The Great Awakening

April 15, 2008

I recently read Jim Wallis's new book The Great Awakening. I have appreciated much of his earlier writings and was looking forward to this one. Wallis's magazine Sojourners offers an important voice that adds to Christian discussions. Although his new book is long and at times feels that way, he does offer some very good issues for Christians to think about. His middle chapters offer specific and practical ways for us to to live our faith. These chapters, which deal with issues like poverty, torture, abortion, environmental stewardship, and racism, should inspire anyone to take these issues seriously and work and pray for solutions. For that reason, it is a good book. At the same time, I do fear that Wallis comes off too partisan at times despite his attempts to frame his work as moving past the left and right divide (as the subtitle to his previous book, God's Politics, declared). Although he has allowed himself to be too closely tied to the Democratic Party--much as he critiques other religious leaders for being too closely tied to the Republican Party--he still offers some challenging and hopeful words for us to consider. If more Christians would live out the advice he gives in this book, then we could help do God's work on Earth and make it a better world.