Saturday, July 08, 2006

This book is a monograph and mini symposium all in one package. Approximately three-quarters of the work is Budziszewski's exposition on evangelical political thought and action, explored primarily through four major historical evangelical political practitioners: Carl F. H. Henry, Abraham Kuyper, Francis Schaeffer, and John Howard Yoder. Budziszewski argues that despite positive engagement, evangelicals in general, and these evangelicals specifically, have lacked a comprehensive political philosophy that can fully engage secular political thought. He suggests that an inclusion of a natural law perspective into evangelical political thought is a profitable way forward for further and fuller political engagement. An introduction by Michael Cromartie and an afterward by Jean Bethke Elshtain frame and engage Budziszewski's arguments, as do four responses on the specific figures Budziszewski discusses by David L. Weeks (on Henry), John Bolt (on Kuyper), William Edgar (on Schaeffer) and Ashley Woodiwiss (on Yoder). The result is a timely work that offers historical perspective on and constructive proposals for evangelical politics.

Wilfred M. McClay (University of Tennessee at Chattanooga) says, "Evangelical Christians have long been faced with a paradox. The dynamism of their faith moves them irrepressibly in the direction of its public expression, as is evident in evangelicalism's long history of reform activism. But their faith has generally been formulated in ways that fail to supply a clear and consistent framework for the sustained engagement of public issues. Hence the energetic but also piecemeal and ad hoc quality of much evangelical political activity. This valuable book, a critical but constructive look at four of the theorists upon whom American evangelicals have relied in the past, begins to sketch out paths that might lead evangelicals past the paradox. As such, it will be required reading."

Ronald J. Sider (Palmer Seminary) says, "A clearly argued, provocative, and important contribution to a growing, increasingly sophisticated, evangelical reflection on political philosophy."
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