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Christians and the Common Good: How Faith Intersects with Public Life Paperback – April 1, 2011
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From the Back Cover
Christians across the spectrum have soured on religious involvement in politics, tempted either to withdraw or to secularize their public engagement. Yet the kingdom of God is clearly concerned with justice and communal well-being. How can Christians be active in public life without getting mired down in political polarization and controversy?
For too long, the question of faith in public life has centered on what the Bible says about government. This book argues that we should first ask how God intends for us to live together before considering particular public policies and governmental institutions. By concentrating on the nature of God, we can move past presuppositions regarding the role of government and form a reasonable framework for engaging in healthy discussions about how best to serve the common good.
"An ideal book for Sunday school classes, Bible study groups, and other discussion groups. . . . I am thankful that [Charles Gutenson] has brought together his substantial theological training and his public policy concerns in Christians and the Common Good. At a time when the relationship between faith and politics, the role of government, and the vocation of the Church are all hotly contested issues, [his] keen theological insights, deeply biblical approach, and clear political analysis will be a great help to us all."
--Jim Wallis, Sojourners (from the foreword)
"Few of us have been businesspeople and biblical scholars and political activists. Charles Gutenson has been all three, and he brings the insight and wisdom of this broad experience to this helpful, thoughtful book on wise Christian political engagement."
--Ronald J. Sider, president, Evangelicals for Social Action
"Charles Gutenson has undertaken an exceptionally thoughtful analysis of how Christians who are serious about politics should think about the common good. It is beautifully written, swings clear of polemical jargon, and provides much food for thought. This is a splendid springboard for political discussion and action."
--William J. Abraham, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University
Top Customer Reviews
This book is a timely gift to help us think biblically, honestly and in a non-partisan manner about what it means to keep the two great commandments: to love God, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. I hope it will be widely read, discussed and acted upon. Highly recommended.
I have heard the phrase that one does not take the Bible literally but rather seriously. This book is a great example of what that would look like especially in the political sphere.
Chuch Gutenson navigates these very tricky waters at the intersection of faith and public life in a manner that invites discussion and disagreement. He neither insists the reader sees the world exactly the way he does nor does he shrink in the face of possible disagreement. Instead he gives a very powerful set of arguments from his own reading of scripture to show why he thinks Christians should embrace a preferential option for the poor in the contemporary polity. Anyone who is interested in the why and the how of Christian involvment in public life should read and digest the argument of this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a must-read for concerned citizens and people of faith. It illustrates a Biblical stand on social and political concerns without bias. Read morePublished on April 9, 2013 by Rhonda Stapleton
The title sounded great... Christians, motivated by love to do good works themselves. We're redeemed by the blood of Jesus. Read morePublished on April 21, 2012 by Robert L. Senz
I started reading this book with the intention of improving my Christian life. I tried to navigate the elaborate language and complicated words of this book but finally stopped... Read morePublished on April 1, 2012 by Daniel
I have found the book to help tie pieces together and help focus where we have lost contact with
a christian understanding of common good and sought only good for the... Read more
In "Christians and the Common Good", Gutenson lays a biblical and theological foundation for understanding how we ought to think about our faith informing our political... Read morePublished on May 24, 2011 by Peter Heltzel
How refreshing to read a book that combines the Christian faith and politics as Dr. Gutenson has in his book Christians and the Common Good. Read morePublished on May 11, 2011 by James Allen Williams
The intersection of faith and politics is often filled with danger, warning signs, and plenty of pitfalls. Read morePublished on May 1, 2011 by Rev. Adam Taylor
Since Chuck Gutenson is the former Sojourners chief operating officer, it is easy to see what the final point of the book will be. Read morePublished on April 26, 2011 by T. R. Temple
The ability to allow Scripture to shape and inform the life of a Christian disciple is a necessary skill for any who would seek to follow Jesus Christ. Read morePublished on April 21, 2011 by Randy Shrauner