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City of Man: Religion and Politics in a New Era

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  118 ratings  ·  26 reviews
From twoformer White House insiders, one acolumnist for the Washington Post, the other for theNew York Times

Our nation is in a political nightmare. With the rise of the Alt-Right, and increasing division between liberals and conservatives, it is hard to know how to be politically engaged while maintaining Christian integrity.

Former White House insiders Michael Gerson and
Hardcover, 144 pages
Published October 1st 2010 by Moody Publishers
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Dennis Henn
Jun 05, 2016 rated it liked it
The authors, both conservative Christians, worked on staff for George W. They discuss the limits, the dangers and the hope of Christians in politics affecting social change. They attempt to be non-partisan as they consider the faith inspired actions of Lincoln, Wilson, Carter, and ML King Jr.
One of my favorite lines gave voice to why many young Christians are distrustful of politics. "They sense that both the religious right and the religious left may be treading the same path--baptizing
Aug 15, 2016 rated it liked it
A nice treatment of evangelical politics in America.
Justin Tapp
Jan 12, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: spiritual, politics

Since I've been working through various presentations of Christian interaction with society, particularly in the economic sphere, I thought it useful to read some modern takes on Christian involvement in politics. I thought Gerson/Wehner would be a good contrast with Jim Wallis. Gerson is a former speech writer in the G.W. Bush White House and current Washington Post pundit (and occasional NewsHour fill-in for David Brooks) and Wehner was also involved in policy strategy for Bush. Both are
Aug 03, 2017 rated it liked it
This makes for fascinating reading, although not for the reasons that the authors originally intended. Before 8 November 2016, it was possible to write a book like this and have it be taken seriously as a prescription for Christians should engage with the world of politics: one that argued (among other things) that it was important for conservatives to be civil, to engage in politics carefully and that a better way of engaging with politics was possible. The authors seem to operate within the ...more
Matthew Rushing
Jun 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019, non-fiction
3.5. A brief primer
Catherine Gillespie
Sep 06, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: culture
My husband works in politics so I probably hear more about it than most people, and yet over the past several years I’ve found myself growing more and more disillusioned with the escalating rhetoric and degenerating tone in our political arena. This is not to say that good people are absent from politics; there are plenty of principled people on both sides of the aisle (including but not limited to my husband!), but in large part I feel like there is a lack of civility, a reluctance to work with ...more
Ben Adkison
Jan 22, 2016 rated it liked it
I received this book from my brother for Christmas and was initially very intrigued because Tim Keller, a man whom I greatly respect, wrote the forward. Gerson and Wehner (the authors of the book) are not theologians, rather they are right-leaning politicians who happen to be Christians and care deeply about both faith and politics. The good thing about this book is that it's not the same-ole', same ole' story from two Christians who have wholesale bought an unchallenged, stale Republican vision ...more
Jun 12, 2016 rated it liked it
"Political engagement is not a luxury. The fighting of raging fires requires not contemplation but a fire extinguisher" (135). But how does the Christian respond in an aggravated political environment? Reading this book was timely this election year. I appreciate the authors' suggestions on appropriate tone in political discourse, the significance for human dignity in our borders and outside of them, and our responsibility as Christians and citizens in the Land of the Free to pursue order and ...more
Tim Hoiland
Aug 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: faith, politics
I finished reading City of Man: Religion and Politics in a New Era a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve been sitting on it, mulling it over, ever since. It’s an important book, warranting a great deal of careful thought, and it’s also one of those rare books on US politics that actually does more to promote civil discourse in the public square than to erode it.

The central question of the book is one both urgent and timeless: "What does it mean to be a Christian citizen in history’s most influential
Donal Elliott
Dec 30, 2010 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I am challenged by the two authors who are committed Christians and able to reflect thoughtfully and critically on how Christians should think about the role and purpose of government. While they acknowledge their own "conservative" slant, they see that ideological bias can blind Christians (left or right) from a biblical approach to policy and how politics is practiced. They recognize that while there is a proper place and responsibility for government to address justice in the public square, ...more
Nov 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A must read for all incumbent and aspiring public servants with Christian faith. It's not a theological book but rather a series of research study perusing the concept of religion and politics. A great book that takes you from history of Christianity movement in the context of our government to how Christians should serve in public service. It doesn't provide you with perfect answers but definitely provides insightful pointers. Read only to have your eyes renewed from distrust of and ...more
Andrew Tucker
May 23, 2015 rated it liked it
Read this book for my internship this summer. It serves its purpose as a primer, I would say its main weakness is lack of clarification. Namely, a brief critique of utilitarianism appears in the book, shortly followed by the presentation of an ideology that seems utilitarian because the clarification following is subtle. Not a huge problem but something that stayed in the back of my head while I read.

Ultimately, its an easy read worth engaging for an introduction.
Apr 26, 2013 rated it it was ok
A very muddled explanation of the relation between faith and culture/politics, which is disappointing but unsurprising considering how much confusion there is among Christians today on how their faith relates to the pluralistic public square. It also didn't help that virtually all of the examples were partisan (guess which side). A much better treatment of this subject can be found in Tim Keller's book Center Church (Part 5: Cultural Engagement).
Nov 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
A gracious call to Christians to recognize their call to citizenship that seeks common good, exercises gracious persuasion, and respects the proper bounds of the noble calling of political involvement as work firmly situated in our present residence in the City of Man, with the hopeful anticipation of the coming City of God as our final home.
Chris Griffith
Oct 14, 2010 rated it it was ok
Interesting and brief introduction to religion and politics. Strong points: writers encourage Christians to not be separatists but rather be engaged in what's happening in the political realm. Weakness: Very little mention of the Lordship of Christ and the need to disciple the nations. These two former George W. Bush speech writers appear to be no fans of any type of Christendom.
Jordan J. Andlovec
Dec 23, 2014 rated it liked it
A helpful primer to Christian political engagement post-Moral Majority era outrage. It was fairly well-rounded, and although they are both tried and true conservatives, the authors are wise enough to know they don't have all the answers.
Jan 26, 2011 rated it liked it
A good book in an area that needs some serious theological thinking, but it wasn't quite as deep as I had hoped. The last few chapters had some solid practical advice. I am still looking for a book that deals more with the theory and history of political thought from a Christian perspective.
Andrew Mcneill
Mar 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
A useful overview of why and how Christians should be involved in politics. The writers come from a conservative stance and while I disagree with some of their conclusions, they state their positions humbly and with grace. A short read, but a worthwhile one.
Justin Dillehay
Mar 19, 2016 rated it liked it
After several years of good intentions and several months of enjoying Gerson's and Wehner's columns online I finally got around to reading this little book. If you read nothing else, read chapters 4 and 5 on "The Morality of Human Rights" and "The Role and Purpose of the State."
Will Dole
Aug 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A brief, helpful, book on why Christians ought to engage in, but not hope in, the political realm. We are citizens of the City of God, called to act for the good of the City of Man. Well worth your time.
Sep 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Another 3.5. I was hoping for more specifics/direction/elaboration in the last chapter.
John Feaver
Aug 29, 2012 rated it liked it
Makes you think. The book is uneven in spots.
Dec 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
Loved this book. If I had high school-aged kids, this would be mandatory reading.
Gene Grossmann
Excellent perspective on left vs. right with respect to political and religious philosophies.
Gary Scott
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Jan 05, 2018
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Feb 26, 2011
Scott Ristau
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Sep 25, 2016
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Nov 14, 2015
Christian Boyd
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Mar 10, 2019
Linda Baker
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Jul 14, 2019
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Michael John Gerson is an op-ed columnist for The Washington Post and a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He served as President George W. Bush's chief speechwriter from 2001 until June 2006, as a senior policy advisor from 2000 through June 2006, and was a member of the White House Iraq Group.
“The City of Man is our residence for now, and we care for its order and justice. The City of God is our home.” 0 likes
“Christians have seldom been less appealing than when acting in the name of “Christendom.” But when the faithful have ignored political power, they have sometimes again brought discredit on their ideals. Sins of omission can be as deadly as sins of commission. So the exercise of politics requires walking a tightrope. It is both a temptation and a responsibility; it can act like an addictive drug or a healing medicine.” 0 likes
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