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4 Stars Out Of 5
A book about unity
September 6, 2012
This was a rather interesting book as you can already see from the full title of this book. I have seen how politics can divide Christians, and it is a totally sad thing to behold. I guess for me personally I felt like this book didn't deal with some of the things that I was hoping that it would, for instance what the Bible says, and perhaps instead of agruing just ask that someone would prayfully consider looking at what their Bible has to say about a certain issue.
This book was for the most part about how we shouldn't let something like politics separate us from the other members in our family of Christ followers. And though I do agree that we shouldn't go to church to tell people how to vote nor is that the main goal of the church, but I do believe that if the Bible speaks about a certain issue then we should not avoid it. But when talking about it, not talk about it from a political standpoint, but rather stand with the truth in the Bible.
I have noticed a growing trend in churches that I find rather sad, there are congregations named for their political parties. And I don't want to you to think that I am against people who do that, but I do believe, that as this book expresses no church should ever have a main goal of politcal power. Our main goal should always be to win unbelievers to Christ.
Overall, I would say that this book was about not letting politics divide the church of Jesus Christ, and how we should seek to love them, even if we don't agree with them and not bring those disputes to church. In my way of thinking I would have liked more if there had been a stronger focus on kindly pointing your brother or sister in Christ to the Bible whenever a conflict arises. I'm not sure that I can honestly recommend this book, but I think that the author make his case for church unity despite politics, for sure :)
I recieved this book from the publisher and B&B Media in exchange for an honest review. Thanks!
Drew finds it sad that the body of Christ should be divided along political lines. The church has what it takes to be different from every other social institution in the world. Pondering how serious minded Republicans, Democrats and Independents worship together brought him to preach a serious of sermons that became this book.
To help those who want to celebrate their unity in Christ, he makes some distinctions in this book: distinction between moral principle and political strategy, between the calling of individuals and the calling of the church, and between theocracy and influence.
He addresses the question of how Christians should respond to what have named the culture wars. Do we remove ourselves or do we fight?
He has ordered this book around the Bible. He identifies our misdirected worship as the deepest cause for the heat in our political disagreements. He calls us to put our trust in God's sovereign rule.
He clarifies the priorities of the church in public life. He explores the ramifications of Jesus' teaching about what belongs to Caesar and what belongs to God. He ends his book with ways of affecting social and political change that lies outside of the world of politics.
He has questions at the end of each chapter. While you could make good use of them on your own, they would be better used in a group setting.
Some will certainly bristle at what Drew suggests. For example, that hope in politics may have become an idol, or that we are not to make America legally Christian, or that we do not value God's glory above political goals.
I found his suggestions very valuable. Respect people. "Whatever we do as American citizens we must always act upon our King's operating principle that people are more important than politics or power." (107) Look for ways to cooperate - Christians working together in a fallen world. Use your gifts and opportunities to bring the reign of Christ to bear upon your particular world. Choose to do what is right. Keep it simple.
In this year of national elections when feelings run strong, I recommend reading this book to help each of us keep politics and God's rule in perspective.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from The TB&B Media Group for the purpose of this review.
Even though this is a reprint (the book originally came out in 2000 from NavPress), it is as timely now as it was then. 2012, in case you're living in a cave that has WiFi, is an election year. Things are heating up, this summer's political party conventions will be coming up soon and then the race is on.
I am not a political animal; I've only held one elected office--the Senior Class President of 1977. I almost shun most political discussions. Either they don't interest me or I just can't figure out how to be civil about things
Drew knows this is the case for many other Christians as well. It is very difficult, especially in an election year, for brothers and sisters who have opposing political views to worship together, to serve together, even to love one another. I've watched this play itself out in another church with people I know very well. They are a clear minority in a typical evangelical church and are often made to feel the weight of that a great deal.
Drew longs to see a better way, so he sets out to make us stop and think hard about what we're doing as Christians in this land. He does a masterful job of this. By making the reader look hard at what he or she loves the most, by seeing the two kingdoms in which we live, and giving solid, practical help (both in the form of discussion questions at the end of each chapter, as well as in the appendices), Drew provides a valuable resource for any time, but particularly for a presidential election year.
I leaned upon the first three chapters for a recent sermon I preached at Cornerstone EFC. I was drawing a lengthy series from the book of Titus to a close, it was the Sunday prior to the Fourth of July and I wanted to make one last impression how we are to live the gospel out in the world around us. I think it struck a chord; I've had more reaction to this particular message than just about any other in that series.
Thank you, Pastor Drew. You've offered a valuable service to the Kingdom.