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Third Way Allegiance: Christian Witness in the Shadow of Religious Empire Paperback – July 15, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
York's writing style is engaging and his fusion of pop culture references, from the Crocodile Hunter to Star Trek, historical narratives and skillful theo-political analysis make this book eminently accessible and exceedingly thought provoking. It will spark discussion!
Part theology and social ethics primer, part Christian political manifesto and part passionate plea for Christians in America to take Jesus more seriously, Third Way Alegiance is among the best resources for any individual or group in the American context longing to have a life that more clearly bears witness to Christ.
The book is broken up into eighteen very shorts chapters that includes a few brief study questions at the end of each chapter. This is probably one of the greatest strengths of the book as he allows for dissenting and critical remarks within its very pages. This book is also incredibly accessible, at times quite witty, and constantly thought-provoking. It's a perfect book for small groups or use in a classroom. It covers a wide array of topics, including: science & religion; faith & atheism; care of creation; religious holidays; animals; martyrdom; politics; capital punishment, and other forms of violence. Despite the array of topics, they are broken down into various sections by which they seem to flow perfectly. However, each chapter can also be read by itself and be used to serve as quite a conversation starter. In my mind, this book is a very strong compliment to a number of books within the realm of Christian ethics (e.g., Lee Camp's 'Mere Discipleship').
I would suggest reading this book alongside other books like it in order to find even more substantial footing for some of his more polemical arguments. For instance, one of the other reviewers noted that he appears to be 'anti-intellectual' based on the approach he adopts in the first part of the book. Nothing could be further from the truth as the author engages some of the strongest intellectual voices of both our contemporary and ancient tradition (from David Bentley Hart to Aquinas). He is simply refusing to play ball on the ground that certain 'intellectual' voices claim is the only ground worth playing on. He is taking the game, so to speak, elsewhere.Read more ›
This little book by Tripp York asks some of these questions. He writes about how we have changed the God of Scripture into a tribal deity who we worship and pray to so we can lead happy lives. We have caved in to capitalism and become a state religion for our government so that we no longer have the strength or courage to say, "No!"
If you want to be challenged about how we live as Christians in the West, this might be a good book to read.
For one thing, Christianity may hardly be worth fighting the New Atheists over. Have we forgotten what a fantastic story it is we cling to? Didn't Tertullian get it right when he claimed to believe precisely because the story was unbelievable? Christianity is simply not philosophically defensible, and it may be that our very attempt to defend Christianity, ironically, leads to its demise. When it becomes common sense, guys, it's all over for Christianity.
But is it common sense to seek the common good? Goods are only good if they are shared goods, at least according to Scripture and early Christian history. Yet without reverence for the seven deadly sins (lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, pride) our capitalistic country would fold in on itself. What's a good Christian to do?
York will leave you wondering whether it's even possible anymore to be a Christian.
This is pretty short book, and I read it enrirely the same day when came back from work the other day... ( and I am not the fast reader).
So, I will start from positive aspects and views and move to more and more silly ones ...
1.) Pacifism. Generally good aspects are the ones that draw attention to the fact that often times secular political/economic/societal system stands at odds with Christian virtuous views and basically Christian worldview and ethics as a whole. This in turn, draws logical criticism of the tight relationship between nationalism, imperialism, capitalism (and many other -isms) and Christianity.
Author brings many relevant passages from Christian Scriptures to substantiate the position of non-violence and pacifism. At that I am wholeheartedly agree!
It is kind of interesting observation that capitalism is predicated on seven deadly sins (p. 71). There are some other somewhat interesting chapters, like chapter 4, and others highlighting faith in action.
3.) Anti-mother and pro 'non-human animals'? I don't want to make author sound weird or put words in his mouth, but the impression one gets from reading certain segments is such that this is what he tries to convey. "...it does require us to remember that there is nothing crazy about love for anything God has created. ...Francis should not be belittled because he preached to birds; rather, we should be reprimanded for forgetting that Christianity is, also, for the birds" (p. 27). Look, I am not to suggest some sort of anti-animal cruelty for the sake of it. But, let's put thing in right perspective here...Read more ›