Monday, January 19, 2009

Scandal of Evangelical Politics or A Second Opinion

Scandal of Evangelical Politics: Why Are Christians Missing the Chance to Really Change the World?

Author: Ronald J Sider

Evangelicals today probably have more political influence in the U.S. than at any time in the last century--but they may not be certain what to do with it. It has been difficult to develop a unified voice on pressing issues such as social justice and moral renewal. The Scandal of Evangelical Politics provides evangelical Christians with a systematic political philosophy to guide and sustain political activism. Soundly based in biblical principles and guided by a careful study of society, this book will guide readers into more thoughtful and effective political activity.
Practical, balanced, and nonpartisan, The Scandal of Evangelical Politics will be a welcome resource during the race for the 2008 presidential election.

Publishers Weekly

Sider, author of Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger, offers the most balanced and thoughtful example of the recent spate of books on evangelicals in politics. Rather than telling evangelicals how to vote, he teaches them how to think, using biblical and historical examples as well as contemporary findings to persuade his readers. When evangelicals entered political life in great numbers in the 1970s and '80s, he says, they did so without careful judgment; their approach was "Ready. Fire. Aim." This book can be seen as a kind of remedial course, exploring when and why political action is important for Christians. It offers a methodology of ethical discernment rather than a laundry list of hot-button issues, though Sider does tackle tough questions such as abortion, same-sex marriage, environmentalism and what constitutes a "just" war. While he supports democracy and a free market economy as the two best devices for promoting fundamental human rights for the greatest numbers of people, he argues that Christians need to concern themselves more with "the least of these"-the poor and disabled who often get trampled when materialism is unchecked. Powerful, well-researched and timely, Sider's book has the potential to shape a new generation of evangelical activists. (Feb.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information

Library Journal

The "scandal" of Evangelical politics is that there is no comprehensive, consistent Evangelical political philosophy despite extensive Evangelical engagement within politics. Sider (theology, holistic ministry, and public policy, Palmer Theological Seminary) sets out to offer a basic political philosophy that is faithful to Evangelical ideals throughout the political spectrum. This book offers a refreshing willingness to admit the political mistakes of Evangelicals in order to learn from them. The basic question Sider asks is, "What should Evangelicals try to legislate?" He addresses this in two ways. First, he offers a normative framework and methodology based on Evangelical interpretation of biblical principles. Second, he applies this framework to such issues in the Evangelical mindset as the state, justice, human rights, sanctity of life, family, war, environment, and international affairs. Overall, this work represents a worthwhile attempt in seeking a unified Evangelical political voice that is objective and holistic. It is essential reading for American Evangelicals, and it is useful for those trying to understand Evangelical political actions. Recommended for all libraries.-Dann Wigner, Wayland Baptist Univ. Lib., Plainview, TX

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Table of Contents:
Acknowledgments     9
Preface     11
The Scandal of Evangelical Political Engagement
Tragic Failure, New Opportunity     15
A Better Approach
Developing a Faithful Methodology     27
The Biblical Story and Politics     49
Building a Solid Framework: From Biblical Paradigms and Societal Analysis to an Evangelical Political Philosophy
The State: Its Nature, Purpose, and Limits     79
Justice     101
Human Rights, Democracy, and Capitalism     127
The Sanctity of Human Life     145
Marriage and Family     157
Religious Freedom, Church, and State     171
Peacemaking, Just War, and Nonviolence     191
Creation Care     209
Nation-States and International Affairs     219
Loving One's Neighbor through Faithful Political Engagement
Biblical Balance, Historic Opportunity     233
Bibliography     243
Notes     253

New interesting book: Commercio internazionale

A Second Opinion: Rescuing America's Healthcare

Author: Arnold S Relman

The U.S. healthcare system is failing. It is run like a business, increasingly focused on generating income for insurers and providers rather than providing care for patients. It is supported by investors and private markets seeking to grow revenue and resist regulation, thus contributing to higher costs and lessened public accountability. Meanwhile, forty-six million Americans are without insurance. Health care expenditures are rising at a rate of 7 percent a year, three times the rate of inflation.

Dr. Arnold Relman is one of the most respected physicians and healthcare advocates in our country. This book, based on sixty years' experience in medicine, is a clarion call not just to politicians and patients but to the medical profession to evolve a new structure for healthcare, based on voluntary private contracts between individuals and not-for-profit, multi-specialty groups of physicians. Physicians would be paid mainly by salaries and would submit no bills for their services. All health care facilities would be not-for-profit. The savings from reduced administrative overhead and the elimination of billing fraud would be enormous. Healthcare may be our greatest national problem, but the provocative, sensible arguments in this book will provide a catalyst for change.

The American Prospect

Arnold Relman has produced a book that is likely the most concise and best analysis of the American health-care debacle now available.

Socialist Worker

A Second Opinion: Rescuing America's Health Care makes a concise, convincing case for why we need to eliminate the for-profit health care industry in the U.S. and replace it with a single-payer system.

Publishers Weekly

Relman, a professor emeritus at Harvard Medical School and former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, offers his diagnosis of what has gone wrong with American health care, along with a radical solution. In clear, eloquent prose, Relman explains how the rush to commercialize medicine harms both physicians and patients. Contrary to free-market dogma, Relman asserts, in medecine the profit imperative "increases costs; it may also jeopardize quality or aggravate the system's inequity." Relman's proposal: a single-payer insurance program supported by an earmarked, progressive health care tax, coupled with a reformed delivery system in which all hospitals would be not-for-profit and most physicians would be salaried employees of not-for-profit prepaid group practices. Relman acknowledges that today's political reality doesn't favor his program. Instead, it is fueling the drive for so-called consumer-driven health care (CDHC); in theory, by forcing consumers to pay for their own health care (for example, through high-deductible catastrophic insurance), CDHC promotes more prudent choices. But Relman calls CDHC "an illusion that bears little resemblance to the realities" for seriously ill patients.. He predicts that in a decade or so, when CDHC has failed to solve the health care crisis, the country may be ready to try his plan. (May 23)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information

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