When Did Jesus Become Republican?: Rescuing Our Country and Our Values from the Right-- Strategies for a Post-Bush America


Despite the results of the 2006 elections, the coalition between Conservative politics and American Christians remains a dominant force in setting the American socio-cultural and political agenda. Ellingsen argues that until this coalition is diminished we will remain a politically conservative nation to the detriment of the poor, the marginalized, the middle class, and nations around the world, as well as to the detriment of the spiritual life in America's churches! Unlike previous books lamenting this ...

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Despite the results of the 2006 elections, the coalition between Conservative politics and American Christians remains a dominant force in setting the American socio-cultural and political agenda. Ellingsen argues that until this coalition is diminished we will remain a politically conservative nation to the detriment of the poor, the marginalized, the middle class, and nations around the world, as well as to the detriment of the spiritual life in America's churches! Unlike previous books lamenting this Neo-Conservative-Christian coalition, Ellingsen offers the first account of the root (Puritan) causes for this coalition and provides readers with concrete strategies that we can adopt to challenge the tragic pact between so many committed Christians and political leaders that value business and global domination above all else.

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Editorial Reviews

When Did Jesus Become Republican? provides an extensive review of how the followers of several religions have changed their thinking when it comes to politics. Mark Ellingsen presents the facts fairly without trying to persuade the reader as to which party he or she should support. He gives an unbiased account of the past and offers strategies that the parties can adopt if they wish to counteract or retain the recent voting trends
This new book by regular Emphasis political columnist Mark Ellingsen is a pearl of great price, hidden behind a sensational and seemingly short-lived polemic....this book is well worth the twenty bucks. I urge you to seek it out and let its wisdom provoke your faith.
From the Publisher
Ellingsen's explanations of the psychology and methodology of the organizations driving the religious political movements go a long way in understanding the ways in which they justify their interference in local and national politics....He is...quite correct in his argument that the current battles between religious liberals and conservatives is changing the way many people view Jesus.
Dwight N. Hopkins
Mark Ellingsen has written an incredible narrative. Its analysis, if heeded, could realign faith and civic engagement in America. He tells us substantively and clearly why conservatives get the connection between religion and voting right. Ellingsen then unites progressive faith with progressive politics in such a way that the revelations in this book could alter presidential and congressional elections for a generation. He pulls the Left outside of its box and pushes the Right to the center. A refreshing theological voice that untangles the outdated public debates over red states and blue states. What remains is a new vision for a new America and a clarion call for an inclusive civilized discourse.
Helium - W. Arthur Lewis
Mark Ellingsen once again brings a thought provoking challenge to the religious and secular communities with his When Did Jesus Become Republican?. It can be an excellent read as we enter into a new era in the political process and as we look at our two party system. Ellingsen makes us examine the question of liberalism and conservatism as it reflects on Jesus, one of our most revolutionary prophetic voices in the religious community, yesterday, today and tomorrow. This is a must read for all political junkies and public theologians.
Gabriel Fackre
Mark Ellingsen here gives some hard-headed counsel on how to break the political lock on Jesus by the Religious Right. Relate, but do not capitulate, to the regnant "Puritan Paradigm." Reclaim the country's own Constitutional faith assumptions of common sense morality and the corruptability of power by human sin. While retaining its diverse religious and secular constituencies, let the Democrats reach out to the more numerous-than-realized mainline Christianity that needs to recover its own narrative faith and resist cultural captivity to the both the relativisms and fundamentalisms of the day. A wealth of wisdom here for both party and church.
Publishers Weekly

Don't let the page count on this volume fool you. Ellingsen, a professor at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, packs in a remarkable amount of history, mostly of Christianity in America. He not only addresses Christianity's roots, but its U.S. evolution, its ebb and flow, all in an effort to illustrate what he calls "the dominance of the Puritan Paradigm on our social psyche." Complete with explicit (and sometimes excessive) poll numbers on denominational voters, their trends, and their motivations , the argument is well-grounded. With so much attention paid to how we got here, however, Ellingsen neglects where we should go next; the book is more descriptive and diagnostic than prescriptive. This is by no means a light read, but neither is it only for professional politicos and theologians. Readers of Jim Wallis, Michael Lerner, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend and others who've addressed the dichotomy between the New Testament Jesus, champion of the poor and forgotten, and the Jesus of the political right will want to add this title to their library, if only for a more in-depth perspective of how American Christianity and politics have changed. (Oct.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

Of all the recent books written as clarion calls for liberals of faith to redefine an alternative to the religious right's version of "values voting"-e.g., Jim Wallis's God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It-Ellingsen's (Interdenominational Theological Ctr., Atlanta) call to action includes something unique: a sociological explanation of whythe religious right's version of Christianity resonates with the average American. Ellingsen shows that the "Puritan Paradigm"-what he describes as a "revivalist-tempered, individualistic Puritanism"-is the prevailing American model for Christianity and righteous living and that policies and practices aligned with this paradigm tend to receive voter approval. All readers, no matter their beliefs, will find the Puritan Paradigm an enlightening key to today's politics. The solutions Ellingsen proposes-appeals to the concepts of natural law and human sinfulness that can be detected in the Constitution-could be embraced by Jews, Muslims, and secularists alike. Of general interest; recommended for all libraries collecting in the area of religion and politics.
—Nancy E. Adams

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742552241
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/25/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.29 (w) x 9.35 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Ellingsen is an active speaker at seminaries, churches, and conferences where he is sought out as an expert and spirited champion of authentic Christian faith and politics. Ellingsen is associate professor at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta and the author of more than a dozen books and 200 articles. Mark Ellingsen's new book When Did Jesus Become Republican? is a timely contribution for understanding the presidential sweepstakes. Its timeliness is leading to nationwide media recognition. Ellingsen has appeared as a guest on seven radio talk-show programs all over the country and has made a joint appearance in New York with former Maryland Lieutenant Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend. In Winter 2007 he appeared as a featured guest on a CNN television special, hosted by Roland Martin.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction: Are True Believers Really Conservative? Part 2 How We Got the Way We Are Chapter 3 The Puritan Paradigm Chapter 4 Revivalism and the Individualizing of American Religion Chapter 5 Fundamentalism, Its Decline, and the Rise of the Religious Right Chapter 6 The Conservative Jesus Part 7 Why It's Unlikely To Get Better Soon Chapter 8 American Theological Education Since World War II Chapter 9 Impact of German Philosophy and Theology on the Pews:The Importance of Today's Cutting-Edge Theologies Chapter 10 The Impact of Americanization Chapter 11 Stubborn Exceptions and What They Might Teach Us Part 12 It Will Take a Conservative Theology To Recover a Politically Liberal Jesus and a New Liberal Coalition Chapter 13 Resources in Classical Christianity Chapter 14 What Catholics and Protestants Will Need To Do to Keep Jesus and his Gospel form Becoming Conservative: Some New (Old) Alternatives Chapter 15 Conclusion: Where Do We Go From Here?

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