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.

2 comments

  1. Go out and buy David Gushee's new book. I read both Gushee and Wallis at the same time. My belief is - if you've read one Wallis book, you've read 'em all. I needed something with more substance and more scholarly.

    You'll at least enjoy seeing your name in Gushee's book. I think you signed the Torture document which Gushee reprints and analyzes in the book. He also reprints several additional evangelical statements that make for good resources.

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  2. You are correct that Wallis's books seem a lot alike. I really enjoyed God's Politics and probably would have liked this one more had I not read that one. I also agree about Gushee's book. I got it at the Celebration of a New Baptist Covenant and it is fantastic. I will post on it soon (and noticed you already did a good job on it).

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