Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Qty:1
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Wayward Christian Soldier... has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Eligible for Amazon's FREE Super Saver/Prime Shipping, 24/7 Customer Service, and package tracking. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Dust jacket in Has dustjacket condition.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Wayward Christian Soldiers: Freeing the Gospel from Political Captivity Hardcover – June 11, 2007

3.6 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$25.00
$2.49 $0.01

Practical help for prayer
Praying the Bible
Praying the Bible
Praying the Bible
$25.00 FREE Shipping. Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Wayward Christian Soldiers: Freeing the Gospel from Political Captivity
  • +
  • Strange Glory: A Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Total price: $60.00
Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Marsh (University of Virginia; The Beloved Community) enters the religion-and-politics fray in this provocative, and even prophetic, manifesto. In Marsh’s view, American evangelicals have sold their birthright to Republican politics, wholly abandoning the Gospel’s call for justice, peace, and mercy by supporting the war in Iraq. Evangelical leaders do not invite people to peace and reconciliation, but rather offer "base and sinful thoughts disguised as moral values." Franklin Graham comes in for special attack: his call for the conversion of the Islamic world to Christianity is "a chilling example of messianic ego unleashed on the world stage." What is Marsh’s solution? First, he calls the church to a season of silence, in which it will learn to be still and listen for Jesus, rather than contributing to the noisy political chatter that pervades our age. Second, noting the overwhelming extent to which evangelicals outside of America have decried the war, Marsh bids his fellow American Christians to become part of a truly global church, where the convictions of Christians in other places may be allowed to check the jingoism and imperialism Marsh finds in American churches. Marsh’s lively prose makes a brisk read. His gauntlet-throwing will anger some readers and inspire others.

Review


"A thoughtful, well-written jeremiad that ultimately calls us to a season of reflection and repentance, so that we can rededicate ourselves to being the "peculiar people" of Christ."--Sojourners Magazine


"With Wayward Christian Soldiers, Charles Marsh again shows that he is one of the most astute observers of evangelicalism today. This is a passionate critique of how evangelical faith in America has been compromised by the political captivity of the gospel. His case study of evangelical support for the war in Iraq in the face of almost universal opposition from the transnational church is one of the best I've seen. And his call for the church to refocus on the basics of faith - repentance, prayer, and peacemaking - is a very welcome one. This is a book that will help us move past partisan religious politics to recover the Good News of Jesus." --Jim Wallis, author of God's Politics and president of Sojourners/Call to Renewal


"'Wayward Christian Soldiers' is not only a provocative and stimulating call for change, it's a learning experience. Marsh is expert at providing the context needed to fully appreciate the ideas he is expressing, and this is especially important considering what's happening in the Christian world now."--Charleston Post and Courier


"This is a well-thought-out treatise about the danger of letting a desire to fit in get in the way of righteous-ness."--The Hartford Courant


"With the passion of a believer and the reason of a scholar, Charles Marsh has produced a brilliant manifesto for reclaiming Christianity from the Christian right. He is that most effective of critics, an 'inside agitator,' relentless in cataloguing the trespasses of his co-religionists against the 'truth' they profess." --Diane McWhorter, author of Carry Me Home: Birmingham, Alabama: The Climactic Battle of the Civil Rights Revolution


"Wayward Christian Soldiers is a brave, unsettling tract for the times. From the heart of the evangelical world comes a prophet in the tradition of Barth and Bonhoeffer to confront his fellow Christians with the bracing Word of God. Charles Marsh directs his prophetic critique at his fellow evangelical Christians who have compromised their own convictions for the sake of political influence. But his words challenge all Christians to return to the fiery center of their faith in a God who challenges every political agenda and who calls Christians back to their most ancient tasks as people of peace and reconciliation." --The Very Rev. Samuel T. Lloyd III, Dean of Washington National Cathedral


"Provoking and confessing, making fascinating historical and global connections, Wayward Christian Soldiers is essential reading for American evangelicals and anyone concerned about faith and politics. Marsh is a public theologian for our time." --Mark R. Gornik, author of To Live in Peace: Biblical Faith and the Changing Inner City and Dean of City Seminary in New York


"Resisting despair, Marsh hopes that his book might inspire some of his fellow believers to repent of their recent ways -- to 'take stock of the whole colossal wreck of the evangelical witness' and then try to rebuild a more authentic Christianity in its place." --The New Republic


"Marsh calls for repentance, patient waiting for grace, and a period of serious reflection in American Evangelicalism. He exemplifies a growing strand in the Evangelical weave." --Times Literary Supplement Online


"Marsh's elegant proposal develops and updates his January 2006 New York Times editorial of the same title. A Harvard Divinity School graduate, professor of religion at the University of Virginia, and committed evangelical, Marsh, in his fifth book, writes with authority and passion. He cites the Old and New Testaments as well as theologians and saints, and he is an astute observer of American political and religious culture." --ForeWord


"Marsh enters the religion-and-politics fray in this provocative, and even prophetic, manifesto...[his] lively prose makes a brisk read. His gauntlet-throwing will anger some readers, and inspire others."--PW's Religion BookLine


"'Wayward Christian Soldiers' is not only a provocative and stimulating call for change, it's a learning experience. Marsh is expert at providing the context needed to fully appreciate the ideas he is expressing, and this is especially important considering what's happening in the Christian world now."--Charleston Post and Courier


"A strong, effective style conveys his charge that evangelical support for Bush uncritically identified American nationalism and the Iraq war with Christian truth." --Journal of Religion


NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (June 11, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195307208
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195307207
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 1.2 x 5.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,455,166 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Paul R. Waibel VINE VOICE on November 30, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
White, middle-class evangelicals in America have in recent years so confused the gospel with a particular brand of neo-conservative political ideology, that they have exalted patriotism to the level of idolatry, and seriously complicated the life and work of the ecumenical church worldwide, i.e., the Body of Christ. Charles Marsh offers a very readable analysis of the danger inherent in baptizing a political agenda. At the same time, he offers a Bible-based alternative lifestyle for thinking Christians who are seeking to remain faithful to their first love in an evermore confusing, postmodern world. This brief narrative by a much respected Christian scholar is highly recommended.
1 Comment 20 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
"But if I accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, do I also have to support George W. Bush?"

That was an honest, non-sarcastic question asked by a German woman to the author's father, a pastor who had just finished a service in Berlin.

Why would anyone ask a question like that? Could it be that the right-wing in the United States has so co-opted Christianity that the basic message of the religion has been distorted?

Indeed, American evangelical Christianity has become indistinguishable from American right-wing politics in the minds of many people around the world. It's also not in line with other forms of the religion practiced around the world. The author spends a lot of time talking about the rest of the world's (and his own) opposition to the Iraq War, and comparing the goals of Global Christianity with those of American evangelicalism.
How does supporting the Iraq War reconcile with "loving one's enemies" and "turning the other cheek"? American Christianity, after decades of noisy politics, needs to learn to "be still and know", and listen to the rest of the world.

Marsh does discuss President George W. Bush's religious conversions and attitudes, although he does warn that "The president doesn't owe the American public a word about his private spiritual life". The book is occasionaly slow-going; familiarity with the ideas of theologians such as Karl Barth, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Fredrich Schleiermacher would be helpful.

Randall Balmer's _Thy Kingdom Come_ is similar in theme to this book, but of a somewhat different political bent (more left-leaning) and more specific as to what he (Ballmer) thinks the American Evangelical movement should pay attention to.
Comment 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
This book, like any good book, challenges the reader to think. Marsh makes us examine our concepts of "just war," and urges us to move past cultural preconditions, take the teachings of Jesus seriously, and dare to apply them to the issues of contemporary society. He makes clear to us that he writes as an "evangelical," but not as one who is willing to lay aside the Sermon on the Mount for political expediency. Not everyone will agree with Marsh's perspective of the war in Iraq, but everyone will be forced to answer the disturbing question: "how does this pre-emptive war, which includes the ignoring of most Christian's opposition to the war, enhance the church's mission in the world?" Assuming that Christians understand that the mission is one of representing the living Christ in the world, the question becomes more than an academic exercise; it embraces the Christian community and nudges it back to the fundamentals of the faith, and points emphatically to the Sermon on the Mount. Furthermore, some will object to naming some "Christian celebrities" who became significant proponents of a pre-emptive war. However, honesty states that when a "Christian celebrity" move outside his/her original ministry, and moves into the political arena, affirming such a war and justifying the president's decision, that celebrity cannot plead immunity from reasonable criticism. Marsh does not write a philippic, but his analysis of "war preachers" is candid and well documented. It is imperative to note that the thrust of the book is very positive, calling on the Christian community to be freed from captivity to ideologues that would use the community for political aggrandizement.Read more ›
Comment 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition
Every author must keep three facts firmly in view as he writes: the audience he desires to speak to,the purpose he wants to accomplish with that audience, and a rhetorical strategy to move the audience to accomplish that purpose. While Marsh claims to be writing to convince Evangelicals to free the Gospel from political captivity, he fails in that purpose because his rhetorical strategy is tragically flawed. I say tragically, because I wanted to like this book; its ostensible message is one that Evangelicals need to hear.
For an author who claims to speak to the “religious right,” he clearly doesn't understand his audience or their discourse conventions; therefore, they are unlikely seriously to listen to his message.
1. Marsh quotes approvingly at length from a number of theologians and writers conservative Evangelicals would consider far from their fold. The book is peppered with references to Paul Tillich, Karl Barth, Terese of Lisieux, Thomas Merton, Eastern Orthodox theologian Alexander Schmemann, and some secular philosophers. He also speaks lovingly of the wisdom of the Christian tradition, a word sure to get Evangelicals’ hackles up. When Marsh does quote conservative Evangelicals, it is almost always only to criticize them.
2. He doesn't quote the Bible. Although Marsh recognizes that Evangelicals are committed to sola scritura, he doesn’t make much direct use of the Bible. This is an unforgiveable lapse; nothing speaks louder to an Evangelical that an argument directly from Scripture. When he does quote, it’s usually just a snippet of a verse without any real exposition – exactly what Evangelicals are often accused of doing themselves. A sustained argument from Scripture is not only possible, it is absolutely essential.
Read more ›
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Wayward Christian Soldiers: Freeing the Gospel from Political Captivity
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
This item: Wayward Christian Soldiers: Freeing the Gospel from Political Captivity