online book group on faith and politics

Bob Carlton at The Corner is inviting bloggers to dialogue in an online book group around God’s Politics : Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It. Bob’s hoping to launch this on Monday April 4, with the chapter-by-chapter discussions starting the week of April 11. They’d have a central coordinating blog, but the majority of “action” would rotate through your individual blogs, with bloggers cross commenting [and trackbacking].

It’s an aggressive reading schedule, and my plates too full to participate myself, but I love the idea of being able to talk about religion and politics in a civil manner. I got the green light for me and you to spread the word on the blogosphere.

Bob’s disclaimer: this book group is not connected in any fashion to Jim Wallis, HarperSanFrancisco (publisher of the book,) or Sojourners – the reign of God does need another fawning fan club for a book or magazine, nor does the Internet need any more rock star hero worshipping (except for Babylon 5, of course). Instead, this discussion would use the book as a starting point to foster discussion around how faith, politics and culture intersect, particularly in the amped-up world of partisan steroids we seem to find ourselves in. There are countless folks in pews, pulpits and on the street who are eager to transcend the red/blue or right/left polarities that have tended to hold our country captive, reducing us to stereotypes and prejudices in false “debate”. In some small, geeky way, this book group would try to prayerfully and lovingly dive into the muck and be a guide on the side for others who yearn to learn how to challenge the Left, the Right, government, and our religious communities to work for change in America and the world through a renewed sense of “prophetic politics.”

To participate, please email Bob at [email protected], with the following info:

(1) if you need a copy of the book (with your mailing address)
(2) which of the chapters below you’d like to post a discussion at your blog

Tentative Schedule:

Week of April 4
Introduction : why can’t we talk about religion and politics?

Week of April 11
Chapter 1 Take back the faith 3 April 11
Chapter 2 A lack of vision 20 April 13
Chapter 3 Is there a politics of God? 31 April 15

Week of April 18
Chapter 4 Protest is good; alternatives are better 43 April 18
Chapter 5 How should your faith influence your politics? 56 April 20
Chapter 6 Prophetic politics 72 April 22

Week of April 25
Chapter 7 Be not afraid 87 April 25
Chapter 8 Not a just war 108 April 27
Chapter 9 Dangerous religion 137 April 29

Week of May 2
Chapter 10 Blessed are the peacemakers 159 May 2
Chapter 11 Against impossible odds 172 May 4
Chapter 12 Micah’s vision for national and global security 187 May 6

Week of May 9
Chapter 13 The poor you will always have with you? 209 May 9
Chapter 14 Poor people are trapped – in the debate about poverty 221 May 11
Chapter 15 Isaiah’s platform 241 May 13

Week of May 16
Chapter 16 Amos and Enron 259 May 16
Chapter 17 The tipping point 270 May 18
Chapter 18 A consistent ethic of life 297 May 20

Week of May 23
Chapter 19 Truth telling about race 307 May 23
Chapter 20 The ties that bond 321 May 25
Chapter 21 The critical choice 343 May 27

Week of May 30
Epilogue : we are the ones we’ve been waiting for 373

Please spread the word, participate, and let’s open up a place to dialogue about faith and diverse political opinions.

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