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Lord, Save Us From Your Followers: Why is the Gospel of Love Dividing America?
Thomas Nelson / 2008 / Hardcover
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When faith and American culture collide, combatants often adopt a "take no prisoners" attitude. What is the fighting really about? Funny, offbeat, and perceptive, Merchant interviews people on the street, as well as public figures like Rick Santorum, Al Franken, and Rick Warren to examine hot-button issues---and remind us that Jesus calls us to love one another. 240 pages, hardcover from Nelson.
Why is the Gospel of Love dividing America? Fed up with the angry, strident language filling the airwaves that has come to represent the Christian faith, author, director, and follower Dan Merchant set out to explore the collision of faith and culture in America. What is all this fighting really about? The book and upcoming documentary represent a two-year effort to "join the battlefield in hopes of getting a conversation started." The result is a book full of offbeat observations, fun anecdotes, comedic bits and in-depth interviews. From Dans hilarious bumper-sticker interviews with folks on the street to his unique "Confession Booth" event inspired by his meeting with Tony, the Beat Poet, from Blue Like Jazz, he delves into all the hot button issues with candor, humor and balance.
Includes exclusive interviews with Al Franken, Rick Santorum, Tony Campolo, conservative radio host Michael Reagan, USA Today columnist Tom Krattenmaker, Pastor Rick Warren, and even Sister Mary Timothy of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence as well as many more.
Television writer and producer Merchant believes that much damage has been done by the religious right and that the so-called culture war should not be the focus of the Christian faith. He's working on a documentary about loving the people one may disagree with, encouraging dialogue instead of harsh slogans. It's a fine idea, but this book of the same name as the film is a somewhat disjointed collection of transcripts. Merchant dons a suit plastered with bumper stickers to interview passersby in Times Square, and interviews notable faith-and-politics leaders including Tony Campolo, Rick Santorum, Al Franken and Michael Reagan. He sits down with a man who dresses as a nun in San Francisco, confesses his lack of love to homosexuals at the Pride Northwest festival and participates in a foot-washing for the homeless in Portland. The interviews and characters presented can be compelling and thought-provoking, though the book feels scattered and rushed, incorporating multiple outrageous, made-for-the-screen moments. Merchant reiterates popular themes but without the thoughtfulness of Jim Wallis or the research of David Kinnaman's unChristian, and the concluding list of questions is particularly unsatisfying. (Mar. 11) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
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