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Public Faith in Action: How to Think Carefully, Engage Wisely, and Vote with Integrity

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  107 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Celebrated Theologian Offers Wisdom for Civic Engagement

Christian citizens have a responsibility to make political and ethical judgments in light of their faith and to participate in the public lives of their communities--from their local neighborhoods to the national scene. But it can be difficult to discern who to vote for, which policies to support, and how to respond t
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published June 21st 2016 by Brazos Press
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Robert D. Cornwall
Miroslav Volf has produced two excellent books so far this year. This book co-authored with his former student Ryan McAnnally-Linz, follows upon Volf's book Flourishing: Why We Need Religion in a Globalized World, in which it is argued that religion has much to offer the pursuit of flourishing in our world. It is also a direct follow-up to Volf's 2011 book A Public Faith: How Followers of Christ Should Serve the Common Good. Both are essential reading for those wondering about how people of fait ...more
Troy Nevitt
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book had a few really key insights that are worth catching, but it was boring and often would have me questioning the author's motives. I believe that this book spawned from a series of Facebook posts that eventually became a book. It shows in many ways. A lot of the topics are not thought out well. However, with soundbite thoughts, there are some very valuable thoughts scattered throughout the book. ...more
A wide-ranging discussion of the author's viewpoints regarding various public policy issues and what he believes the Christian response should be.

The author seems at home in mainline Protestantism and his answers are shaped accordingly; one would expect some different answers from someone on the more conservative end of the spectrum. Such might call into question the entire enterprise; while the author does often grant "room for debate" in many of the issues, others would want to have that "deba
Amy Hughes
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology, non-fiction
I finished this book a long time ago but I've since used it as the resource for undergrad roundtables on theology in the public sphere. Volf and McAnnally-Linz begin with the why of a book on such a range of topics: because Christ came for humanity and the Christian faith is about the flourishing of all humans. This book offered my students an excellent overview of why theology matters in topics ranging from war to education to poverty and the environment. Each chapter is succinct but still cove ...more
Derek Davidson
Jul 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Probably the best book I’ve ever read in the area of public politics and Christianity. A great framework laid out for engagement and super practical chapters on numerous topics including marriage, abortion, PAS, policing, etc
Matthew Richey
I usually enjoy and appreciate Volf (even if I don't always agree with him) but this was a disappointment. Not particularly helpful, convincing or insightful. ...more
Tim Hoiland
Jun 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: faith, politics, 2016
“Christian faith has an inalienable public dimension.”

That’s the fundamental assumption underlying Public Faith in Action: How to Think Carefully, Engage Wisely, and Vote with Integrity, the new book from Miroslav Volf and Ryan McAnnally-Linz.

Public Faith in Action began as a series of Facebook posts by Volf during the 2012 election cycle, and in many ways is a follow-up to his 2011 book, A Public Faith: How Followers of Christ Should Serve the Common Good, which I reviewed several years back.

Jun 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Miroslav Volf and Ryan McAnnally-Linz cover a large amount of ground in this volume. Each chapter is quite concise but packed with relevant and thought-provoking insights.

The first three chapters discuss the Christian basis for engagement with public policy and civics. The authors discuss hermeneutical principles and basis for public engagement.

The bulk of the volume is found in the middle section in which seventeen contemporary public policy, social, and justice issues are discussed. It range
Aug 11, 2016 rated it liked it
This was a disappointment, especially after Volf's first "Public Faith" book, which was quite good. Some of the problem here may simply be that Volf and McAnnally-Linz bit off more than they could chew in a book of this size. Part 1 on "Commitments" was okay. The authors lay out some good foundations for Christian political engagement, but they don't go far enough. Considering where Part 2 goes I would have liked to see a thorough argument in Part 1 justifying the government involvement and use ...more
Jun 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Have you ever imagined what people are faced with when we all turn off all media streams, gadgets, and social media news feeds? People are faced with situations where thinking carefully, engaging wisely with others, and voting with integrity in an era fraught with partisan polarity and name-calling. This is the importance of this book for Christians, for living with others is putting our faith into action. The strength of this book is the author provides Christians with a road map for being in h ...more
Oct 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Miroslav Volf is a theologian at the Yale Divinity School. This book is really a compilation of blog posts - which makes for an easy read. The book presupposes not only a familiarity with the Bible, but with an intimate one. Therefore, I think if you haven't studied the Bible the references he makes (which he assumes one to be familiar with) may not resonate. I guess what I'm saying is that you can't pick this up and expect to be spoon fed - you have to have a base of knowledge to begin with. Ha ...more
Jun 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is the book I thought I was working on to right... and then Volf goes ahead and does it! :)

The major problem with this book is it is THOUGHTFUL. It asks us as believers to think carefully, and we just don't seem to have that willingness in our current political climate.

There are major things I disagree with Volf on, but that is the point. He allows for putting a tough topic in play and then having civil discussion. Again... that's our current failure as people of faith in our American cul
Samuel Schaar
Aug 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well Articulated

I was most impressed by the breadth of topics addressed in this book. Many common themes of history as well as many contemporary issues. I especially resonated with the Christocentric underpinning and the focus upon a Christological interpretation of the bible in order to flesh out the ways followers of Jesus can think about major issues and act on those same issues. Worth reflecting on in our reactive, emotional and fearful current milieu.
Daniel Wells
Jul 18, 2016 rated it liked it
I appreciate the general thesis and purpose of the book. However, the theologizing is somewhat weak as the authors overstate their case at points.

Volf isn't at his best here. He is at his best when he defends a historically orthodox Christian doctrine or practice using his vast array of imaginative resources.
April Bumgardner
Feb 02, 2018 rated it liked it
A great range of topics and a thoughtful Christian response to them. For an introductory understanding of the authors’ views on these cultural and spiritual issues this book is helpful. However, Volf’s book A Public Faith does a much more thorough job. This one feels like a collection of blog posts.
Feb 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'll be passing this one on to others and hope for some discussion! ...more
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Miroslav Volf is the Henry B. Wright Professor of Theology at Yale Divinity School and the founding director of the Yale Center for Faith & Culture. “One of the most celebrated theologians of our time,” (Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury), Volf is a leading expert on religion and conflict. His recent books include Against the Tide: Love in a Time of Petty Dreams and Persisting Enmities, and ...more

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