10/29/2008

Review: How Would Jesus Vote?

Posted by Kevin |

I hooked up with Random House publishing to do another blog review of a book. I'm not going to lie, I love books and I love receiving free copies even more - so I usually take whatever they offer me.

This book sounded interesting and I would love if someone could actually write a book that laid out for His followers some clear direction - this one didn't do it for me.

  • If you are a Christian and a Republican, you'll like the book as it adds a foundation for biblically interpreting where to stand on the 'issues'.
  • If you're like me and feel that the Christian vote has been hijacked by the Republican Party, it will frustrate you as each interpretation seems to point to an elephant platform.
  • And if you are a Christian Democrat, the book will flat out anger you.
In the end I felt deceived by the book. The book is supposed to be written from a nonpartisan perspective, but if it were written by two African-American Christian leaders, it would have been written quite differently. It should have been co-authored by people on both sides of the issues, working to collectively build a view of how Jesus might vote. In fact, that should have been the title, 'How Jesus Might Vote,' emphasizing the ambiguity of the issues we face in America and not pretending that one interpretation of scripture is the end-all, be-all for followers of Jesus.

If it could, we would not have the multitude of denominations in the Christian faith - would we?
And on that note, Random House may not like me reviewing its books - but they ask for honesty.

4 comments:

Matty said...

I have an odd take on this (or at least I've never really heard it expressed).

I am not a GOP Kool-aid drinker. I like to look at all the candidates and determine whether and to what extent they line up with my values. Here is what happens that tends to make me a GOP straight ticket voter. While I may find a Dem candidate appealing on many issues (reasonable on national defense, socially conscious, fiscally responsible, maybe even pro-life), I always run into the fact that those stances will mostly be quashed by the Dem leadership.

This is the essential (though maybe necessary) evil of a 2 party system. In our legislature a vote for a moderate Dem is still a vote for Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Barrack Obama, with whom I fervently disagree.

The frustration is that I consider myself an open-minded, non-partisan but end up voting like a party lackey. Different mindsets, same result.

It may not be an original thought but I haven't seen it addressed and I think this may be the boat in which many thinking Christians find themselves.

Kevin Davis said...

Thanks Matt - and I would assume a lot of Christians feel the same - but I know a lot more that defend the Republican vote like they were actually voting for Jesus.

Carrie said...

Sigh. I am a daily poster on a non-religious bb, and have been posting there for ~4 years. My "campaign" during this campaign season was to rid all my online friends of the incorrect and annoying habit of referring to "the religious Right" or "religious conservatives." We went round and round about how religious people are all over the political spectrum. If you mean Jerry Falwell, say Jerry Falwell. If you mean conservative or ultra conservative, say it. But strike the word "religious."

On another somewhat related note, they are mostly quite liberal and very non-church and were shocked that "religious" voters didn't reject Sarah Palin immediately because of her pregnant unwed daughter. They were all smug that once that came out, religious voters would spew hatred at Sarah and Bristol. I couldn't believe it. I told them someday I hope they meet the God I know.

Anyway, I agree. Book = disappointment. At least wrestle with the issues, peeps.

Matty said...

Kevin,
I'd agree with that but the GOP doesn't have a monopoly on that type of voter. The Dem coalition has at least as many folks that vote blue because it's an identity, not for the values.

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