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Hijacked: Responding to the Partisan Church Divide Paperback – February 1, 2012

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About the Author

Dr. Charles (Chuck) Gutenson is a church consultant andformer Chief Operating Officer of Sojourners. He previously served 10 years atAsbury Seminary in Kentucky, most recently as the professor of Theology andPhilosophy. He received an M.Div. from Asbury in 1995 and a PhD inPhilosophical Theology from Southern Methodist University in 2000. A member ofthe International Society of Theta Phi, an honor society for theological students, scholars in the field of religion and outstanding religious leaders,Chuck is the author of three books (one forthcoming) and numerous articles on avariety of theological and philosophical articles.

Mike Slaughter is the lead pastor at Ginghamsburg Church. Under his leadership, Ginghamsburg Church has become known as an early innovator of small group ministry, the Church "media reformation," and cyber-ministry. Mike is the author of multiple books for church leaders, including Change the World, Dare to Dream, Renegade Gospel, A Different Kind of Christmas, Spiritual Entrepreneurs, Real Followers, Momentum for Life, UnLearning Church, and Upside Living in a Downside Economy.

Robert P. Jones, Ph.D., is the CEO and founder of Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), a nonprofit, nonpartisan research and education organization dedicated to work at the intersection of religion, values, and public life. Dr. Jones writes a weekly column at “Figuring Faith,” a featured blog at the Washington Post On Faith section. He is a member of the national steering committee for the Religion and Politics Section at the American Academy of Religion and is an active member of the American Association of Public Opinion Research, the American Political Science Association, and the Society of Christian Ethics.  He holds a Ph.D. in religion from Emory University, and a M.Div. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Before founding PRRI, Dr. Jones served as assistant professor of religious studies at Missouri State University. Dr. Jones is the author two academic books and numerous peer-review articles on religion and public policy. He is frequently featured in national media stories on religion and politics.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Abingdon Press (February 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1426742363
  • ISBN-13: 978-1426742361
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,343,073 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By E. Morgan on April 15, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm so happy that there is a book that acknowledges and adresses that politics has become a problem in the church. I did find the book too wordy and "intellectual" at times. I think the point could have been made on a more reader friendly level. Every pastor needs to read this book. I haven't been to church regularly in three years because of the persecution I faced for voting Democrat. I've been told I'm going to Hell and that I am less of a Christian. Of course, I don't believe any of that but would you go to church with people like that? Knowing that you are being judged by who you vote for rather than for your Christian walk? There is a huge problem in the church and I am happy to see it addressed. Hopefully, there will be more books that address this issue in the future!
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful By George on January 17, 2012
Format: Paperback
Regardless of your politics or faith system this is a must read in these divisive times. Americans must learn how to have civil dialogs in the midst of competing views. Americans will learn to live together or we will tear one another apart. Slaughter, et al call people of faith especially to sit down at the table and discuss the implications of policy and faith.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 8, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
At the last federal election I voted for the Greens. I don't think that makes me a `Green'. It does mean that I felt - on the whole - their position best depicted the stuff of the kingdom.

What disturbed me was the way some folks concluded that I obviously wasn't a Christian because I held this point of view.

Next time we have an election and we need to decide how to vote I'll be using some of the content from this book to help people think through their approach to such a complex question.

Its an easy read, but I recommend it to any pastors who know there isn't a `Christian' position and are looking to equip their people to make intelligent decisions. I thought that given it is American in origin it might be a bit lacking in relevance, but not at all.

I don't know who I will vote for in the next election, but I do know what will be shaping my thinking on the issue - and it will be the same principles as last time. Perhaps if we can develop a framework for making decisions and appreciate that no choice is without its problems then we can avoid this nonsense of declaring people no longer Christians because they don't tow the party line we have decreed as most `Christian'.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jim Porter on February 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
We all live in tumultuous and conflicted times, and that is true of our churches as well. "Hijacked" is a book that deals with the partisan divisions that exist in many church communities today. Increasingly, differences in beliefs over political and societal issues threaten to alienate members of congregations from each other as well as from church leadership. The authors have closely studied the growing level of polarization along political fault lines within churches and describe convincingly why these disagreements have grown so intensely since the days of the Reagan Administration. In the prescriptive part of the book, they explore how it is that church members may differ substantially in their stands on political issues, but yet share a common set of essential theological beliefs. The problems arise when people allow their religious lives and their interpersonal relationships to be determined more by political ideology than by God's admonition to "Love our neighbor as ourself". The issue of ugly disagreements among people who may differ politically, but who agree on so much else has been on my mind a lot lately and I found much wisdom and sage advice in this slim 129p book!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Doug Stuart on February 19, 2012
Format: Paperback
The authors focus heavily on assessing the need to remember the important distinctions stated in the popular saying, "In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; and in all things, charity." They spend time discussing not only what doctrines and beliefs are essential, they devote an entire chapter to how we come to embrace doctrines that are essential or non-essential. The most indicting criticism in the book warns Christians of the danger of living inside an "ideological bubble." The advent of the Internet has given us access to an ideological bubble of our own choosing, despite the availability of any viewpoint we can imagine. We have an infinite smorgasbord of choice at our fingertips: 24-hour television news, websites, blogs, Facebook groups, YouTube channels. It's all there for us to pick and choose our tastes. Add this to a second major problem--the seduction of sound bites--and we've got a recipe for trouble. Bring these sound bites into the church, and we produce Christians with an appetite not for theological depth but for tasty nuggets of truth: "We want preachers who can give us catchy phrases that capture our imaginations and that move us emotionally; whether or not the catchy phrases are particularly accurate becomes quite secondary in the process."

Hijacked proposes several ways to get back to the essential call to love each other. This is what Jesus expects. Both individuals and local churches have a responsibility to work hard against the tendency to divide, because the more we divide and spend our time on "our side," the more the Church becomes split into an "us" versus "them" mentality.

Hijacked addresses a problem most of us would admit exists, yet we would all hesitate to admit we are part of the problem.
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