Reclaiming Politics

recl-hopeIn his just-released book Reclaiming Hope, Michael Wear writes about his time working in the Obama White House as Director of Faith Outreach (including for the 2012 reelection campaign), and the reasons people of faith should engage in politics. (We should get involved, says Wear, as a matter of fulfilling the command to love our neighbors and seek the well being of society.) In the excerpt below, Wear discusses how politics can affect (and has affected) the state of our souls to our detriment given the division and toxicity marking so much of our political discourse. This is the first in a series of posts featuring excerpts from the book I think are worth sharing.

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“One lesson from my time working with the president and religious leaders is that politics is a central influencer of the cultural health of our nation. This book focuses on politics because political institutions create and drive culture, and we can no longer ignore this aspect of how politics functions. As I have talked to pastors around the country, I’ve come to understand that many of those who refrain from political engagement do so not because they believe it is unimportant, but because they know, for too many of their congregants, politics is important in all of the wrong ways. If we are to reclaim hope, we must understand our nation’s political life and our role in it. Politics is causing great spiritual harm and a big reason for that is people are going to politics to have their inner needs met.

“One dictionary defines ‘reclaim’ this way: “to bring (uncultivated areas or wasteland) into a condition for cultivation or other use.” This book takes that process quite literally” (xxix).

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2 comments

  1. jaybark7

    Thanks, Javier for sharing. Based on your recommendation – and a few others – I have a copy sitting on my nightstand. I have another book to finish first, but it’s next on my to-read list. Look forward to seeing more of your excerpts from it.

    • Javier

      Hey Jeremy – I’m glad to hear that! I not only enjoyed the book but I also think it’s an important read at this time, especially for Christians interested in public affairs and politics. I’d love to hear what you think after you finish it.

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