Monday, July 22, 2013

On God's Side by Jim Wallis

There are many things that Jim Wallis writes with which I agree.

There are many things that Jim Wallis writes with which I disagree.

The wonderful thing about reading a Jim Wallis book is the grace in which he writes. He does not bash you over the head for disagreeing with him. He doesn't resort to the name-calling ridiculousness from many political pundits.

Make no mistake, Jim Wallis is a left-of-center thinker. He has made many enemies since Glenn Beck declared war on him. In On God's Side, Wallis attempts to toe the center line. But even more than political lines, he tries to explain what God would do with our country's current situations.

I enjoyed reading his open letter to President Obama in which he criticizes him for being seduced by the special interest groups. I enjoyed reading his letter to other elected officials as well.

Part of the problem Wallis has with the more conservative readers is that he uses "hot button" words that liberals use all the time. Words that typically would have served the purpose but, because of their political baggage, have been usurped.

He wrote this book while on sabbatical and it's practically a response to the recent presidential campaign. I agree with his thoughts on how our presidential campaign (and most other national campaigns) has become all about saying whatever will get either candidate the most money. It has turned into the poster ad for human ugly. (perhaps it's always been that way) I can never agree more with the call for civility from our elected officials - Presidents, Senators and Congressmen and women.

However, there were other aspects where I disagree with his political leanings. It's always terrifying when someone tries to lay claim to Jesus and their political beliefs. Wallis does a fairly admirable job and avoiding this but, as I said, he uses "flash" words that will turn most conservatives off instantly.

Read this book for an example of civility when discussing religion and politics. Discuss it with friends and see how, more often than not, the civility will die a quick death.

This book was provided for review, at no cost, by Brazos Press.

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