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Christian Theology of Public Policy: Highlighting the American Experience (Christian Life and Public Policy Series) Hardcover – February 1, 2006

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Editorial Reviews


In evangelical circles...government activism turns out to be an unbiblical and otherwise impractical means to the ends desired. --D. Eric Schansberg, Ph.D.

Christians will find that much of what they embrace runs counter to the biblical and foundational American concepts like liberty. --Paul J. Dean, D.Min.

A thoroughly-biblical and much needed remedy to Christian apologists for the state and its wars. I highly recommend it. --Laurence M. Vance, Ph.D.

About the Author

Dr. John Cobin is a financial planner in Greenville, South Carolina. He was the host of Christian Worldview with Dr. John Cobin, a weekday morning radio talk show (see three Ws tyrannyresponse dot net for web archives). He writes a weekly column for The Times Examiner and Free Market News (see three Ws freemarketnews dot com). He teaches MBA courses online in economics and public policy for Letourneau University in Longview, Texas and elsewhere. In 2001-2002 he was an adjunct professor at two private universities in California along with the University of California, Santa Barbara Extension program in Ventura. Previously he was a manager of a research department in Goleta, California, as well as a public policy consultant in Cambria, California and Santiago, Chile. Moreover, Dr. Cobin retains his status as Visiting Professor of Economics and Public Policy at Universidad Francisco Marroquín, Guatemala. In prior years (1996-2000), he taught at universities in Chile, including Universidad Católica in Santiago, Chile, the International MBA program at Universidad Adolfo Ibañez, Viña del Mar, Chile, plus the MBA program at Universidad del Desarrollo in Santiago (also in Concepción), Chile. He worked at Universidad Finis Terrae in Santiago, Chile as a full time professor for nearly 4 years. Dr. Cobin is active in public policy research and writing. He received his ARE from Reformed Bible College, his BA in Business Economics from California State University, Long Beach (1985), his MA in Business Economics from University of California, Santa Barbara (1987), and both his MA in Economics (1995) and his PhD in Public Policy (1996) from George Mason University. Dr. Cobin’s research has focused on evaluating urban public policies such as zoning, building and fire safety regulation, and highway construction, as well as theoretical ways to reduce economic problems associated with them (e.g., his book Building Regulation, Market Alternatives, and Allodial Policy, 1997). He has also written about applied microeconomic topics, policy issues such as abortion, and this introductory text A Primer on Modern Themes in Free Market Economics and Policy (1999) covering public choice, Austrian economics, law and economics, and public policy themes—also published in Spanish as Ensayos Sobre Temas Modernos de la Economía y Política del Mercado (1999 and 2003). Dr. Cobin’s provocative book Bible and Government: Public Policy from a Christian Perspective (2003) deals with the nature of the state and the interrelation between Christian action and public policy. In addition to his teaching and research, Dr. Cobin has been a successful entrepreneur and consultant, having started and operated several small businesses. Dr. Cobin is a member of Emmanuel Bible Church, and is married with seven homeschooled children. His widely-visited website three Ws then PolicyOfLiberty dot net(English and Spanish) contains his papers and information about his books, as well as a number of popular pages for free market links, quotations for liberty, and more.

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Product Details

  • Series: Christian Life and Public Policy Series
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Alertness Books; 1 edition (February 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0972975497
  • ISBN-13: 978-0972975490
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 5.2 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #692,492 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Stewart Pidd on April 2, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Among the inummerable books available on the subject of Public Policy, rarely does one emerge that looks at the topic from a Christian perspective. Those that do attempt such a thing invariably fall into the trap of regurgitating what every other writer has said. Not so with this book. As in Dr. Cobin's previous writings, he attempts to peel away years of fuzzy thinking and forces the reader to pull his head out of the sand and consider how Public Policy is affected when informed by a thoroughly Christian worldview. In this book he concentrates specifically on how this has, does, and will impact the American experience.

Dealing with such diverse topics as: economics, immigration, drug policy, taxation, licensure, war, lotteries, and much more, Dr. Cobin's book will drive you to some startling conclusions and force you to re-evaluate what you believe in the light of Holy Scripture.

Will you agree with everything in it? Most likely not. At least not at first. However, his arguments are quite convincing and I predict you will be swayed to his position on more than one topic.

Heavily footnoted and loaded with some very interesting & entertaining quotes, it is well worth having in your library. Only this is one you'll actually read!

Stewart Pidd
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Format: Hardcover
This is a book I'd recommend to every Christian clergyman, and also to any Christian considering running for office or who's involved in teaching history and politics. It is good at making you think. His mindset is more Libertarian, though he clearly considers abortion to be the taking of an innocent life.

Early in this book, Dr. Cobin introduces you to four views concerning the relationshp between church/Christian and state (as opposed to government). He clearly states that true Christians have different views, but Cobin focuses on developing the perspective he terms as "Liberty Of Conscience." Unlike most churches today which would fit into the "Divine Right of Kings" view, the "Liberty Of Conscience" sees the state as a competing kingdom more often a terror to the righteous than the other way around, and that while we are to be submissive (he points out the word in Greek is in the passive voice, not the active), we have the responsibility to stand against evil rulers and seek a change.

I'm not sure I agree with everything in the book; my wife is even less sure. There are instances where he is trying to convince you he's right (in my opinion, his case for a lottery to fund the government as opposed to taxes is an example). For the most part, though, his approach is both logical and Biblical, even though he makes you ponder his points. For example, is it wrong for a Christian to accept food stamps or social security? Is it permissible for a Christian to take up arms against a corrupt, tyranical regime? Does Lincoln's name belong with our greatest presidents, or with a list of dictators like Ghenghis Khan, Hitler, and Stalin?

I'm still wrestling with some of the implications, but this is a very good and necessary book for Christians to deal with government.
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