The Scandal of Evangelical Politics  -     By: Ronald J. Sider
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The Scandal of Evangelical Politics

Baker / 2008 / Paperback

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Product Description

Though evangelicals have a surprising amount of political clout, the way they have used it has been something of an embarrassment. Combining biblical principles with societal analysis, Sider helps develop a positive approach for doing politics in a wise, biblically grounded way, honoring to Christ and acknowledging his lordship over all areas of life. Sider takes us to task for warped perspectives and hypocritical living, then outlines what he feels are the key biblical principles and priorities that believing Christians can agree on. Sider's work is timely, sound and thorough.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 288
Vendor: Baker
Publication Date: 2008
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0801068371
ISBN-13: 9780801068379
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

Evangelicals today probably have more political influence in the U.S. than at any time in the last century--but they may not be certain what to do with it. It has been difficult to develop a unified voice on pressing issues such as social justice and moral renewal. The Scandal of Evangelical Politics provides evangelical Christians with a systematic political philosophy to guide and sustain political activism. Soundly based in biblical principles and guided by a careful study of society, this book will guide readers into more thoughtful and effective political activity. Practical, balanced, and nonpartisan, The Scandal of Evangelical Politics will be a welcome resource during the race for the 2008 presidential election.

Author Bio

Ronald J. Sider is the president of Evangelicals for Social Action and professor of theology, holistic ministry, and public policy at Palmer Theological Seminary. He is the author of more than twenty-five books, including the well-received The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience, Just Generosity, and the bestselling Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger.


"Sider is one of our most important public theologians." --Jim Wallis, president, Sojourners; author, God's Politics

"Sider serves up his most compelling statement ever on how Christians can and should influence American government." --John J. DiIulio Jr., first director, White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives; author, Godly Republic

"This book should be a guidebook for Christians who want to be a voice for Jesus in shaping social policy." --Joel C. Hunter, senior pastor, Northland, A Church Distributed; executive committee member, National Association of Evangelicals

"A mature, balanced, well-informed, richly biblical Christian political ethic for a broad audience." --David P. Gushee, Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics, Mercer University; president, Evangelicals for Human Rights; author, The Future of Faith in American Politics

"Sider's work has undoubtedly helped usher in an era in which fewer believers rush to embrace the secular ideologies of either Left or Right---and even less the rancorous behavior associated with them---and instead embrace a deeper biblical ethic as a guide to political positions as well as public conduct." --Don Eberly, author; White House aide to presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush

"American evangelicals should read and discuss this book and think hard about the kind of organizing that will be needed to fulfill genuine political responsibility." --James W. Skillen, president, Center for Public Justice

"Sider provides a road map, a guide to help Christians of all political persuasions to develop a relevant and just political philosophy." --Tony Hall, United States ambassador, United Nations, Rome

Library Journal

The “scandal” of Evangelical politics is that there is no comprehensive, consistent Evangelical political philosophy despite extensive Evangelical engagement within politics. Sider (theology, holistic ministry, and public policy, Palmer Theological Seminary) sets out to offer a basic political philosophy that is faithful to Evangelical ideals throughout the political spectrum. This book offers a refreshing willingness to admit the political mistakes of Evangelicals in order to learn from them. The basic question Sider asks is, “What should Evangelicals try to legislate?” He addresses this in two ways. First, he offers a normative framework and methodology based on Evangelical interpretation of biblical principles. Second, he applies this framework to such issues in the Evangelical mindset as the state, justice, human rights, sanctity of life, family, war, environment, and international affairs. Overall, this work represents a worthwhile attempt in seeking a unified Evangelical political voice that is objective and holistic. It is essential reading for American Evangelicals, and it is useful for those trying to understand Evangelical political actions. Recommended for all libraries.—Dann Wigner, Wayland Baptist Univ. Lib., Plainview, TX

Publisher's Weekly

Sider, author of Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger, offers the most balanced and thoughtful example of the recent spate of books on evangelicals in politics. Rather than telling evangelicals how to vote, he teaches them how to think, using biblical and historical examples as well as contemporary findings to persuade his readers. When evangelicals entered political life in great numbers in the 1970s and 80s, he says, they did so without careful judgment; their approach was "Ready. Fire. Aim." This book can be seen as a kind of remedial course, exploring when and why political action is important for Christians. It offers a methodology of ethical discernment rather than a laundry list of hot-button issues, though Sider does tackle tough questions such as abortion, same-sex marriage, environmentalism and what constitutes a "just" war. While he supports democracy and a free market economy as the two best devices for promoting fundamental human rights for the greatest numbers of people, he argues that Christians need to concern themselves more with "the least of these"—the poor and disabled who often get trampled when materialism is unchecked. Powerful, well-researched and timely, Sider's book has the potential to shape a new generation of evangelical activists. (Feb.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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