Wednesday, September 19, 2012

"A Faith of Our Own" by Jonathan Merritt

224 pages

Christians have a reputation for making their faith political. Statistics and studies show that Americans, especially young Americans, are put off by the strong ties between churches and partisan politics, usually right-wing politics. Here faith and culture writer Jonathan Merritt examines these perceptions and proposes that Christians live a different way. This requires thinking about politics and faith in a new light. He suggests that Christ followers look to prayer and Scripture to determine how God wants them to engage in politics without being swayed by what politicians claim is what God intends. He asks Christians to consider that other people--believers and nonbelievers alike--will have different perspectives and that everyone's opinions are valid. Most importantly, Merritt calls Christians to stop the yelling and engage in respectful conversation with those whom with they disagree. 

I read this book at the perfect time--right as the 2012 election campaigns were kicking into high gear. Among all the political mud-slinging out there, Jonathan Merritt's voice is a refreshing break from all the negativity. I am thrilled to see a Christians advocating rationality and respect when it comes to politics. I love that he recognizes that you don't have to belong to a particular political party to be a Christian. He makes good arguments for his proposals, too. He not only has the Scripture to back up what he says but he's done the research too. There is a good selection of wisdom from other prominent Christians weaved in as well. This is a solid, well-written, and thought-provoking book that I'll recommend to anyone who's tired of hearing Christians bicker about politics and other divisive topics. 

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