Faith and Politics – Book reviews

Published on: 1 March 2019

A selection of books on the theme of faith and politics.

God in Public

How the Bible speaks truth to power today

Tom Wright

SPCK Publications (2016) £12.99, Revelation price £10.00

What has Christianity to do with power? Why must Christians act as the voice of the voiceless? How can speaking of God in public help to create new structures of justice and peace?

These central questions run throughout Tom Wright’s book, in which he demonstrates the many ways in which faithful interpretation of scripture can throw fresh light on the great political and ethical problems of the early 21st century.

The author draws on his years of experience as a member of the House of Lords and with his scholarship has produced a compelling book that will speak to everyone who wants to engage biblically and intelligently with some of the most pressing issues of our day.

 On God’s Side

What religion forgets, and politics hasn’t learned about serving the common good

Jim Wallis

Lion Books (2013) £9.99, Revelation price £8.00

In this hopeful book, Jim Wallis shows how left and right, religious and non-religious, Christians and those of other faiths may find common ground working for the benefit of communities, neighbours and our world.

As the author writes, “Our life together can be better. It’s time to hear and heed a call to a different way of life, to reclaim a very old idea called the common good”. He asks, who is our neighbour in the 21st century in the age of austerity when different ideas of fairness clamour for attention? What can we as individuals and heads of state do to build up the common good?

God and Churchill

Jonathan Sandys and Wallace Henley

SPCK Publishing (2016) £9.99, Revelation price £8.00

When Winston Churchill was only a boy of 16 he already had a vision for his purpose in life. He believed that Britain would be subjected somehow to a tremendous invasion and that he would be in charge of the defences of London. He would be responsible in saving the capital and the Empire.

God and Churchill tells the remarkable story of how one man, armed with a belief in his divine destiny, embarked on a course to ‘save Christian civilization against opposing forces of evil’ during the second world war. Sandys and Henley trace the personal, political and spiritual paths of one of history’s great leaders, offering hope for our own troubled times.

Faith in Politics?

Rediscovering the Christian roots of our political values

Richard Harries

Darton, Longman & Todd (New edition 2014; originally published 2010) £12.99, Revelation price £10.00

In 2004, a public attitudes survey suggested that 32 per cent of British people believed that all or most of our members of parliament told the truth. In 2012 this had dropped to 20 per cent. In 2004, 50 per cent of respondents believed that most members of parliament did not use their power for personal gain. In 2012 this had dropped to 33 per cent.

Harries argues that it is essential for the health of our society that we recover confidence in our political values; such as the rule of law, democracy and human rights, all of which are deeply grounded in a Christian understanding of what it is to be a human being within society. In this new edition, he reflects particularly on the Scottish referendum and the rise of UKIP.

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Articles in this issue...

Where we all think alike, no one thinks very much

Tim Lenton meets some local Christians expressing their faith in the political arena.


Jesus Cristo é o Senhor!

At the time of writing, with Brexit possibly just weeks away, David Foster joined some of the congregation of Igreja Batista de Dereham, a vibrant Portuguese-language congregation, over coffee and bolo de arroz to find out about their life in Norfolk and their hopes and fears for the future.


Aylsham High School Festival of Faith

Do God and politics mix? How will Brexit affect the Church? How does faith motivate the work of Christians in politics? Who would Jesus vote for?


Diocese in Europe offers reassurance

Did you know that the Church of England has a Diocese in Europe? Some of their Ordinands train alongside ours through the Eastern Region Ministry Course. Charles Read asked the Diocesan Bishop, The Rt Revd Dr Robert Innes, a few questions.


Moving beyond ‘us’ and ‘them’

When people in Norfolk ask the Revd Philip Harvey where he's from, he pauses. The pause accounts for the fact that he left Australia in 2002, then lived in Germany, Oman, Luxembourg and, since July 2017, in Sprowston (north Norwich) as curate. He shares his thoughts on the perspective this physical and spiritual journey has given him.


People of faith in a time of uncertainty

Lee Marsden, Professor of Faith and Global Politics, University of East Anglia considers a faith response to our current geopolitical turmoil.


Seeing Christ in those we disagree with

Bishop Alan's urges us to be counter-cultural.


Faith and politics: what would Jesus do?

Catherine Waddams, economist and professor considers Jesus' response in the political arena.


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