"There is nothing greater than indignation to stimulate a writer to write," says Robert Benne, "and my outrage has been stirred mightily by reading so many wrongheaded 'takes' on how religion and politics ought to be related."
Benne's anger has compelled him to write Good and Bad Ways to Think About Politics and Religion, a clear argument for a more reasonable approach to the inevitable relationship between religion and politics. Secularists may call for a complete separation of church and state; left- and right-wing Christians alike may zealously (though often unintentionally) fuse them together - but neither approach really works.
Benne's alternative - "critical engagement" - encourages church bodies and individual believers to step beyond the confusion and noisy rhetoric. He offers practical help in identifying core Christian convictions, deciding which of these can and should influence public policy, and translating those convictions into political action.