion and it occurred to me, though Mansfield never states it directly, that when our nation elects a president these days, that it's more than just a political viewpoint or a set of policies that we're voting for. It seems that we're actually voting for someone who represents our theological and philosophical views and that's kind of a troubling thought, to be perfectly honest. If nothing else, the book does clear up some details of Obama's upbringing and some of his faith-based views which are rather eye-opening and it's worth reading to get a closer look at our new president elect.