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Evangelical Does Not Equal Republican or Democrat Hardcover – October 14, 2008


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Product Details

  • Series: Does Not Equal
  • Hardcover: 242 pages
  • Publisher: New Press, The (October 14, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595584196
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595584199
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 6.1 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #968,400 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Lisa Sharon Harper is a bright new voice…calling us back to the true and rich traditions of evangelicalism. (Prism)

About the Author

Lisa Sharon Harper is the executive director of NY Faith & Justice, a coalition dedicated to ending poverty in New York, as well as a freelance writer, poet, and public speaker. She is a featured blogger at FaithfulDemocrats and lives in New York City.

Reverend John M. Perkins has worked extensively on advancing the principles of Christian community development and racial reconciliation. He lives in Jackson, MS.

More About the Author

Ms. Harper is a graduate of the USC School of Theatre's MFA Playwriting class of 1995. Her thesis play, An' Push da Wind Down, won the 1996 Kennedy Center / American College Theatre Festival "Michael Kanin National Student Playwriting Award" and is published through Samuel French, Inc. An' Push da Wind Down explores Ms. Harper's own Cherokee/Chickasaw and African-American heritage.

Having worked with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship as an Arts Specialist and as the Greater Los Angeles Director of Racial Reconciliation, Ms. Harper helped develop the Ethnic Reconciliation tool "Race Matters" and co-wrote the "Race Matters" Handbook. She conducted ethnic reconciliation training conferences, wrote analyses of and consulted with IVCF campus movements throughout Southern California. She also conducted staff training in ethnic reconciliation through Intervarsity's National Institute of Staff Education and Training (NISET) and spoke for students throughout the U.S.

Ms. Harper earned her masters degree in Human Rights, with a concentration in Religion & the Media, from Columbia University in New York City in 2006. She is a featured op-ed writer for the God's Politics blog and BeliefNet's Progressive Revival blog. She is an editor-at-large for the prolific magazine Sojourners, and a contributor for Prism, Urban Faith and Conspire magazines.

Ms. Harper co-founded and co-directed the Envision: The Gospel, Politics, and the Future conference on the campus of Princeton University in June 2008. She is also co-founder and executive director of NY Faith & Justice, a movement of churches, organizations and individuals dedicated to following Christ, uniting the church and ending poverty in New York through spiritual formation, education, and direct advocacy. NY Faith & Justice is at the hub of a new ecumenical movement in New York City to address issues of environmental injustice and violence in black and brown communities.

Ms. Harper's work and her Shalom Talk Series has been a catalyst for ethnic reconciliation and systemic justice across the country. She was the recipient of Sojourners' inaugural Organizers Award and the Harlem "Sisters of Wisdom" Award. She was recently celebrated on Rick Warren's website Purposedriven.com as one of the site's inaugural seven "Take Action Heroes."

Ms. Harper is author of Evangelical Does Not Equal Republican ??? Or Democrat (The New Press), a power-packed look at the roots of evangelical faith, how evangelicals strayed so far from those roots, and what is bringing them back.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By M. Dunbar on October 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I highly recommend this book to anyone even slightly interested in the intersection of faith and politics in America today. This very well written piece of non-fiction faithfully examines American Evangelical worldviews through the lenses of race, socio-economic experience, and historical understanding in an honest and accessible way. Harper's analysis of the development of the Religious Right, the gap between black and white evangelical worldviews, and the use of Biblical and prophetic language to illicit varying political reactions is exceedingly relevant in this unique election year in which religion has again come to the forefront of the public debate.

Anyone who seeks to understand how we got here, how things are changing, and where we're going should definitely read this book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Chow on November 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is an important book. It is required reading for anyone who wants to understand the changing face of evangelicalism in American politics today.

Despite being black, Harper started off in a white evangelical church that took for granted that Christians are Republican. Later, as she became increasingly interested in issues of race and social justice, and became influenced by John Perkins, Ron Sider, Jim Wallis, Tony Campolo, and Tom Skinner, she "crossed the divide" and became a Democrat, while retaining her evangelical identity.

The book could also have been titled "Evangelicalism and Race in America." Harper scathingly indicts the evangelical church's record on racial reconciliation. She quotes Paul Weyrich, an activist for the Religious Right: "What got us going as a political movement was [not Roe v. Wade but] the attempt on the part of the IRS to rescind the tax-exempt status of Bob Jones University because of its racially discriminatory policies." She quotes Bill McCartney, founder of the Promise Keepers movement: "Of the conference participants who had a complaint, nearly 40 percent reacted negatively to the [racial] reconciliation theme. I personally believe it was a major factor in the significant falloff in PK's 1997 attendance---it is simply a hard teaching for many."

Harper is not the first to condemn evangelicals for their blindness on issues of race and social justice, but what makes her book important is that in Harper, a new generation of evangelicals has found its voice. Blogging sites such as GodsPolitics.com and FaithfulDemocrats.com received a massive boost from the Obama campaign. This group of evangelicals is sure to have a profound impact in the years to come.

The book is not without weaknesses.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Lori Neely on October 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover
How and when and should politics and religion cross? This author has blended together her own historic quest for justice with evangelical history and theology. She becomes quite specific with the issue of racial reconcilation and women's issues,which alone are worth the cost of the book. Her words often are harsh...but always grounded in truth, even when some in the church may not be ready to hear it. Almost seventy top leaders of the evangelical church are interviewed. The author's informed and often prophetic voice with the seventy's most current wisdom share hope for where the Church is heading...
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