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

5.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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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.
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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: 5.6 x 0.9 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #361,557 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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