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The Future of Faith in American Politics
The Public Witness of the Evangelical Center
David Gushee argues convincingly that there is in U.S. politics an “evangelical center” of voters who do not identify with the politics and religion of either the right or the left. Although evangelical Christians are portrayed by the media as conservatives, Gushee claims that the evangelical movement includes nearly even numbers of voters on the right, in the center, and on the left of the political spectrum. He provides portraits of the major figures in each of the three camps, outlines the core convictions of the adherents, and analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of each group’s positions. He suggests that the evangelical center is poised for growth; this book could be its manifesto.
Part I - Evangelicals and Public Life: Across the Spectrum
1. Clearing the Ground
2. The Evangelical Right
3. The Evangelical Left
4. The Emerging Evangelical Center
Part II - Finding the Center: Key Issues for Evangelical Public Engagement
5. Torture and Human Rights
6. Marriage and the Law
7. Creation Care and the Climate Change Debate
8. Evangelicals and War
Conclusion: A Way Ahead for Evangelicals and American Culture
1. “For the Health of the Nation”
2. An Analysis of “For the Health of the Nation”
3. “An Evangelical Declaration against Torture”
4. How to Read “An Evangelical Declaration against Torture”
5. Climate Change: An Evangelical Call to Action
6. “An Urgent Call to Action
7. Rules for Evangelical Politics
Index of Names and Terms
"Simply stated, this is the best book I've read on the relationship between evangelical Christianity and American politics; a feast for the mind and heart."
—The Common Loon
"Dr. David Gushee has made an immense contribution to the world of Evangelical politics with the publication of his most recent book, The Future of Faith in American Politics: The Public Witness of the Evangelical Center. Gushee not only provides an in-depth look at the current Evangelical political spectrum, but he also clearly articulates a vision for an emerging "Evangelical Center," a moderate approach to politics that more fully embraces the whole of biblical counsel, not merely a partisan outlook on political life."
"Few available works do a better job of delineating the political fault lines in contemporary American evangelicalism.... [T]here is little doubt that [Gushee] takes his readers on a well-intentioned, informative, and thoughtful ride."
—Politics and Religion (2010, 3:3)
"... this book is a must-read for evangelical believers who genuinely seek to be a public witness as they apply their faith to politics."
In this important book David Gushee gives the lie to the sorry myth that Evangelicals are all right-wing extremists. Not only does he show that many are politically progressive, but also that most of them are actually or potentially political moderates with a strong biblical conscience.
—George Hunsinger, Princeton Theological Seminary
In an election year, we badly need this careful, reasoned reflection on how Christians should confront the pressing moral issues of our time. Gushee offers a refreshingly balanced point of view.
—Philip Yancey, Author and editor-at-large of Christianity Today
David P. Gushee (Ph.D. Union Theological Seminary) is Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics at Mercer University.