Monday 15 December 2008

Christianity and Politics Resources

[The following is a lightly revised version of a resource list produced for an event hosted by London Institute for Contemporary Christianity on 29 May 2008 at which Jim Wallis spoke on issues related to his book, Seven Ways to Change the World. It offers a small selection of resources and material available on issues related to the Christian faith and politics, for those who would like to read and reflect further.]

By Jim Wallis

Jim Wallis, Seven Ways to Change the World: Reviving Faith and Politics (Oxford: Lion, 2008).
Published in America as The Great Awakening: Reviving Faith & Politics in a Post-Religious Right America. Download a free study guide to the book from the Sojourners website.

Jim Wallis, God’s Politics: Why the American Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It (Oxford: Lion, 2005).

God’s Politics.
A blog by Jim Wallis and friends.

On the USA context

Tony Campolo, Red Letter Christians: A Citizen’s Guide to Faith & Politics (Ventura: Regal, 2008).
A call to take our cue from the ‘red letter’ teachings of Jesus to address the issues of our time.

Gregory A. Boyd, The Myth of a Christian Nation: How the Quest for Political Power is Destroying the Church (Grand Rapids: Zondervan 2006).
A challenge to the notion that America is a ‘Christian’ nation, and a call to the church not to be co-opted to political or national ideology, but to discover its call to proclaim and live the kingdom of God.

David P. Gushee, The Future of Faith in American Politics: The Public Witness of the Evangelical Center (Waco: Baylor University Press, 2008).
An argument that the evangelical political landscape is now fragmented along right/centre/left lines, with a sizeable and growing number of evangelical Christians who identify neither with the right or the left. For further information, check out David Gushee’s website.

Steve Monsma, Healing for a Broken World: Christian Perspectives on Public Policy (Wheaton: Crossway, 2008).
Seeks to lay out a Christian framework based on Scripture before applying it to areas such as poverty, human rights, disease, war and terrorism. The contents of the book may be freely browsed online at the publisher’s website, where a pdf excerpt can also be downloaded.

Jeffrey W. Robbins and Neal Magee (eds.), The Sleeping Giant Has Awoken: The New Politics of Religion in the United States (London: Continuum, 2008).
A collection of essays exploring the relationship between political conservatism and evangelical Christianity.

On the UK context

Jonathan Bartley, Faith and Politics After Christendom: The Church as a Movement for Anarchy (Milton Keynes: Paternoster, 2006).
Part of the publisher’s ‘After Christendom’ series, this book explores what it means that the church no longer occupies the centre of society, providing an opportunity for the church to exercise a prophetic role in challenging injustice and undermining some of the central values on which society is built.

The Christian Institute.

The Christian Socialist Movement.

Christians in Politics.

Stephen Clark (ed.), Tales of Two Cities: Christianity and Politics (Leicester: IVP, 2005).
A collection of academic essays, offering biblical, theological, and historical reflection on political issues.

Conservative Christian Fellowship.

Evangelical Alliance, Faith and Nation: Report of a Commission of Inquiry to the UK Evangelical Alliance.


Liberal Democrat Christian Forum.

London Institute for Contemporary Christianity, Capitalism Project.
Lots of downloadable articles and resources from LICC’s Capitalism Project, which ran between September 2000 and August 2004.

Michael Schluter and John Ashcoft (eds.), Jubilee Manifesto: A Framework, Agenda and Strategy for Christian Social Reform (Leicester: IVP, 2005).
An excellent collection of essays flowing out of the work of the Jubilee Centre (see their website for some very useful resources). It is biblically and theologically based, concerned especially with relationships in families, communities, and society, and explores how a ‘relational’ perspective provides insights on how to approach topics of concern such as the family, welfare, economics, justice, etc.

Nick Spencer, Votewise: Helping Christians Engage with the Issues (London: SPCK, 2004).
A former LICC staff member helps Christians evaluate party policies and promises wisely. A series of helpful Bible studies relating to the book are freely available online.

Theos: The Public Theology Think Tank.
See particularly the recent report by Nick Spencer, Neither Private Nor Privileged: The Role of Christianity in Britain Today.

Something more practical

Tony Campolo and Gordon Aeschliman, Everybody Wants to Change the World: Practical Ideas for Social Justice (Ventura: Regal, 2006).

Steve Chalke, Change Agents: 25 Hard-Learned Lessons in the Art of Getting Things Done (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2007).

Produced by Antony Billington for the ‘Seven Ways to Change the World’ event (29 May 2008), with Jim Wallis, hosted by LICC:

London Institute for Contemporary Christianity
St Peter’s, Vere Street, London W1G 0DQ
020 7399 9555

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