Evangelicals And Politics

Washington: Christians in the Corridors of Power, by James Hefley and Edward Plowman (Tyndale, 1975, 200 pp., $3.95 pb), is reviewed by Wesley Pippert, UPI correspondent, Washington, D.C.

Two well-known evangelical writers have provided us with the most comprehensive survey yet of professing Christians in official Washington. It is a worthy document for Bicentennial 1976.

Their survey stretches from President Ford and the federal bureaucracy to Congress, from the Prayer Breakfast movement to the churches of the Washington area. Some of the persons, of headline familiarity, may surprise the reader; others, like Senator Mark Hatfield, Representative John Anderson, and Nixon White House political operative Charles Colson, are already known for their Christian witness. The book’s thesis, a valid one, is that the bonds of Jesus Christ cut across denominational lines and, more importantly, across partisanship.

There is a troublesome note here, however. It is expressed by two Christian men in Congress. Says Delegate Walter Fauntroy, a minister who represents the District of Columbia in Congress: “I have difficulty understanding how some of my conservative prayer-breakfast white colleagues can continually vote against programs designed to assist the disadvantaged.” Six pages later, Hefley and Plowman describe Representative Trent Lott of Mississippi as “apple pie positive about the American system,” and quote him as saying, “If I don’t believe that the American dream will work, who in the world will?”

What does it mean to the nation for its leaders to be Christian? When one of them makes a personal decision to accept Christ, we rejoice. When prayer and Bible study, an exemplary life-style, personal morality, ...

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