Wayward Christian Soldiers

Wayward Christian Soldiers : Freeing the Gospel from Political Captivity

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In Wayward Christian Soldiers, leading evangelical theologian Charles Marsh offers a powerful indictment of the political activism of evangelical Christian leaders and churches in the United States. With emphasis on repentence and renewal, this important work advises Christians how to understand past mistakes and to avoid making them in the future. Over the past several years, Marsh observes, American evangelicals have achieved more political power than at any time in their history. But access and influence have come at a cost to their witness in the world and the integrity of their message. The author offers a sobering contrast between the contemporary evangelical elite, which forms the core of the Republican Party, and the historic Christian tradition of respect for the mystery of God and appreciation for human fallibility. The author shows that the most prominent voices in American evangelicalism have arrogantly redefined Christianity on the basis of partisan politics rather than scripture and tradition. The role of politics in distorting the Christian message can be seen most dramatically in the invasion of Iraq, he argues: Some 87% of American evangelicals supported going to war, while every single evangelical church outside the United States opposed it. The Jesus who storms into Baghdad behind the wheel of a Humvee, Marsh points out, is not the Jesus of the Gospel. Indeed, not since the nazification of the German church under Hitler has the political misuse of Christianity led to such catastrophic global consequences. Is there an alternative? This book proposes that the renewal of American churches requires a season of concentrated attention to faith's essential affirmations-a time of hospitality, peacemaking, and contemplative prayer. Offering an authentic Christian alternative to the narcissistic piety of popular evangelicalism, Wayward Christian Soldiers represents a unique entry into the increasingly pivotal debate over the role of faith in American politics.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 256 pages
  • 142.2 x 205.7 x 25.4mm | 385.56g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0195307208
  • 9780195307207
  • 1,673,549

Review quote

Marsh calls for repentance, patient waiting for grace, and a period of serious reflection in American Evangelicalism. He exemplifies a growing strand in the Evangelical weave. * Bernice Martin, TLS * There have been several books published recently analyzing the current trend in American politics toward the right and the hijacking of the political sphere by fundamentalist Christioans there... Charles Marsh's book scores over these other books in... major repects. * Another Plane *show more

About Charles Marsh

Charles Marsh is Professor of Religion and Director of the Project on Lived Theology at the University of Virginia. His books include Reclaiming Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Last Days, God's Long Summer, which won the 1998 Grawemeyer Award in Religion, and most recently, The Beloved Community: How Faith Shapes Social Justice, from the Civil Rights Movement to Today. A graduate of Harvard Divinity School, he has written for The New York Times, Books and Culture, Modern Theology, and numerous other publications.show more

Table of contents

Introduction: On Being a Christian after Bush ; 1. The Evangelical Moment ; 2. The God We Trust ; 3. The Piety of Cosmic Entitlement ; 4. Whatever Happened to the Peculiar People? ; 5. Theology Matters: Including a Brief History of Modern Christianity in Which the Readers Learn Why the Christian Right are the Theological Liberals ; 6. Keepers of the Mystery: The Christian Tradition Speaks (Carefully) ; 7. Learning to Be Quiet in a Noisy Nation (and a Nation of Noisy Believers) ; 8. Passing the International Test: The Call of Global Christianity ; 9. Faith as Making Space for God's Truth in the World ; Bibliography ; Indexshow more

Rating details

34 ratings
3.41 out of 5 stars
5 26% (9)
4 21% (7)
3 26% (9)
2 21% (7)
1 6% (2)
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