It took Lisa Sharon Harper nearly 10 years to reconcile her faith with her political views. Then she met her first self-described evangelical Democrat in 1991.
At the Los Angeles Nazarene congregation where she attended after college, about half the members were Republican and half were Democrat. It was the first time Harper realized she could both serve God and stay true to her family and upbringing.
Harper, recently named the director of mobilizing at Jim Wallis's Sojourners, was raised by politically involved parents who had her knocking on doors to get out the vote as early as age 7. In a new book, she says she views politics primarily through the impact of policies on relationships, corresponding to the way she understands God's relational view of his creation.
The book, Left, Right & Christ: Evangelical Faith in Politics, released last month from Russell Media, confronts conflicts that fellow believers face over policy and politics. Harper unabashedly represents the Left, while King's College politics professor D. C. Innes represents the Right.
Harper calls the book "a tool to help more Christians be involved in politics." She and Innes agree that "political disengagement is not a moral option." But while both writers are self-avowed Christians, neither pulls any punches about having nearly completely opposite political positions.
"We wrote it in order to give Christians the ability and permission to think, especially evangelicals, because over the past 30 to 40 years or so we've really been trapped in ideologies and the belief that we can't be Christians without being in one party who cares about one or two issues," Harper told me.
Co-author Innes told me the book should encourage believers to think about the principles ...1
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