God's Politics God's Politics
Why the American Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It

Jim Wallis
ISBN 0745952240 (9780745952246)
Lion Hudson

Category: Ethics & Morality

Jim Wallis likes to make connections. The best-selling author, political agitator, Harvard lecturer and founder of the Sojourners Network may enjoy breakfast with Bono or Bush from time to time, but he's quick to return to the poorest area of Washington where he lives and works.

He connects top to bottom; he also connects left to right. While he may sound like a Democrat in railing against tax breaks for the rich at the expense of the poor, he sounds like a Republican when upholding the sanctity of life and family values. In fact, he wants to take us beyond the political and spiritual clichés of left and right, to reclaim social action from the secularists and the language of faith from the Religious Right.

Wallis, like the prophets of old, makes other connections, too: between the local and the global, North and South, the West and the rest. He connects the powerful and the powerless, the oppressor to the oppressed.

They — we — are all linked by cause and effect; and it's time, he argues, to begin a social movement, based on the words of Jesus and the prophets, which provokes us and our leaders to make a positive difference to 'the least of these', as Jesus said. At present, too many of us collaborate in the passive connection that kills 30,000 children a day in the developing world due to a lack of clean drinking water and vaccines.

This week, as he toured the UK to promote his book God's Politics (already a New York Times best-seller in the US), he also made the news for his connection with Gordon Brown. Brown agrees with Wallis that global security is directly linked to poverty — an idea Wallis takes directly from the prophet Micah, whose vision of swords beaten into ploughshares relies — crucially — on everyone having their own 'fig tree' and 'vine', sharing the common good. Brown senses this; Bush does not, according to Wallis, who has the ear of both.

God's Politics is packed with prophetic insight, and it calls us to make dynamic, faithful connections. Most movingly, perhaps, it demands that we connect faith with hope, and hope with action. To dream of swords and ploughshares, yes; but to act, too - to ensure that everyone has their tree to sit beneath, their own vine to tend.

Brian Draper, March 2006

Review Previously Published by the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity. Reused here by kind permission.

Lion Hudson

Order from www.christianbookshops.org | Order from St Andrew's Bookshops

Authors | Categories | Publishers | Reviewers | Titles



Reviews Index | EU Bookshops | UK Bookshops

Top of Page
Bookshop Registration | | Feedback | Links | News | Sponsors & Partners | Tell a Friend | Who, What & Why?

Made on a Mac   UKCBD Logo   Christian Cafes   Secondhand Christian Books
A Groomsville Website

Site Design & Maintenance by Phil Groom © 2001 - 2007 Phil Groom
discussion powered by Disqus