Christians and the Common Good: How Faith Intersects with Public Life

Charles E Gutenson, Author, Jim Wallis, Foreword by
Charles E. Gutenson, Brazos, $19.99 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-1-58743-287-3
Open Ebook - 224 pages - 978-1-4412-1447-8
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Gutenson, the CEO of Sojourners, the Christian anti-poverty group, has written a treatise designed to help persuade evangelicals to heed the Bible's emphasis on social justice. Gutenson, who previously taught at Asbury Theological Seminary, brings conservative credentials to bear. He makes valid points about how some Christians take Scripture out of context or draw misleading connections between select biblical passages and modern-day controversies such as abortion or homosexuality. But his insistence that one can rightly discern God's intentions relies on the same hermeneutical method used by his opponents–those who discern God's intentions in individual salvation rather than social action. Moreover, his support for government safety nets such as Social Security, Medicare, and living wage laws sound like Democratic Party bumper stickers. Evangelicals searching for a social action platform may appreciate the book, provided they are willing to wade through turgid academic prose. (Mar.)
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