I hope you had the chance to visit our monthly column last month over at that part of the website. I explore four recent books on Christian politics, and how a balanced, Biblical agenda might shape the common good. As you might guess, we described the new Jim Wallis, The Great Awakening (which is very much a sequel to his best-selling God’s Politics) and we celebrated the very thorough, and quite excellent new book by Ronald Sider, The Scandal of Evangelical Politics (the scandal being, that most evangelical political work hasn’t been adequately Biblical or all that evangelical.) I told about the excellent new book by Steve Monsma, Healing for a Broken World: Christian Perspectives on Public Policy. And, perhaps most importantly, I review the very, very insightful work by Os Guinness, The Case for Civility: And Why Our Future Depends on It.
This new Os Guinness book offers something that these other three do not, but without which none of them will leave much of a legacy, and that is the serious (if eloquent) reminder to respect our American first amendment, recapture the genius of the Founder’s balanced approach to religion and law, and to ever and always remain peaceable people, civil and fair, even in the most robust of public debate. The first books are exciting explications of various aspects of Christian views on contemporary public life and how our citizenship can be shaped by the values and practices, principles and positions, of a Scripturally-based worldview. Guinness, though, insists that we back up and shape and share these views in a manner that is in keeping with the best impulses of the American experiment (freedom for and from religion, for instance, pluralism without capitulation to relativism and such.) More importantly, he calls us who are people of faith to work in ways that are in keeping with the graciousness of Christ Himself. Please read my mini-reviews of these stellar books; we are very, very impressed with them all.
None of these are really academic, but here is one that is. Here is a quick announcement that a major Christian philosopher has released his major, long-awaited work on the theories of justice. I refer to the Princeton University Press release, Justice: Rights and Wrongs by the impeccable and impressive Nicholas Wolterstorff. At $39.50 you may want to check it out of your local library—I know I will—but some of you should own it. We are happy to stock it here, of course, and ask you to tell anyone you know who happens to be interested in deep and deeply Christian political philosophy (maybe they can order it from us, a just thing to do, I’d say, rather than going through the faceless carts at you-know-where.) Aquinas/natural law scholar Jean Porter of University of Notre Dame writes, Justice is “the work of a first-rate philosopher at the top of his game”Â which “sets forth a distinctive and challenging theory of justice formulated in explicitly scriptural and Christian terms.”Â She continues, “Not only does this book reflect the clarity and acuity of thought that characterize Wolterstorff’s work, it also reflects the humane sensibilities of someone who has thought and felt deeply about these matters for a long time.”Â
New insight. Free book. Sounds like more than justice to me.
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