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Thou Shalt Not Be a Jerk: A Christian's Guide to Engaging Politics

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According to Eugene Cho, Christians should never profess blind loyalty to a party. Any party. But they should engage with politics, because politics inform policies which impact people. In Thou Shalt Not Be a Jerk: A Christian’s Guide to Engaging Politics, Cho encourages readers to remember that hope arrived—not in a politician, system, or great nation—but in the person of According to Eugene Cho, Christians should never profess blind loyalty to a party. Any party. But they should engage with politics, because politics inform policies which impact people. In Thou Shalt Not Be a Jerk: A Christian’s Guide to Engaging Politics, Cho encourages readers to remember that hope arrived—not in a politician, system, or great nation—but in the person of Jesus Christ. With determination and heart, Cho urges readers to stop vilifying those they disagree with—especially the vulnerable—and asks Christians to follow Jesus and reflect His teachings. In this book that integrates the pastoral, prophetic, practical, and personal, readers will be inspired to stay engaged, have integrity, listen to the hurting, and vote their convictions. “When we stay in the Scriptures, pray for wisdom, and advocate for the vulnerable, our love for politics, ideology, philosophy, or even theology, stop superseding our love for God and neighbor.”  


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According to Eugene Cho, Christians should never profess blind loyalty to a party. Any party. But they should engage with politics, because politics inform policies which impact people. In Thou Shalt Not Be a Jerk: A Christian’s Guide to Engaging Politics, Cho encourages readers to remember that hope arrived—not in a politician, system, or great nation—but in the person of According to Eugene Cho, Christians should never profess blind loyalty to a party. Any party. But they should engage with politics, because politics inform policies which impact people. In Thou Shalt Not Be a Jerk: A Christian’s Guide to Engaging Politics, Cho encourages readers to remember that hope arrived—not in a politician, system, or great nation—but in the person of Jesus Christ. With determination and heart, Cho urges readers to stop vilifying those they disagree with—especially the vulnerable—and asks Christians to follow Jesus and reflect His teachings. In this book that integrates the pastoral, prophetic, practical, and personal, readers will be inspired to stay engaged, have integrity, listen to the hurting, and vote their convictions. “When we stay in the Scriptures, pray for wisdom, and advocate for the vulnerable, our love for politics, ideology, philosophy, or even theology, stop superseding our love for God and neighbor.”  

30 review for Thou Shalt Not Be a Jerk: A Christian's Guide to Engaging Politics

  1. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    4 stars I'm giving this book 4 stars because I want more people to read it. Why? Because it's too commonplace on social media or IRL conversation for those of us in the Church to become jerks when we engage in political conversations. So if reading this book convicts more Christians to strive for the minimum, not being a jerk, I think we'll see real progress in the national conversation. And what if we strove to be more than just not a jerk? Imagine what we could accomplish for the common good! I 4 stars I'm giving this book 4 stars because I want more people to read it. Why? Because it's too commonplace on social media or IRL conversation for those of us in the Church to become jerks when we engage in political conversations. So if reading this book convicts more Christians to strive for the minimum, not being a jerk, I think we'll see real progress in the national conversation. And what if we strove to be more than just not a jerk? Imagine what we could accomplish for the common good! I agree with Cho, politics matter because politics produce polices that effect people. Christianity demands a commitment to love our neighbor, to love people. Imagine if more Christians engaged in the political process from a position of loving our neighbor?! I honestly believe it would be revolutionary and change the world for the better. I really do. You can call me naive, but I don't think I am 🙂 Cho does a good job of addressing the current divisive political climate in Church communities and the attitudes that are responsible for it. He isn't afraid to call out political and church leaders and their words/choices that are antithetical to a life lived for the gospel. He offers examples of toxic Christianity and does so from a place of genuine concern for the world that witnesses it and rejects Christianity because of it. Some may struggle with this. I found it refreshingly honest. Ultimately, Cho is a pastor and it's when he speaks from that role that I appreciate him the most. So, whether you're a fan of Cho or not, consider giving this book a try. At its core, his goal is to encourage all Christians to be faithful amid tension. To stay engaged, to remain hopeful, to love anyway, to walk with integrity, and to bear witness to the love, mercy, and grace of Christ. (p 21) I hope we can agree that those are good goals.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Shawn Curtis

    I genuinely enjoyed this book. It held my interest and I read it pretty quickly for me. Why 3 stars then? Frankly, it was too long. It meandered in several places and was broader topically than politics. So while I agreed with most all of the content and the main idea, which amounts to applying and living out the Golden Rule, I felt like it didn’t stay on track. Eugene Cho has a lot of wonderful things to say and I recommend that Christians read this book. He does not tell you how to vote. Many I genuinely enjoyed this book. It held my interest and I read it pretty quickly for me. Why 3 stars then? Frankly, it was too long. It meandered in several places and was broader topically than politics. So while I agreed with most all of the content and the main idea, which amounts to applying and living out the Golden Rule, I felt like it didn’t stay on track. Eugene Cho has a lot of wonderful things to say and I recommend that Christians read this book. He does not tell you how to vote. Many will be challenged. And the book is not entirely about politics as the subtitle seems to suggest.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Cory Shumate

    Well-delivered Common Sense There is nothing revolutionary in this book, but it is a fair and articulate guide to involvement in politics for those who follow Jesus. I’m thankful for the book. The church needs it But I’m saddened that we need it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Marco

    I love how Eugene Cho challenges Christians not to find their identities in a certain political party but rather challenges them to allow their theology and Christian identity to influence and transform how they engage politics! Along the way Cho encourages his readers not to dismiss politics altogether despite the temptation to do so. Politics matter because politics ultimately decide policies that effect real people. Even so, Christians must continually return to Scripture and allow the life a I love how Eugene Cho challenges Christians not to find their identities in a certain political party but rather challenges them to allow their theology and Christian identity to influence and transform how they engage politics! Along the way Cho encourages his readers not to dismiss politics altogether despite the temptation to do so. Politics matter because politics ultimately decide policies that effect real people. Even so, Christians must continually return to Scripture and allow the life and words of Jesus to transform how they vote, think and do justice on a local level. "Before any worldly ideology, we must first place our hope in Christ. He is our rock and fortress, the solid ground on which we can stand, despite our human questions and uncertainties. Jesus is Lord, not the ideology or the leader of the moment. We have something with more significance than any ideology, something more significant than the outcome of any election" (p. 247).

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mary Reilly

    Four and 1/2 stars. Excellent listen on audiobook. As a pastor and person of faith the author gave voice to much of what I have been feeling in this political season. We are to do justice and love mercy and walk humbly before our God and much of that humility is the ability to listen to other believers whose views are different from mine.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Beth Peninger

    3.5 stars I have mad respect for Eugene Cho. He's a favorite of mine to follow on Instagram and I appreciate his writings. When I heard about this title my attention was immediately captured. I mean, first of all, the title is catchy. If there were The Ten Commandments 2.0 one of them would definitely be Thou Shalt Not Be A Jerk. Secondly, it's an election year and a tense one at that so any tips on how to not be a jerk are greatly appreciated. Cho's big theme throughout the book is probably pret 3.5 stars I have mad respect for Eugene Cho. He's a favorite of mine to follow on Instagram and I appreciate his writings. When I heard about this title my attention was immediately captured. I mean, first of all, the title is catchy. If there were The Ten Commandments 2.0 one of them would definitely be Thou Shalt Not Be A Jerk. Secondly, it's an election year and a tense one at that so any tips on how to not be a jerk are greatly appreciated. Cho's big theme throughout the book is probably pretty obvious, given the title, but worth saying repeatedly as people seem to have short attention spans and awful memories. Don't be a jerk for Jesus. That shouldn't have to be said but alas, it does and quite often. Apparently, we need the reminder more often than not. "....our very connected world provides such an amazing platform for being a jerk. Before the advent of the internet, jerks usually needed to be big, physically intimidating bullies, or people who weren't hugged enough as a child, or people in power who never got the memo about kindness. But today, because of the internet and social media, anyone can be a jerk. Even misguided grandmas and pastors can be jerks. We just sit there fuming, spewing our opinions, relevant or not. We say things that almost no one in real life would ever say to another person, and somehow, we're okay with it." (p. 67) We've all been jerks, purposely or unknowingly. Cho's book is a call to think before speaking, examine before action, step out into the world with thoughtfulness and a desire to make sure the dignity of others, yes even those you disagree with, is preserved. Eugene uses the Western church (read: American church) as his example for how to not be a jerk. Let's be honest, it's because the American church, by and large, is known worldwide for being jerks and bullies. It's fine if you don't agree but that really is a fact. He spends his time discussing the difference between nationalism and patriotism (spoiler alert: the American church has fallen into nationalism), the policies of Jesus (spoiler alert: it isn't getting wealthy, protecting self at the cost of other human lives, or comfort), avoiding fake news and going deep instead of relying on clickbait, why politics should matter to us individually and collectively, and more. He also manages to avoid taking "sides", naming names - with a few exceptions due to examples being utilized, and snarkiness. I would not be able to avoid any of that which is why I am not writing a book or engaging on public platforms. :) Overall, I am glad I read the book (do you sense the but coming?). BUT. But I am weary of reading books authored by Christians and the saturation of "God speak." This is not a criticism of Cho per see, it's just the place I am in personally. I cringe at all the God talk and I believe in (and love) God! Keep the God part at a minimum, which I believe can be done, and this book and its ideas would reach more people. The word "Christian" on the cover will, and I'm sure has, immediately turned off people from picking it up - despite the excellent and catchy main title. God is in ALL things so we can discuss things like politics, etc without so much kingdom, sovereignty, etc talk. Again, this is my personal opinion born out of a place of my personal spiritual journey. Thanks, Eugene Cho for crafting a guide to navigating the murky waters of politics and showing us how we can be civil while doing so.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jody May

    Inflammatory rhetoric seems to dominate our political landscape. It’s easy to fall into the trap of choosing a side and hurling insults at political enemies on the other side. Left vs. right, republican vs. democrat, conservative vs. liberal, socialism vs. capitalism, us vs. them… so many affiliations and so much pressure to pick a side and identify your enemies. In the process, we can be tempted to be a jerk as we defend our side against what we perceive as threats from the other side. Eugene C Inflammatory rhetoric seems to dominate our political landscape. It’s easy to fall into the trap of choosing a side and hurling insults at political enemies on the other side. Left vs. right, republican vs. democrat, conservative vs. liberal, socialism vs. capitalism, us vs. them… so many affiliations and so much pressure to pick a side and identify your enemies. In the process, we can be tempted to be a jerk as we defend our side against what we perceive as threats from the other side. Eugene Cho’s new book encourages us to take another path. “Thou shalt not be a jerk” is one of the 10 practical commandments that Cho challenges the reader to consider and follow when engaging in politics as a Christ-follower. I was personally challenged as I read this book. Like many people on both sides of the aisle, I have had political insults hurled at me. This book challenged me to not see them as the enemy but instead see everyone, even those with whom I disagree, as someone who is loved by God and made in His image. Cho reminds us, “May our passion and convictions in politics never supersede our love for God and neighbor—including neighbors who don’t share our politics.” This book does not encourage Christians to disengage from politics. To the contrary, Cho says that "politics matter" and he challenges us to engage the way Jesus would by following what Jesus described as the two greatest commands: to love God and love our neighbors. When we are able to look at those we disagree with politically as our neighbors who we are called to love, the conversation changes. Cho challenges us to consider whether “we’ve allowed our politics to inform our theology rather than our theology and worship of the Christ informing our politics." Can you imagine how the conversation would change if every Christian reflected on this dichotomy? Cho's writing has encouraged me to evaluate the rationale behind my own politics and theology. I would encourage anyone to read this book. Whatever your political leanings, this book gives a biblical perspective on how to engage in politics without compromising your faith. And if you’re someone who has been hurt by Christians who have acted like a jerk, I would encourage you to read this book. It will help you understand that being a ‘jerk for Jesus” is not the way of Jesus. I am thankful that Eugene Cho wrote this book. It took a lot of courage. I imagine that Christians from both the left and right will find grounds to criticize Cho for the words that he so boldly speaks. That seems to be the political climate that Christianity finds itself in. Ironically, criticism of this book on those grounds will only prove the immense need for this book. I needed this book. I needed words to be spoken into these politically polarized times. I needed words that empower me to navigate hard political conversations while honoring my faith. Thou Shalt Not be a Jerk is like holding up a mirror and reflecting on my political engagement. Do I see a jerk in the mirror? Or, do I see a life that is reflecting Jesus? I pray that this book helps me and others look less like a jerk and more like Jesus.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Annie

    I appreciate what Mr. Cho is attempting to achieve with this book and for that reason, I hate to sound like I’m leaving a “scathing review” but I can’t say that I felt this book delivered really anything I was hoping for. It claims to be a guide for Christians on how to engage in politics but it felt to me like it was more a guide to just “have your convictions however you want but ultimately accept everyone and validate their views and lifestyles.” I would have to say that it is for the especial I appreciate what Mr. Cho is attempting to achieve with this book and for that reason, I hate to sound like I’m leaving a “scathing review” but I can’t say that I felt this book delivered really anything I was hoping for. It claims to be a guide for Christians on how to engage in politics but it felt to me like it was more a guide to just “have your convictions however you want but ultimately accept everyone and validate their views and lifestyles.” I would have to say that it is for the especially dense and closed minded Christian as I can’t say that I found many “new” introspective thoughts or concepts concerning how deeply God calls us to love one another and engage in politics in a Godly way. I would also have to say that in the effort of full disclosure, my opinion of Mr. Cho is that he is a very far “left leaning” Christian and honestly, I was left feeling that he whipped out the old “created in God’s image” as if it was a magical talisman that excused anyone and everyone’s actions and decisions. “We can’t ever act out against anyone because they too are made in God’s image.” Perhaps I am being too harsh and terribly unfair. That is very possible and I dare say even likely. I must also say that I fully believe that Mr. Cho had the very best of intentions of bringing us a book that is “a Christian’s guide to engaging in politics” but I, personally, felt as if I was left with a very lukewarm (as far as Biblical theology goes) and indecisive (as far as politics goes) book. Maybe that was his point... he does state that Christians should not be terribly invested in either political party - and I agree with him! But I felt neither more or less compelled to engage in politics after I finished the book than when I opened it for the first time.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Nick Poe

    I wish everyone would read this book, but I'd settle for every Christian getting a copy. This book is what we desperately need right now. Not because it offers profound, brand-new insight into what it means to be a Christian engaging with the world - it doesn't - but because it is a gentle, well-written reminder. It is convicting where it needs to be, full of grace where it needs to be, and anchored to the gospel in all places. Pastor Eugene approaches these topics with so much humility and gent I wish everyone would read this book, but I'd settle for every Christian getting a copy. This book is what we desperately need right now. Not because it offers profound, brand-new insight into what it means to be a Christian engaging with the world - it doesn't - but because it is a gentle, well-written reminder. It is convicting where it needs to be, full of grace where it needs to be, and anchored to the gospel in all places. Pastor Eugene approaches these topics with so much humility and gentleness, while not skimping on calling out the church where it needs to be called out. I admire him for the balance he struck. Nothing in this book is new information. But it is all information we must be reminded of right now. And tomorrow. And the next day.

  10. 5 out of 5

    DayeAnn

    In the midst of an election, I needed this perspective. Jesus is King!

  11. 4 out of 5

    James Weise

    This was an awesome book!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jacob Edler

    Perfectly imperfect! Eugene Cho took such a humble approach to a touchy subject. His study, his scriptural backing, and the heart of Jesus was very evident. Great read for the Christian, non-Christian, democrat, republican, and independent. Now make sure you vote :)

  13. 4 out of 5

    Peter Kim

    Eugene Cho is a voice I periodically lean on to remind me that my theology must bear fruit in the matters of justice, mercy and equality. This book was disarming in nature a timely read.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    It's hard to know exactly what to say, or do in today's politically charged, sound byte world. Politics matter, they impact every person's life. So what should we do? Cho gives us his 10 commandments of political engagement. Along the way, he shares his own story and many others who have engaged in politics; none of them as politicians. As Christians, we're called to understand the times and discern what to do. I appreciate how Cho is most concerned with our love for one another. He notes that s It's hard to know exactly what to say, or do in today's politically charged, sound byte world. Politics matter, they impact every person's life. So what should we do? Cho gives us his 10 commandments of political engagement. Along the way, he shares his own story and many others who have engaged in politics; none of them as politicians. As Christians, we're called to understand the times and discern what to do. I appreciate how Cho is most concerned with our love for one another. He notes that some Christians are prone to complete disengagement and others are so engrossed in it that they allow their political convictions to overtake their spiritual convictions. For Cho engaging politics is one way that we influence policies to better love our neighbor.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Emily P

    I can't think of a better time for this book to have been released. A crazy season with a pandemic, bleeding into an election year...the timing is perfect. I heard about the book on a podcast I follow and ordered shortly thereafter. I am not a person who usually jumps into political conversations (due to multiple reasons, ahem) but I have to say, I was truly challenged, encouraged and empowered by this read. Cho is a pastor, non profit founder and author. His work is new to me, but if this book I can't think of a better time for this book to have been released. A crazy season with a pandemic, bleeding into an election year...the timing is perfect. I heard about the book on a podcast I follow and ordered shortly thereafter. I am not a person who usually jumps into political conversations (due to multiple reasons, ahem) but I have to say, I was truly challenged, encouraged and empowered by this read. Cho is a pastor, non profit founder and author. His work is new to me, but if this book is any indication, I believe he is one to not only watch, but to engage with his work. "Thou Shalt Not Be A Jerk" reminds the reader that those who don't share your perspective on politics (and many other issues noted in the book) are not to be vilified, torn down or dehumanized--we must continually remind ourselves that even in the midst of differences, there is usually much common ground to be found. Each chapter has a different theme that encourages the reader to examine the state of honest discussion about politics and other hot button issues--is there even such a possibility anymore? Cho reiterates that there IS hope, not by arguing until we change someone's mind, but by hearing them out, allowing an exchange of opinions and even agreeing to disagree. One of the best things about this book is that it allows the reader the opportunity to evaluate not only where you are politically in living out your faith, but how we may have ignored opportunities to get to know our neighbors simply because we disagree with them politically. He also uses examples from Scripture in how Jesus found Himself surrounded by many different people who may or may not have agreed with Him--yet still loved them well. Here are a few quotes that hit home for me: "Additionally, in today's culture, we can always find some authority, leader, author, blogger, or expert who will affirm our views, but how much more valuable it is to first ground ourselves in Christ and His ways?" "..please be reminded that everybody loves to give prophetic words to other people with different views, but we never seem to receive them. We want to preach to others, but we don't preach to ourselves. We love to flip tables, but not our own. We love to expose the privilege in others while rarely considering our own." quotes from Chapter #1 "Thou Shalt Not Go to Bed With Political Parties" "Daly continues, saying that Christians should always have two questions in mind as we engage with those around us: 1. Help me understand what you believe. 2. What brought you to those conclusions?" From Chapter #3, "Thou Shalt Listen and Build Bridges" "People outside the faith community look at Christians with suspicion. We are characterized as judgemental and tribal, defined by what we are against rather than what we are for. This is not the way of Christ. The Jesus I follow is not the emperor arriving on a chariot, but a humble King arriving on a donkey. The all-powerful Lord who chooses a different way, who comes to serve. The Jesus I follow made deliberate efforts to get to know and befriend those who were shunned by society. The Jesus I follow did not have a home, and challenged people to not follow the law, but to live into a new life, a new way of thinking, to bring forth the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in Heaven." from Chapter 5, "Thou Shalt Live Out Your Convictions" There is much more goodness in this book, and I promise it will stir conversation and encourage dialogue as it did with me. This would be an amazing book to use in a discussion group, just be aware there are hot button issues brought up, which is ok, we're all adults, right? ;) While everyone may not agree with everything in the book, you will gain insight on how to reach across the aisle, street or state to someone different than you. And you can love them, even if they differ in opinion. Because that's what Jesus calls us to.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Josh Gatewood

    3.5. Cho strikes the right notes on several points of Christian conviction, civility, and conversation. At times his analysis of the issues seems a bit trite and simplistic; there were moments when it seemed like he compromised substance for the sake of rhetorical flare. There were also moments when I found his political analysis to be lacking nuance and relevant contextual data. However, the bulk of Cho’s work is thoughtful and helpful. In fact, as a very justice-minded and justice-active Chris 3.5. Cho strikes the right notes on several points of Christian conviction, civility, and conversation. At times his analysis of the issues seems a bit trite and simplistic; there were moments when it seemed like he compromised substance for the sake of rhetorical flare. There were also moments when I found his political analysis to be lacking nuance and relevant contextual data. However, the bulk of Cho’s work is thoughtful and helpful. In fact, as a very justice-minded and justice-active Christian who pastors in Seattle Cho brings some compelling ideas to Christians in this day of political division. He doesn’t shy away from calling some of this division what it is: self righteousness. Throughout the book, Cho does a good job describing the problems, sharing relevant stories, and showing us a better way. I do wish Cho would have leaned more heavily upon exegesis and the embodiment of various biblical passages. Even still, his challenge for believes to embody our faith and not go to bed with political parties was strong. Perhaps my favorite element of this book were the sections on prayer. Cho describes how prayer “humanizes” our enemies so that we see them as people like us, rather than mere enemies. I couldn’t agree more. It’s hard to hate someone you’re praying Gods blessing(s) over. Cho provides compelling stories that exemplify this. These sections challenged me the most and painted a picture for how my prayer life could change. For that, I am grateful. Cho also challenged me to consider how I care about the hurting and needy. He confronts the notion that voting once every 2-4 years is a sufficient embodiment of biblical faith. I loved the following paragraph: “Much is made about the right to vote and the importance of election days. However, if we reduce civic engagement to a singular vote every two to four years, we are part of the problem. Yes, get out and vote. But don’t just cast a vote. Embody your faith. Serve your neighborhood. Advocate for the last and the least. Share the gospel. Work for the common good. Pursue justice. Seek the peace of your city” (199). Cho then followed up this paragraph with a quote from Mother Teresa that was strong: “Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time as always start with the person nearest you.” (199-200). At the same time, I want people to remember that seasons of life will dictate our level of involvement—especially as it relates to family responsibilities. The young mom with young kids may embody her faith very differently than the single young adult or retired couple. Sometimes “the person nearest you” is a crying baby who needs a diaper change or a spouse who’s battling debilitating illness. Such seasons don’t afford the marginal time for high levels of commitment to engage in social work. But thats why we’re a body of Christ with unique members—some will be more active in and more gifted for “social justice” while others are not. Faithfulness is the goal, not uniformity. I think this was a missing element in Cho’s work that was needed. It’s not that I disagree with his point; only his emphasis. The “embodiment of our faith” will take many forms throughout a persons life given their unique situation, seasons, and struggles—and that’s okay. These criticisms aside, I recommend Cho’s work and believe every Christian could benefit from it.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jacob O'connor

    I recommend this book particularly to conservative evangelicals (of which I'm one). It's good to get a different viewpoint lest we put ourselves in a bubble., and Cho has some good advice. Civil discourse is not only wise, it's biblical. Notes: Recommended by the Holy Post Nook Using Jesus to promote Nationalism is simply not the way of Jesus (13) As we read the Scriptures, if we're never offended, convicted, disrupted, or stirred by the Holy Spirit, it's quite possible that we’ve conformed Jesus i I recommend this book particularly to conservative evangelicals (of which I'm one). It's good to get a different viewpoint lest we put ourselves in a bubble., and Cho has some good advice. Civil discourse is not only wise, it's biblical. Notes: Recommended by the Holy Post Nook Using Jesus to promote Nationalism is simply not the way of Jesus (13) As we read the Scriptures, if we're never offended, convicted, disrupted, or stirred by the Holy Spirit, it's quite possible that we’ve conformed Jesus into our thinking , liking, and ... image (14) "Cultural Christianity" is idolatry (21) We’ve allowed our politics to inform our theology rather that our theology to inform our politics (25) The "desirability bias" (29) The temptation to return evil for evil (43) Plato worried that reading and writing would weaken the mind and destroy people's memory (50) Christians SHOULD ALWAYS HAVE TWO questions In MIND As WE ENGAGE With those AROUND US: 1. HELP me understand what you believe 2. What brought you to those conclusions Personal note: Colombo tactic! Active listening is the practice of taking in someone else's words before mentally preparing a response (70) Author was called out by Desiring God (83) When there isn’t a connection, a genuine humble desire to embody the things we are passionate about, preaching about, that's when we become mere peddlers (92) Personal note: As a conservative, I note how often progressives, of which Cho is one, misunderstand our position on social programs. It's not that conservatives don't care about the poor and needy. We care deeply. The difference is that we don't think these problems, or very many problems at all, are best solved by government. (147) Radical inclusion (163)

  18. 4 out of 5

    David

    Reading this book was reaffirming as it reinforces the priority of the Kingdom of God over political ideology, yet acknowledges the role politics plays in our lives. Eugene Cho recognizes and reiterates the importance of words of Jesus, when he answers the lawyers question (Matthew 22:36) "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” with "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The Reading this book was reaffirming as it reinforces the priority of the Kingdom of God over political ideology, yet acknowledges the role politics plays in our lives. Eugene Cho recognizes and reiterates the importance of words of Jesus, when he answers the lawyers question (Matthew 22:36) "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” with "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” We seem to have forgotten the importance of our vertical relationship with God and that it should ultimately should reveal itself in how we treat others. Eugene Cho's book is timely, and well argued and deserves a hearing by followers of Christ. He writes, "American Christianity has become more like . . . an expression of cultural Christianity rather than kingdom of God Christianity." We have erected dividing walls within the body of Christ and Eugene Cho argues that our Christian life needs to be demonstrated in our lives in the way we love our neighbors. James Davison Hunter calls this "a faithful presence" in his book, To Change the World: The Irony, Tragedy, and Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World. I loved reading this book and highly recommend it!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lawrence Rebelo

    I respect Eugene Cho very much for his advocacy work. I chose this book for a book club I am leading at my church because of my own interest in politics & because I could tell from the title it is a much needed topic. Cho does a phenomenal job bringing in the stories of others to make his point. He uses powerful examples from stories he has picked up along the way. It was difficult to read some of the things he wrote, I found myself in disagreement with him occasionally (especially some of his t I respect Eugene Cho very much for his advocacy work. I chose this book for a book club I am leading at my church because of my own interest in politics & because I could tell from the title it is a much needed topic. Cho does a phenomenal job bringing in the stories of others to make his point. He uses powerful examples from stories he has picked up along the way. It was difficult to read some of the things he wrote, I found myself in disagreement with him occasionally (especially some of his takes on abortion). Despite my few disagreements, his book challenged me to be more self aware about my own theology (even though I had slight disagreements with some of his) and my own political beliefs. Above all else, Cho is clear in making his point that we should always seek to embody the all encompassing love of Jesus with whomever we encounter because: “Sometimes, the most powerful sermon we can preach is the one we embody” (217). I look forward to reading more of Cho’s work and keeping up with him in his new job as head of “Bread For The World”.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Meepspeeps

    This is a strong Christian witness to engage in politics in the USA. “Politics matter because politics impact policies that affect people.” He calls for civility to reduce “not merely a desire to win an argument but to shame, crush or destroy the opposition.” He expands on the idea of rejecting the notion that one needs to be a jerk in order to seek peace and justice, and gives examples from both political parties’ platforms. The ninth chapter, “Thou Shalt Love God and Love People,” should be re This is a strong Christian witness to engage in politics in the USA. “Politics matter because politics impact policies that affect people.” He calls for civility to reduce “not merely a desire to win an argument but to shame, crush or destroy the opposition.” He expands on the idea of rejecting the notion that one needs to be a jerk in order to seek peace and justice, and gives examples from both political parties’ platforms. The ninth chapter, “Thou Shalt Love God and Love People,” should be required reading for all Christians. People from other traditions may also benefit from the book’s ideas, but know that it is deeply Christian.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Briana

    I have had the privilege of seeing Eugene Cho preach two times at my church this past year, the most recent being at the end of January/start of February 2020, right before this book came out. Eugene Cho has written a book that is needed for these times. He tries to be as unbiased as possible even though he is a pastor. I highly recommend reading this but you must come in with a clear mind and try not to have preconceived notions. If you do, I fear the purpose of this book will not be met. There I have had the privilege of seeing Eugene Cho preach two times at my church this past year, the most recent being at the end of January/start of February 2020, right before this book came out. Eugene Cho has written a book that is needed for these times. He tries to be as unbiased as possible even though he is a pastor. I highly recommend reading this but you must come in with a clear mind and try not to have preconceived notions. If you do, I fear the purpose of this book will not be met. There are a few points that I respectfully disagree with but I understand where Cho is coming from. Come in with a heart willing to listen to what Jesus says.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Celeste

    Although I am not a Christian, I wanted to read this book because I follow Eugene Cho, a high school classmate, on Facebook, and I admire and respect what he says. I'm glad I read the book because now my curiosity is satisfied. He has some good things to say about reaching out to neighbors, especially those who are somehow different from you, but it's all wrapped up in Jesus. I recognize that's part of being evangelical, but now that the point has been driven home, I don't have to read another o Although I am not a Christian, I wanted to read this book because I follow Eugene Cho, a high school classmate, on Facebook, and I admire and respect what he says. I'm glad I read the book because now my curiosity is satisfied. He has some good things to say about reaching out to neighbors, especially those who are somehow different from you, but it's all wrapped up in Jesus. I recognize that's part of being evangelical, but now that the point has been driven home, I don't have to read another of his books and can maintain my fond, distant high school memories and wish my successful classmate continued good luck from afar, while continuing to enjoy his Facebook page.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Suj

    I'm thankful I read this book. Cho is a voice of reason and love. This book served as a timely reminder that God is sovereign in all seasons, and we as believers are his workmanship, living in a broken world with flawed human beings and imperfect systems. Some personal reminders from the reading: -Our theology should inform our politics vs. other way around -Our loyalty as believers is not to a political party or political issue, but true allegiance is to God -Politics matter because it affects us I'm thankful I read this book. Cho is a voice of reason and love. This book served as a timely reminder that God is sovereign in all seasons, and we as believers are his workmanship, living in a broken world with flawed human beings and imperfect systems. Some personal reminders from the reading: -Our theology should inform our politics vs. other way around -Our loyalty as believers is not to a political party or political issue, but true allegiance is to God -Politics matter because it affects us and our neighbors -It's important to engage in politics as a Christian and how you engage matters -Have the 2 greatest commandments and the Beatitudes inform how you engage with politics

  24. 4 out of 5

    vicky hernandez

    I enjoy the idea of the book but bottom line he isn’t delivering anything substantive. I think that if you are looking for a book on communication skills and being nice this is fine. But I am not sure it delivers christian political thought. And to be honest it doesn’t seem like his background so maybe that is not what we are supposed to get out of it. It seems like he wants us all to be nice and accepting of people’s views and have better communication skills. He did not address the nuance and th I enjoy the idea of the book but bottom line he isn’t delivering anything substantive. I think that if you are looking for a book on communication skills and being nice this is fine. But I am not sure it delivers christian political thought. And to be honest it doesn’t seem like his background so maybe that is not what we are supposed to get out of it. It seems like he wants us all to be nice and accepting of people’s views and have better communication skills. He did not address the nuance and theory behind civic engagement as a believer. And is there ultimate truth and if so what does that mean for engagement and wresting with scripture.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    At the intersection of politics and religion lies a dilemma. How does one talk about them? How does one discuss politics? How does one do either with someone who has a different perspective on both? Eugene Cho has given an excellent view and understanding of today's USA and even the world. He shows a way through disagreement to find common ground on which to build relationships and have the difficult conversations. I recommend this book for all who seek not only to change the world but to bring At the intersection of politics and religion lies a dilemma. How does one talk about them? How does one discuss politics? How does one do either with someone who has a different perspective on both? Eugene Cho has given an excellent view and understanding of today's USA and even the world. He shows a way through disagreement to find common ground on which to build relationships and have the difficult conversations. I recommend this book for all who seek not only to change the world but to bring peace.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Joshua D.

    I can't recommend this enough. I'm sure that everyone who reads it will have a beef with at least one of Cho's political positions (I certainly do). But this is a thoughtful engagement from a sincere practitioner. Cho is a pastor who lives his theology. He doesn't equivocate, and yet he's not a pure partisan. The largest theme is the book is the call to passionate engagement, yet with humility and civility. Cho recognizes that it's not just political ends, but political conduct that matters in C I can't recommend this enough. I'm sure that everyone who reads it will have a beef with at least one of Cho's political positions (I certainly do). But this is a thoughtful engagement from a sincere practitioner. Cho is a pastor who lives his theology. He doesn't equivocate, and yet he's not a pure partisan. The largest theme is the book is the call to passionate engagement, yet with humility and civility. Cho recognizes that it's not just political ends, but political conduct that matters in Christian ethics. I'd recommend this for everyone, no matter your personal political leanings.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    2020- This is easily one of my favorite books that I have read this year so far. It has definitely come at a good time in our history with the current political climate. To refer to another reviewer, this book surely reflects "well-informed common sense". Growing up in an area where political "jerks" (as they're referred to in the book) is the norm and suggesting anything else leads to eye-rolls at the least, this book was a breath of fresh air. I would highly recommend it to anyone no matter wh 2020- This is easily one of my favorite books that I have read this year so far. It has definitely come at a good time in our history with the current political climate. To refer to another reviewer, this book surely reflects "well-informed common sense". Growing up in an area where political "jerks" (as they're referred to in the book) is the norm and suggesting anything else leads to eye-rolls at the least, this book was a breath of fresh air. I would highly recommend it to anyone no matter what political position you stand with, it approaches both sides with class and grace.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    Good book. Certainly timely considering the 2020 election and the events surrounding, well, 2020. I gave it 4 stars as I did want more practical guides, like the tag line promised. The 10 chapters were good, but not always straight political topics, more just living in general. He states flat-out that not everyone will agree with everything he has to say and that's true, but I also don't think we need to agree on everything to learn from one another. All in all, it's a good read. An important re Good book. Certainly timely considering the 2020 election and the events surrounding, well, 2020. I gave it 4 stars as I did want more practical guides, like the tag line promised. The 10 chapters were good, but not always straight political topics, more just living in general. He states flat-out that not everyone will agree with everything he has to say and that's true, but I also don't think we need to agree on everything to learn from one another. All in all, it's a good read. An important read.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Brandi Alvine

    Thou Shalt Not Be A Jerk by Eugene Cho Amen! Thank you for reminding me that I am NOT alone and it’s ok if the rest of the world thinks I’m a little crazy. Your new book challenged and encouraged me all at the same time. It is obviously timely as we head toward our next major election this fall, but as I read it in the week leading up to Easter, I also found it to be a timely reminder of everything Jesus sacrificed for all the people made in His image.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jeanne Higgins

    Politics matter, but the imago dei is more important. An excellent book on the importance of being involved in politics as a Christian, but not be a jerk. Choose will likely offend people on all sides, but his points are important no matter if you wear a MAGA hat or a BLM hat. Highly recommend this book for Christians because there is no one way to live mercy, act justly and walk humbly with our God.

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