Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It” as Want to Read:
God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  3,466 ratings  ·  289 reviews
New York Times bestseller God's Politics struck a chord with Americans disenchanted with how the Right had co-opted all talk about integrating religious values into our politics, and with the Left, who were mute on the subject. Jim Wallis argues that America's separation of church and state does not require banishing moral and religious values from the public square. God's ...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published August 29th 2006 by HarperOne (first published January 1st 2005)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about God's Politics, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about God's Politics

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,466 ratings  ·  289 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It
Jun 03, 2007 rated it did not like it
Will the real progressive religious left please stand up? I cannot consider Jim Wallis a true religious progressive when he won't stand up for women's rights and lgbtq people. He wants to say that abortion and gay marriage are "moral issues" and that responding to poverty is the "real" heart of the gospel. What he fails to recognize is that abortion is an economic justice issue. Poor women are 3 times as likely to have an abortion, and because of the Hyde amendment and lack of federal funding, t ...more
Stephanie "Jedigal"
Dec 04, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Christian ministers
Not a Christian myself, I was nevertheless attracted by the title. Having long been fed up by my perception over the years of the increased failure by politicians to make moral decisions when legislating, my "to be read" shelves are becoming populated with political commentary. This is one of the first I chose to read.

The main thrust of the book is that
-- Christ advocated the use of government to address social issues, such as poverty;
-- the Religious Right has allied itself with the party le
Scott Rhee
Conservatives (and by that I generally mean Republicans) like to think that they have a monopoly on Christian moral values. Conversely, liberals (i.e. Democrats) believe that they are the more rational and level-headed, owing to their more secularist views. Neither, of course, are correct or viable mindsets.

Personal experience has led me to the conclusion that rationality and logic can be found in both politics and religion. Such rationality is, unfortunately, difficult to unearth because it is
Jan 03, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: gluttons for punishment
Recommended to Gilee by: Josh Reid
Shelves: nonfiction
This was one of the great disappointments of my late 20's. This book.
The beginning was intriguing...what? you mean to tell me that there's others out there like me? who believe that Jesus was a radical and we Christians should be helping the poor? and that these fringe issues the Religious Right gets into are really vehicles to control the masses and rarely actually advocate for Biblically-based directives? that, in fact, if you get down to the main platforms of Christianity, no one in our poli
May 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People who are serious about applying Scripture to their lives
Recommended to Amanda by: Jack Cole
For content, this book would have gotten five stars, but it loses a star for its writing quality. This book is so very repetitive that it becomes an annoyance. The author has a few favorite phrases he likes to use over and over again (such as describing Martin Luther King, Jr. with "a Bible in one hand and the Constitution in the other"), as well as statistics he likes to constantly remind the reader about (such as thirteen million homeless children in this country). These statements, while init ...more
May 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfic-religion
This is a book that is needed in the modern world. It's one I've been hoping to see, and it actually came out in 2005. I've been saying for many years that religious people need to do more to counter the extremism that seems to be creeping into Christianity these days, especially that which has a political agenda. There are many moral issues to deal with in our time, not just gay rights, abortion and prayer in schools. There is how we treat the poor, fair versus free trade, the environment, and ...more
Dec 21, 2007 rated it did not like it
Shelves: political
I really wanted to like this book. Unfortunately it's just not very good, and I say that even though I agree with most of the general positions taken.

First, the book tries to make it seem like the right and left are equally outside Christian values. To do this the author repeats standard Republican lies about the left, which not only is insulting but by lying the author undercuts his moral authority. Even bending over backwards like that, the author still makes it clear the sad state that the ri
Ben Bush
Read this for a book review back in '05. I know neurotic that I'm logging this stuff but it's interesting for me to see what I remember of these things. ...more
May 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018-to-read
My rating reflects a deep disappointment with this book. I did not realize that it was written primarily to Christians and is a Bible-based argumentation for social justice. However, it is not Wallis' fault that I was not his intended audience. It IS his fault for maintaining an academically weak argument and naive worldview in the face of overwhelming evidence that contradicts his deep conviction that the majority of Evangelical Christians, like him, care about social justice and bipartisan sol ...more
May 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
Jim Wallis mixes religion and politics lamenting how far we have to go in addressing social issues. It was particularly painful to read this 2006 discourse since these issues have gotten worse in the last 10+ years. The Religious Right leans to the Republican party which is the one less likely to provide relief, despite Christ advocating the government to address our problems. Reading the book made me want to go back in time when Christian leaders were social change agents 50+ years ago with the ...more
Rick Lee Lee James
Spot On

Jim Wallis is a great example of how to be in and not if the world of politics. He is a prophetic voice in a world desperately in need of it. This is a really important read, especially in the time of President Trump, but it could use an update for relevancy.
Joseph Sverker
Can't say that I object to much, or any really, in this book. But what for me sounds rather mainstream and self-evident obviously isn't so in its American context. It makes me a be sad that I book like this even is needed. Wallis' approach to same-sex relations is thought worthy annovel in a polarised debate. ...more
Aug 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: politics
We should pray and worry earnestly if God is on our side - A. Lincoln

Religion and politics have a vision problem.

Fundamentalism is a reaction against modernism.

Politicians never address the problem, but use the poor and sacrifice them on the altar of political power, either democrat or republican.

We’re all in this together, and we refuse to be separated by republican or democrat labels.
Focused on the 2004 presidential election, God’s Politics is a sweeping commentary on the two-party American political system. Jim Wallis believes that American leaders have a vision problem: a basic lack of vision. Therefore, Wallis recommends adopting a vision of justice borrowed from the pages of the Old Testament prophets. He believes, as I do, that our political system spends too much time, energy, and money on partisan bickering, acknowledging that every important social movement in Americ ...more
Dec 21, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
While I am very glad that I read this book, God’s Politics isn’t perfect by any means. It is sometimes repetitive, and I think that there are areas in which Mr. Wallis glosses over incredibly complicated and thorny issues with too much ease for my liking. However, it did what I needed it to. I think I was already in a place where I was ready to hear a lot of what the author had to say, though.

First of all, this book suggests that people of faith should in no way feel obligated to give their unco
Bart Breen
May 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
A must read Book for people of Conscience and Intelligence

Wallis brings an important and much needed message to the religious and political arena. Most of what he has to say is articulate, well thought out and presents the important message that Christians must beware of the dangers of "Group-Think."

My primary criticism and the reason I give the book 4 stars rather than what would have otherwise surely been a 5, is that the title is somewhat misleading. Reading this book I was under the impressi
Matt Hartzell
Mar 05, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone
Shelves: politics
This was a pretty meaty book to get through, and I don't think that has everything to do with an abundance of unique content. This book probably could have been cut down a bit.

That being said, I think I generally enjoyed the book and the challenges that Jim Wallis gives. I loved the call to a new kind of approach to politics, and it helped me to understand my own misgivings about the whole political process. At times, I feel negatively about American politics, and this book helped me to articula
Feb 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
Wallis makes a fantastic argument, though the book could be a bit more concise. I agree with his basic premise, that God isn't interested in selective morality, in choosing left or right in politics, that He's interested instead in all moral choices, from war and poverty to sexuality and abortion.

His stance is fresh and appealing, but I have just one complaint. He too frequently lampoons Republicans for being greedy money grubbers. Again, I agree with his words on how much God is concerned with
Mar 11, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read many short articles by Jim Wallis but this is the first extended book of his that I have read. Overall I think that Wallis has a prophetic voice that the American Church needs to hear. After reading this book, I'm not convinced that the book format provides the best platform for him. I felt he was at times repetitive and some of the chapters read like a compilation of shorter articles. But I may have felt this way because I was already familiar with some of his writing.

Despite my rese
Mar 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Folks who can handle being challenged
Those who cling to their political ideologies and parties will find this book difficult, because it exposes the idiocy of both sides of the divide. From what I've noted among other critiques, folks have a hard time dealing with their particular tribe coming under the microscope and fail to see that both sides of the fence receive Wallis' sense of frustration. It's not a "liberal" or "conservative" tome, despite the offended's insistence upon such.

It is, however, an interesting read, albeit redu
Dec 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
Jesus called us to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, care for the sick, and be of service in other simple ways to 'the least of these'. This was the essence of the greater part of his message to us and is central to us learning and showing that we love God as He loves us.

This book, published after the 2004 election, throws cold water in the face of the meanness of the political right and the vacuousness of the political left with regard to how they treat religion in their campaigns.

I think thi
Aug 14, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
As much as I love the sentiments and agree with much of what he had to say, I could not enjoy this book. He failed to say much more than has been said in many of the Sojourners advertisements and that is an absolute travesty. I feel as if I have heard much of this just by reading articles on the website, but I believe this might be helpful for those who might be looking for a new political response by a Christian. I would not say I am incredibly informed even, so I can not recommend this to any ...more
Jan 05, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2010, kindle
I was slowed down in this book by the over-emphasis on the war in Iraq. Seriously? The first two or three chapters, ok. But then... it... kept... going... on... forever. Once I got through those chapters, the book flew by and I thought Mr. Wallis lacked the same level of detail and depth in to social justice issues. He completely ignored the role of poverty in abortion and never thought to address the legality issue even within the his proposed framework of the consistency in the value of human ...more
Sep 17, 2008 rated it it was ok
Redundant, cliche and drawn out. Still, there are some parts that are very impressive and inspirational. I especially liked his section on Israel-Palestine and respect his sincere efforts to confront poverty in a collaborative effort with anyone who cares. While he clearly has his motives in the right place, I think the book is too long and he says things that are obvious to a liberal--- though maybe I wasn't the intended audience. He also self-references a lot! ...more
Dec 31, 2009 rated it it was ok
Needed an editor. If this was half as long, I might have loved it. But, it was too repetative, tried to say everything about the political agenda of social justice religious groups and took up far too much space quoting the author's own former witings. Did we really need to read his op ed articles, public letters and sermons when they simply repeated what he was already saying three other times in the same chapter? ...more
Jul 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is a refreshing outlook from a man who is a Christian in the truest sense of the word. It is unfortunate that the extreme right professing to be Christians aren't required to read this book. I have loaned this book to many people of ALL different religious persuasions (including an atheist or two) and all have come away with positive thoughts and a better understanding of today's moderate Christians as well as the extremists.

This is a book that I will re-read every couple years.
Jul 02, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, policy
I would've liked this book if I read it when I bought it. But I read it in 2007, when Wallis' warnings about the war seem less prescient and more "well, duh." Poor timing.
Also he makes points, then inserts a sermon or open letter or article that he wrote as the next chapter, which covers the same ground. Gets somewhat repetitious.
Joshua Alvarez
Oct 07, 2020 rated it liked it
This book could have ended at the first section. The overview of each point is more than enough to understand what Wallis is arguing with ample justification. Each individual section just fleshes out a point that doesnt need the added attention.

I gave 3 stars because the argument is sound and one I agree with. However, this could have been a 100 pg book rather than +350.
Aug 18, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: political
This book is intended for conservatives i.e. not for me, so I'm going to write off my complaints as simply being irrelevant to the author's intention. However his constant bending over backwards to create a false moral equivalence between the Right and Left is repulsive. ...more
Dan Craig
Oct 19, 2007 rated it it was ok
"Not bad, exactly, but it's much too focused on how Jim Wallis has all the answers to the problems facing the nation. I didn't think it grappled particularly honestly with what are actual deeply-held positions (on both sides) ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Plan of Attack
  • Experiencing Prayer with Jesus: The Power of His Presence and Example
  • Literary Wonderlands: A Journey Through the Greatest Fictional Worlds Ever Created
  • The Making of the President 1968
  • The Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race and Inequality in Postwar Detroit
  • Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth
  • Louder Than Words: The New Science of How the Mind Makes Meaning
  • Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling
  • The Lamb's Agenda: Why Jesus Is Calling You to a Life of Righteousness and Justice
  • The Third Option: Hope for a Racially Divided Nation
  • Reading While Black: African American Biblical Interpretation as an Exercise in Hope
  • Beer and Circus: How Big-Time College Sports Has Crippled Undergraduate Education
  • Yes, and...: Daily Meditations
  • Babbitt
  • Main Street
  • Kent State:  What Happened and Why
  • Off Main Street: Barnstormers, Prophets  Gatemouth's Gator: Essays
  • Population: 485 : Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time
See similar books…
See top shelves…
JIM WALLIS is a globally respected writer, teacher, preacher, justice advocate, regular international commentator on ethics and public life, and mentor for a new generation. He is a New York Times bestselling author of twelve books, including Christ in Crisis, America's Original Sin, God's Politics and The Great Awakening. Wallis is the Founder of Sojourners. He served on President Obama's White H ...more

News & Interviews

Believe it or not, we're halfway through 2021! As is our tradition, this is the time when the Goodreads editorial team burrows into our data to...
108 likes · 79 comments
“It just doesn’t make spiritual sense to suggest that the evil all lies “out there” with our adversaries and enemies, and none of it is “in here” with us—embedded in our own attitudes, behaviors, and policies.” 7 likes
“Most Americans believe that if you work hard and full-time, you should not be poor. But the truth is that many working families are, and many low-income breadwinners must hold down multiple jobs just to survive.” 2 likes
More quotes…