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Good and Bad Ways to Think about Religion and Politics
POD; Published: 9/23/2010
ISBN: 978-0-8028-6364-5
Price: $ 19.99
128 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 5.5 x 8.5
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"There is nothing greater than indignation to stimulate a writer to write," says Robert Benne, "and my outrage has been stirred mightily by reading so many wrongheaded 'takes' on how religion and politics ought to be related."

Benne's anger has compelled him to present this clear argument for a more reasonable approach to the inevitable relationship between religion and politics. Secularists may call for a complete separation of church and state; left- and right-wing Christians alike may zealously (though often unintentionally) fuse them together -- but neither approach really works.

Benne's alternative -- "critical engagement" -- encourages church bodies and individual believers to step beyond the confusion and noisy rhetoric. He offers practical help in identifying core Christian convictions, deciding which of these can and should influence public policy, and translating those convictions into political action.

Read a review of the book by our own Rachel Bomberger on EerdWord.
Max L. Stackhouse
— Princeton Theological Seminary
"Drawing on the classic traditions of both Protestantism and Catholicism, Benne artfully states contemporary theological options and outlines the practical implications for both believers and practicing policy-makers on the most controversial issues. Excellent for clergy and politically interested laity alike."
Robert Tuttle
— George Washington University
"Bob Benne's engaging and provocative analysis of religion and politics deserves close attention by those on both sides of the debates that currently roil our polity and churches."
Francis J. Beckwith
— Baylor University
"Although this is a small book, it is packed with real insight. Benne wisely navigates between several extremes while always mindful that, though the Christian is a citizen of two kingdoms, it is in only one of them that he can find the eternal source of all that could possibly be good and true in the other."
James Nuechterlein
— Senior Editor at Large, First Things
"Robert Benne's thoughtful take on the right relation between religion and politics is both theologically perceptive and politically shrewd. Our politics would be better if those active in the public square followed his wise and balanced prescriptions."
"This very accessible volume should be required reading for politics and religion majors, for clergy and laity alike, as well as for all who aspire to public office."
First Things
"Although this is a small book, it is packed with real insight."
Christianity Today
"Benne shepherds believers, voluntary associations, and churches along the winding pathway linking core Christian convictions to contemporary policy options."
Journal of Church and State
"Acts as a helpful introduction to the intersection of religion and politics and offers some clarifying concepts that will benefit Christian laypeople and clergy alike."