Beyond Left and Right: Helping Christians Make Sense of American Politics

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Many christians want to be politically active but feel underequipped and overwhelmed. Instead of drawing party lines, political scientist and former congressional fellow Amy Black offers a guide to the inner workings of American politics that encourages readers to make informed, faith-based political decisions. Beyond Left and Right Addresses Major Questions Such As: What does the Constitution really say about church and state? Is the United States a Christian nation? What's the difference between a theological conservative and a political conservative? Can Christians honestly disagree politically? Intentionally nonpartisan, Beyond Left and Right is a much-needed resource for christians who want tot apply their faith to politics.

About the Author:
Amy E. black is associate professor of politics and international relations at Wheaton College and is president of Christians in Political Science

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Black (politics & international relations, Wheaton Coll.; From Inspiration to Legislation: How an Idea Becomes a Bill) designed this political primer, which grew from discussions with her students, to help readers navigate the twisting and often intersecting paths of religion and politics. In it, she provides a quick refresher on the basics and history of American government as well as equips readers with a better understanding of the political process so that they can make informed decisions in the voting booth. Trying to create a dialog that approaches the usually contentious topics of religion and politics in the least frictional way, she presents tools to assist in understanding and interacting with government and offers discussion questions for small groups. For civil discourse on religion and politics for people of all faiths.
—L. Kriz

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801067266
  • Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 2/1/2008
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     9
Introduction     11
The Basics: Beginning the Conversation
Who Speaks for God in Politics? Where We Begin     15
When It's No Sin to Compromise: From Black-and-White to the Real World     29
Is Liberal a Bad Word? Understanding Political Labels     41
Looking Backward: Hints from History
Is the United States a Christian Nation? Separating Truth from Myth     55
Are All Christians Republican? Christians and Voting     69
How It Works: Highlights from American Politics 101
Good Guys and Bad Guys? Understanding Our Two-Party System     87
Who Does What? The Branches of Government and Their Powers     105
Does the Church Have Any Business in Politics? What the Constitution Really Says     123
Finding Your Own Path: Applying Your Faith to Politics
Applying Faith to Politics: Some Different Christian Approaches     139
My Way or the Highway? Toward Constructive Political Dialogue     157
Can Christians Honestly Disagree? Tackling Tough Issues     169
Behind the Curtain at the Voting Booth: A Decision-Making Guide     187
Beyond the Ballot Box: Other Ways Faith Can Inform Politics (with Jennifer L. Aycock)     205
Can We All Get Along? Politics and the Great Commandments     221
Discussion Questions for Small Groups     227
Notes     235
Suggestions for Further Reading     245
Contributors     248
Index     249
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