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A variety of perspectives exist within the Christian community when it comes to political issues and political involvement. This comprehensive and readable book presents a political philosophy from the perspective that the Gospel pertains to all of life so Christians should be involved in political issues. In brief, this is an analysis of conservative and liberal plans to A variety of perspectives exist within the Christian community when it comes to political issues and political involvement. This comprehensive and readable book presents a political philosophy from the perspective that the Gospel pertains to all of life so Christians should be involved in political issues. In brief, this is an analysis of conservative and liberal plans to do good for the nation, evaluated in light of the Bible and common sense.In this ground-breaking book, recognized evangelical Bible professor Wayne Grudem rejects five mistaken views about Christian influence on politics: (1) “compel religion,” (2) “exclude religion,” (3) “all government is demonic,” (4) “do evangel-ism, not politics,” and (5) “do politics, not evangelism.” He proposes a better alternative: (6) “significant Christian influence on government.” Then he explains the Bible’s teachings about the purpose of civil government and the characteristics of good or bad government. Does the Bible support some form of democracy? Should judges and the courts hold the ultimate power in a nation? With respect to specific political issues, Grudem argues that most people’s political views depend on deep-seated assumptions about several basic moral and even theological questions, such as whether God exists, whether absolute moral standards can be known, whether there is good and evil in each person’s heart, whether people should be accountable for their good and bad choices, whether property should belong to individuals or to society, and whether the purpose of the earth’s resources is to bring benefit to mankind. After addressing these foundational questions, Grudem provides a thoughtful, carefully-reasoned analysis of over fifty specific issues dealing with the protection of life, marriage, the family and children, economic issues and taxation, the environment, national defense, relationships to other nations, freedom of speech and religion, quotas, and special interests. He makes frequent application to the current policies of the Democratic and Republican parties in the United States, but the principles discussed here are relevant for any nation.


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A variety of perspectives exist within the Christian community when it comes to political issues and political involvement. This comprehensive and readable book presents a political philosophy from the perspective that the Gospel pertains to all of life so Christians should be involved in political issues. In brief, this is an analysis of conservative and liberal plans to A variety of perspectives exist within the Christian community when it comes to political issues and political involvement. This comprehensive and readable book presents a political philosophy from the perspective that the Gospel pertains to all of life so Christians should be involved in political issues. In brief, this is an analysis of conservative and liberal plans to do good for the nation, evaluated in light of the Bible and common sense.In this ground-breaking book, recognized evangelical Bible professor Wayne Grudem rejects five mistaken views about Christian influence on politics: (1) “compel religion,” (2) “exclude religion,” (3) “all government is demonic,” (4) “do evangel-ism, not politics,” and (5) “do politics, not evangelism.” He proposes a better alternative: (6) “significant Christian influence on government.” Then he explains the Bible’s teachings about the purpose of civil government and the characteristics of good or bad government. Does the Bible support some form of democracy? Should judges and the courts hold the ultimate power in a nation? With respect to specific political issues, Grudem argues that most people’s political views depend on deep-seated assumptions about several basic moral and even theological questions, such as whether God exists, whether absolute moral standards can be known, whether there is good and evil in each person’s heart, whether people should be accountable for their good and bad choices, whether property should belong to individuals or to society, and whether the purpose of the earth’s resources is to bring benefit to mankind. After addressing these foundational questions, Grudem provides a thoughtful, carefully-reasoned analysis of over fifty specific issues dealing with the protection of life, marriage, the family and children, economic issues and taxation, the environment, national defense, relationships to other nations, freedom of speech and religion, quotas, and special interests. He makes frequent application to the current policies of the Democratic and Republican parties in the United States, but the principles discussed here are relevant for any nation.

30 review for Politics - According to the Bible: A Comprehensive Resource for Understanding Modern Political Issues in Light of Scripture

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mark Sequeira

    I respect Wayne Grudem but this book should be titled, "Politics according to the far right Republican Party. Sorry. I am a conservative but I am also a thorough-going Biblicist and political activist (in the good, community-sense trying to bless others and expand the Kingdom of God in visible and invisible ways that God would own!) and I must say, IMHO this book is just an atrocious mess. I wish I could be more gracious - but writing a book in admitted response to the recent growth in readershi I respect Wayne Grudem but this book should be titled, "Politics according to the far right Republican Party. Sorry. I am a conservative but I am also a thorough-going Biblicist and political activist (in the good, community-sense trying to bless others and expand the Kingdom of God in visible and invisible ways that God would own!) and I must say, IMHO this book is just an atrocious mess. I wish I could be more gracious - but writing a book in admitted response to the recent growth in readership of Jim Wallis, Shane Clairborne, etc. by Christians AND labeling it 'Politics according TO THE BIBLE.' is unforgivable. This is a huge over-sized book of some 600+ pages and is full of very specific rules 'according to the Bible' versus principles and then application. One only needs to turn to the SPECIFIC ISSUES: Chapter 15: Special Groups - J. Native Americans (American Indians) pg 547 to get a basic idea of where we are going. In this chapter we discover the problems of Indian tribes and the solution: Abolish tribal land protections and assign all the land to individuals (regardless of former treaties) who can then sell that land to natives or non-natives. We are told that the solution to native issues is progress and self-improvement (at least economically) and that is largely based on individual ownership. Indeed, Native Americans are actually cursed because they are breaking Old Testament laws based on Individual Property rights! Based on his own words, "As I have argued in chapter 9 (see pp. 261-68), the Bible teaches a system of private ownership of property, not tribal ownership or governmental ownership. So in this case I think it is right to recognize that these tribal traditions are in direct conflict with the teaching about property in the Word of God." (Now I must say, as someone who has worked in other cultures, has studied cross cultural ministry and contextualization...As someone that can respect other cultures yet look at those things within culture that harm or hold societies back from the Kingdom of God, I think this analysis is sadly lacking. I challenge Doctor Grudem and you, the reader, to actually study Indian history and culture studies as well as their relations with the U.S. Government (even as humble as Dee Brown's 'Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee') before proclaiming that the main problems Indians deal with can be solved through assigning land titles to individuals among tribal peoples. We are then told that we have no time to go into any of these principles in detail but it would all have to be worked out by the tribes themselves with the U.S. Government (presumably by forcing them to do just that - for their own good!). Would this then mean the assimilation of Indian peoples? Yes. He admits. Except they should have a 'Disneylandesque-center' in order to remember their heritage. Next, we are told we must reform the Indian courts and basically abolish them since they can be in opposition to our hallowed U.S. Court system. Once again, we are told, "this reform would remove some measure of tribal sovereignty over the areas in which Native Americans live. But, once again, the choice is clear: will Native Americans cling to their traditions-which are trapping their people in poverty and economic despair, and in alienation from the prosperous society that surrounds them-or will they abandon some of these traditions for the good of their people?" Then he actually has the audacity to say, "If they take seriously the Bible statement that a civil government ruler should be 'God's servant for your good' (Rom. 13:4) then they should implement these reforms, because they clearly would bring good to their people." Meaning the same court system and government that they could never trust to not steal their land or shoot their people or reneg on their word? Clearly, in his chapter on self protection, Doctor Grudem believes that we have the right to protect ourselves, yet the Native Peoples do not have that same right since they were in rebellion against God when we decided to start killing them due to our own misunderstandings and cultural arrogance. This book has so many American cultural assumptions that it is practically unusable. I didn't know that we had American civil proclamations in the first century Jewish and Roman context but don't put it past the Holy Spirit to write the Bible for US since we already possess so much cultural arrogance that we can't imagine the Bible being written for first century believers or indeed believers that wouldn't recognize or even understand our variety of church and state and western democracy and individualism. I wanted this to be a good book. I've read probably 20-30 on politics and Jesus or the Bible. This is clearly one of the worst for anyone looking for a place to begin or anyone looking for Biblical principles.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Adam Calvert

    While I appreciate that Grudem presents the reader with a lot of thoughtful research and analysis in well presented style, tone, and sincerity, I have a very difficult time in seeing how this book lives up to its title. The book is definitely about politics from a Christian perspective - Grudem's Christian perspective. But it is certainly not a standard on politics "according to the Bible." As far as I’m concerned it really seems like the book presents the Republican platform baptized in proof-tex While I appreciate that Grudem presents the reader with a lot of thoughtful research and analysis in well presented style, tone, and sincerity, I have a very difficult time in seeing how this book lives up to its title. The book is definitely about politics from a Christian perspective - Grudem's Christian perspective. But it is certainly not a standard on politics "according to the Bible." As far as I’m concerned it really seems like the book presents the Republican platform baptized in proof-text Christian Scriptures. The great things about this book are the very detailed explanations of how our government is supposed to work (concerning how it was originally set up), how it's currently functioning, and some of the difficult issues that are dividing the nation. There really is a great deal of reference material in here and some truly sobering facts. The down side to the book was how a Christian is actually supposed to respond. He argues that Christians should have significant influence in their government, and he presents some texts that indicate as much. And that is great! But he approaches the Scriptures with a very pick-and-choose attitude as to which texts actually apply to politics. Particularly disturbing was his dealings with the very school of thought that can actually do much more than simply criticize the current government situation but that can truly offer a substantial alternative with solid authority behind it - the school of thought known as Theonomy. Grudem was very un-scholarly in his approach in dismissing theonomic principles when it comes to politics. His arguments were basically: (1) Theonomy doesn't recognize a separation of church state (p. 66) a straw man argument if there ever was one - anyone who has actually read up on theonomy knows that there is a very clear separation of church and state (see Greg Bahnen's Theonomy in Christian Ethics, pp. 389-420). (2) Some of the Old Testament laws are "severe" (with a negative connotation) and "should not be used as a pattern for governments today" (p. 84). I find this very odd since even the New Testament says that the Old Testament laws are "just" laws (Heb. 2:2) as well as "holy, righteous, and good" (Rom. 7:14) and that the Old Testament does display them as a pattern for a godly government (regardless of age - Deut. 4:8). Why he warrants Old Testament laws to be a bad pattern is beyond me. (3) And finally, the all-so-impressive argument "most or all recognized leaders in the evangelical movement in the United States have clearly distanced themselves from [the theonomic] position" (p. 23) - as if that's even an argument. Oh how I wish this kind of logic was around when Martin Luther was teaching the Bible to the masses - "We probably shouldn't pay attention to what he's saying since most or all recognized leaders in the Roman Catholic Church have clearly distanced themselves from his position on justification." In reality, theonomy simply says God's Word is authoritative. But once we take that authority away it becomes a slippery slope. Either way, in the case of Grudem in this book, for someone who opposes theonomy so strongly he did sure like to use the Old Testament when it was convenient to his case. But I feel that this only continues to show the world the inconsistency of the evangelical Christian faith in America. We want to evangelize but not make disciples (who wants to teach doctrine? we know they're going to heaven, they prayed the prayer). We want to use the Old Testament as a pattern for societal justice, but only if it's convenient to our own cause. Example: there shouldn't be an estate tax, and the government shouldn't have so many regulations on the free market; but we shouldn't have such "severe" penalties for crimes like kidnapping, rape, murder, adultery, homosexuality, and we should be allowed to go anywhere in the world to spread democracy whether other countries like it or not. This is truly Republican principles supposedly backed by the authority of Scripture. The problem is, as Grudem points out, Scripture does not authorize an estate tax nor intrusion in the economic marketplace. But contrary to what Grudem supposes, neither does it authorize a nation the normative prerogative in policing the world. Yet it does authorize “severe” (although the Bible doesn’t call them severe but just (Deut. 4:8; Heb. 2:2) laws for crimes like kidnapping, rape, murder, adultery, homosexuality, etc. Abandoning theonomic principles (that is, God’s Word should be the standard for ethical norms), Grudem’s main supposition behind his book seems to be whatever seems practical to him in light of what he particularly likes about Scripture or the way things work. For instance, he likes the idea found in Scripture that education of children belongs to the parents and not to the state. So he presents a case for the option of homeschooling and private schooling (p. 247-248). Yet even then it’s just the “option” for those two - he seems okay with the government taking money from private citizens to support state-sponsored schools (p. 249-256). But he also likes the idea of the government "enacting laws against the production, distribution, and sale of pornographic materials" (p. 242). While pornography is clearly wrong morally (Mt. 5:27-28), God's Word does not authorize the government to make laws restricting it's uncoerced adult production. That is not a Biblical view of government and its purpose - but since Grudem particularly likes the idea of laws restricting pornography, he upholds it as being “Politics According to the Bible.” There were certainly some good parts in the book. If I wish to be fair (which I do), I must admit that. The best part for me personally was his research on the issues (massive references throughout the book), and his clear explanation of the government's separation of powers (or the separation that is supposed to be there) and how to get those powers back in balance. But when the foundation is sand, the structure will fall (Mt. 7:24-27). And so while I do think it’s a good reference work, I certainly can’t endorse it as a book that is truly “Politics According to the Bible.”

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mark Glidden

    The title of this book is very misleading. There ought to be a subtitle stating "If you are a Fundamentalist and have removed all trace of conscience". This book is such twaddle that it almost defies any sort of serious attempt at criticism. It's cold in it's approach towards so many sensitive issues, but most painfully, so unashamedly polarizing in the way it deals with literally every single political issue we face in the 21st century. Grudem is infuriating in his self-righteous espousal of Bi The title of this book is very misleading. There ought to be a subtitle stating "If you are a Fundamentalist and have removed all trace of conscience". This book is such twaddle that it almost defies any sort of serious attempt at criticism. It's cold in it's approach towards so many sensitive issues, but most painfully, so unashamedly polarizing in the way it deals with literally every single political issue we face in the 21st century. Grudem is infuriating in his self-righteous espousal of Biblical principles as a basis for an ultra-conservative political stance, so much so that one often gets the impression that he would be better suited as a Bible Belt Republican rather than a "theologian". Let us pray that this book might, in future, become known as an obscure and outdated text, and that when dealing with political issues, Christians might remember only two quotes from the Bible, both taken from Our Lord: "Judge not, lest you too be judged" and "Love one another".

  4. 4 out of 5

    William

    I would like to give this a 3.5 star review. This is, of course, somewhat unfair because it is always harder to build a position than tear it down, and none is harder than building a coherent political position. Nonetheless, this book has some faults as many people have already noted. However, Dr. Grudem offers a helpful outline of significant subjects with which to work. I think the biggest shortcoming of this book is an all encompassing vision of political philosophy which makes this book's ti I would like to give this a 3.5 star review. This is, of course, somewhat unfair because it is always harder to build a position than tear it down, and none is harder than building a coherent political position. Nonetheless, this book has some faults as many people have already noted. However, Dr. Grudem offers a helpful outline of significant subjects with which to work. I think the biggest shortcoming of this book is an all encompassing vision of political philosophy which makes this book's title somewhat a misnomer. As it is portrayed, this book appears to be a string of topics not coherently associated. For this reason, I would pair this book with additional books exploring the relationship between Christ and Culture, an historical perspective of the party system in the US, Constitution with the Federalist Writings (Anti-Federalist writings for bonus points) and a fuller treatment on economics, for beginners ("Poverty and Wealth" by Ronald Nash). I like Grudem's book for some of the book recommendations found in it, such as "The Death of Common Sense." After that, I would engage in the major philosophical political works of the western tradition (Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Augustine, Aquinas, Machiavelli, Calvin, and the enlightenment philosophers [Hobbes, Rousseau, Locke], John Stuart Mill, John Rawls, and some critics of classical liberalism, such as C. S. Lewis). I think reading some introductions to political philosophy would also greatly benefit the reader, as well. There are tons more to read, but the list gets lengthy. I would say after this point, read politics broadly. I've found reading politics to be a pretty wholesome project, so keep at it!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Chase Austin

    "I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:5) As citizens of a democratic nation it is our civic duty to be well-informed on the pressing issues at hand, so that our decisions or votes convey our personal beliefs of what we would have the government accomplish or not accomplish. As a Social Studies teacher this is how I explain civic duty to my students, what I cannot share with my stude "I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:5) As citizens of a democratic nation it is our civic duty to be well-informed on the pressing issues at hand, so that our decisions or votes convey our personal beliefs of what we would have the government accomplish or not accomplish. As a Social Studies teacher this is how I explain civic duty to my students, what I cannot share with my students is that I am an evangelical Christian and my faith in Jesus Christ as well as obediently following the bible, the inerrant word of God directs me on not only how I live my life but also how I vote and participate in our government. Starting with Matthew 22:20-21, Dr. Grudem uses scripture to clearly explain and persuade what the bible says and how it should be properly applied to past and current issues such as abortion, role of government, National Defense, proper scope or limit of government, the environment, education, the economy, homosexual "marriage", taxation and much much more. This is an important book for believers and non-believers alike, one of the arguments that is used over and over again in this book is that using reasonable persuasion regarding a topic is not the same as forcing your beliefs on someone. In fact in a democracy, conversation and persuasion are effective tools for change and hopefully this book will offer sound edification and persuasion for anyone who turns its pages.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Eric Abisror

    This was a very good book on politics. It was helpful to read all the way through, but can easily be a reference book as well.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Adam

    A Review of Wayne Grudem’s Attempts to be Comprehensive Politics is a very broad subject which allows for a great deal of disagreement. Likewise, the Christian faith has many values that are unique to individuals and groups. Combining the two is not always easy, and it certainly does not make for precise clarification. Each system presents a unique set of biases which have a tendency to taint the other. Understanding what the Bible teaches about politics ought to be a great concern for Christian A Review of Wayne Grudem’s Attempts to be Comprehensive Politics is a very broad subject which allows for a great deal of disagreement. Likewise, the Christian faith has many values that are unique to individuals and groups. Combining the two is not always easy, and it certainly does not make for precise clarification. Each system presents a unique set of biases which have a tendency to taint the other. Understanding what the Bible teaches about politics ought to be a great concern for Christians. The challenge then, is to be willing to examine our preconceptions and not allow them to be determined for us. I was mislead in my initial approach to reading this book. Perhaps it was Peter Sanlon’s review in The Gospel Coalition’s Themelios in which he called Grudem a Libertarian. Or maybe it was because Voddie Baudham recommended it in his endorsement of Ron Paul. I would wager to say that neither of them actually read the book because it would clearly clash with their statements and positions. Wayne Gruden is a theologian, professor, and author of several books, but most widely known for his book on “Systematic Theology.” He admits upfront that he is not a political journalist, and that his approach is slanted from a conservative mindset. As a relatively trusted resource among evangelicals, I can understand why people would turn to him on such a subject, but one thing is clear, he is not an authority on political matters. He may even be overestimating his attempts by thinking his principles apply across cultures and party lines. “Politics According to the Bible – A Comprehensive Resource for Understanding Modern Political Issues in Light of Scripture” is Grudem’s attempt in creating a resource for Christians in understanding and interacting with government. Written in three sections, the first lays out a thorough explanation of how Christians approach the balance of faith and politics. He then develops a biblical worldview that addresses many of the passages where the Bible addresses politics. The second section deals with particular issues relating to a wide range of topics most specifically focused on political policies. In the final section he addresses the culture of politics and how it works in the US. The premise that a book can address every issue in politics according to the Bible is rather bold. It comes along with a wave of thought that everything Christians involve themselves in somehow needs to be related to biblical principles. Grudem points out in his introduction that much of what he has to say cannot be supported biblically. “I am certainly not claiming that the Bible also supports all the facts I cite about the world today.” With this admission, Grudem explains three standards he used in forming his premises: Biblical certainty, broader principles, and an appeal to facts. In reality, what he does is substitute broader principles for his presuppositions and an appeal to facts as philosophical arguments. If it were a cake recipe, the philosophical notions would be the flour, his presuppositions would be the sugar, and the biblical principles would be the baking powder. Hardly the comprehensive book it is selling itself to be. Certainly this can’t be avoided, and I wouldn’t even attempt to write a book on politics suggesting that everything had Scriptural support, but the issue I take with this claim is Grudem’s response that he is not going to distinguish between these three. Instead, he leaves that up to the reader to determine if he is right. But what, then, is the purpose of a comprehensive work claiming biblical affirmation? This allows Grudem to present his views to a Christian audience without the strenuous effort of explaining his premises. He can make an emotionally charged case without Scriptural support and rest assured that he had warned his readers he would do so. While claiming to be comprehensive, the book is 600 pages long, I feel he has failed to fully address the full spectrum of ideas. Section one is exhaustive in the sense that it addresses the wide spectrum of evangelical positions, but it is the only section where he fully expounds on opposing views. Once you get into the second section, making up the majority of the book, Grudem’s views are narrow and slanted. Instead of making the effort to explain every angle, he writes directly to his audience. Some of his arguments are solid and can be supported, but most of them are narrowly guided by his political slant. Grudem’s conclusions could better be described as the typical evangelical default position. The reader really needs to be aware of the very real problem of confirmation bias. Grudem does not make a special effort to explain his positions to those who would disagree with his premises. Instead, he writes directly to an audience that already agrees with him. I even got the impression that many of his points were being read back into the text instead of coming from a biblical perspective. This is a dangerous method in developing a political worldview that most people won’t notice as long as they agree with them. In this way, I cannot stress enough how destructive this is in creating a sound, theological worldview. In the end, “Politics According to the Bible” is a mix bag of common sense, conservative values, and totalitarian ideals. Though written from a conservative perspective suggesting limited government, several of his religious convictions are allowed to seep into his political perspective and influence his decision in a totalitarian way. Even though he addresses where socialism and totalitarianism are wrong, he is not able to see where he crosses that line himself. This is another major problem we are facing today because the conservative side alleges that they are fighting for limited government, but in reality, they only want to limit it in certain areas. Many of their attacks on the liberal system can be made against them as well for different policies. This is obviously not something that Grudem addresses in the book. The two parties in the system are more alike than they are willing to admit. I was prompted on several occasions while reading through this book to write complete essays in contradiction to Grudem’s positions. (Maybe I still will through the coming month. You can start looking forward for those.) In many cases he uses bad information, relies on traditional values, and assumes the reader agrees with his premise. He quotes Aristotle, a totalitarian, on defining marriage. He uses gross logical fallacies to build his argument on national defense. Some of what he says is completely accurate, particularly about the environment and special interest groups. But in other areas he contradicts himself when suggesting that the public school system is flawed and then presenting how he would fix it without actually restructuring it. Furthermore, He wrote this several years ago before current events that would contradict several things he said. He suggest that nuclear power plants present little to no risk as a form of energy. Something I think he would retract in light of the tragedy in Japan. He supported Mitt Romney in the 2008 nomination, and he makes a special effort to attack Ron Paul. In many ways, this book already has an expiration date and it is already a couple years old. Initially, I thought I would be able to recommend this book as a resource with some reservations. I assumed it would be a scholarly attempt to paint a wide picture of where Christians can see the full spectrum of politics according to the Bible. Sadly, I was greatly disappointed in the process which he uses to determine his convictions. It’s not that we disagree that bothers me, but how he draws many of his conclusions and fails to point out their limitations. Grudem’s thoughts represent an older generation of conservative values which are not being translated into contemporary language. There is a major shift taking place in the next generation of the conservative party, and Grudem’s views are antiquated. It’s not that he is wrong, or that his concerns are not longer relevant, but that his method in presenting them does not speak to the people who will become the next leaders in our generation. It is like writing an instruction manual for those about to retire. For this reason, I won’t recommend this book, even as a resource guide. There are much better resources and they don’t have to carry the name of Christian or biblical in order to be trusted as authorities. So, with sadness, I can’t recommend this book. Check out my book reviews every Wednesday at worthyofthegospel.com

  8. 5 out of 5

    Katie Marschner

    This is an excellent resource. Grudem literally writes about every subject imaginable when it comes to politics. He does an excellent job making his points Biblical. There were a couple things I think he got wrong. One being the gospel. He has a much broader view of the gospel than I do...believed the gospel is something that we do rather than something Christ had fully accomplished. The other thing I differ with him on is his view of Israel. He is not a dispensationalist, so naturally his view This is an excellent resource. Grudem literally writes about every subject imaginable when it comes to politics. He does an excellent job making his points Biblical. There were a couple things I think he got wrong. One being the gospel. He has a much broader view of the gospel than I do...believed the gospel is something that we do rather than something Christ had fully accomplished. The other thing I differ with him on is his view of Israel. He is not a dispensationalist, so naturally his view of Israel's position today would differ from mine. He believes that God's covenants to Israel transferred to the church, and the church has replaced Israel as God's covenant people. However, he still holds a very high view of Israel and believes nations should still support Israel. His reasoning is just different from where I land on that topic. Abortion, homosexuality, capital punishment, tariffs, personal injury lawsuits, borders, role of government, foreign policy, judges, rule of law, the supreme court etc are all covered in this book, as well as numerous other topics. I listed to the audio version of this book. It was read well, however, I wish I had a hard copy. It would be much easier to find the topics i wanted to freshen up on again later with a physical copy of this book. The audio version does not have chapter headings at all, just chapter numbers which will make it hard to find topics later. I definitely recommend this one if you are interested in politics at all. He does a great job looking at political issues through the lense of the Bible.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Thaddeus

    Thorough, thought-provoking and well written and argued. Definitely a beneficial read to help Christians think biblically about politics. Grudem is obviously leaning conservative and Republican, but he doesn't hide that. He argues his case well, and even if you don't land exactly where he does on every point (I didn't), you have a respect for how he's attempting to think thoroughly and biblically about. This was beneficial for me as a sort of 'conversation partner' on these issues. Whether you le Thorough, thought-provoking and well written and argued. Definitely a beneficial read to help Christians think biblically about politics. Grudem is obviously leaning conservative and Republican, but he doesn't hide that. He argues his case well, and even if you don't land exactly where he does on every point (I didn't), you have a respect for how he's attempting to think thoroughly and biblically about. This was beneficial for me as a sort of 'conversation partner' on these issues. Whether you lean more liberal, conservative, libertarian, or independent - this is a good read to consider. It was full of useful facts and reasoned arguments.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Martin

    Much more politics than Bible. (Will elaborate later).

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sean McGowan

    This book was very useful. The section on the Supreme Court as well as the various discussions on the issues makes it well worth the read.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nanette

    A Must Read. Period.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

    Great reference book for those wishing to connect biblical faith and politics

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    The buyer should beware: for virtually all of the issues Grudem lines up with the conservative Republican side. He states this unapologetically upfront in the book's introduction. He believes he is siding with Republican policies simply because they align with the teachings and principles in Scripture. Christians who are politically liberal will find this a hard pill to swallow. Nevertheless, Grudem does give arguments and the politically liberal Christians will need to deal with those arguments The buyer should beware: for virtually all of the issues Grudem lines up with the conservative Republican side. He states this unapologetically upfront in the book's introduction. He believes he is siding with Republican policies simply because they align with the teachings and principles in Scripture. Christians who are politically liberal will find this a hard pill to swallow. Nevertheless, Grudem does give arguments and the politically liberal Christians will need to deal with those arguments (and his counter-arguments to liberal arguments) and not just go ad hominem or give a knee-jerk response. On several occasions now I've had conversations with Christian democrats who are too dismissive of Grudem's book. They read a section here or there, find out Grudem takes the conservative side, and dismiss the book as moronic. They end up repeating arguments that Grudem interacts with and refutes in the book or else they end up misrepresenting what Grudem is arguing or has said. To give just one example, one person, call him "Bob", said Grudem was ignorant of an issue because he (Grudem) didn't mention a certain person in the book. Turns out Grudem does mention that person. Bob just hadn't read the book carefully enough. For the *overall* quality of the book I would give it four stars. Overall, the book is a good presentation of a Christian approach to politics both in theory and practice. It will provide a great reference for someone who wants to know why a Christian should care about politics, what type of political values the Bible might support, or what a Christian (or perhaps in some cases simply a generic conservative) argument might be on any given issue, from CAFE standards on automobile mileage to faith based organizations or any other political topic you might imagine. The book can be used in this reference sort of way by both conservatives and liberals. Want to know why those crazy Christian conservatives think we should be able to have guns? Want to know how they might try to justify that in light of the Bible? Turn to page 226. Nevertheless, I've given the book only three stars. Why? Due to some poor arguments and a question regarding the book's title in relation to the nature of arguments that occupy a large section of the book I have to give it three stars. These aren't major faults in the book, I think the question regarding the book's title is a bigger issue than some of the poor arguments, but they do detract from the value of the book nonetheless. Truth be told, I'd give the book 3.5 stars if that were possible. As it is, I give it three. To give just one example of a poor argument: early in the book Grudem addresses the question of whether all earthly governments are evil and demonic. He first sets up the case that governments *are* evil. In the process, he cites a reason given by Greg Boyd: the devil claims to have authority over all earthly kingdoms in his temptation of Jesus in Luke 4. To counter this reason, Grudem points out that Jesus said in John 8:44 that "there is no truth in [Satan]." Thus, Grudem concludes, "...we have a choice: Do we believe Satan's words that he has the authority of all earthly kingdoms, or do we believe Jesus' words that satan is a liar and the father of lies?" (36). But this looks like a stretched understanding of John 8:44. It doesn't seem plausible to understand John 8:44 as saying that all propositions spoken by Satan are false. Can Satan not say that he is Satan or that I am human or that Jesus' name is Jesus or that 2 + 2 = 4 or that there is a God or that God has spoken or that there was such a thing as a tree in the garden of Eden? In which case, how did he tempt Eve to eat from a tree if it involved Satan implicitly asserting the tree's existence? Therefore, I don't think that John 8:44 alone will give us reason to dismiss Satan's claim to authority in Luke 4. As I said, this is just one example. There are others that I think are poor for different reasons. But I don't think these poor arguments dominate the book or even take up a large minority. For the most part, Grudem gives good arguments although never as rigorous as they could be if more space were given to the issue in question. Finally, I said there was a question regarding the book's title in relation to the nature of arguments that occupy a large portion of the book. Grudem states in the introduction that he will be using three types of arguments: arguments that draw from direct teaching on Scripture, arguments that draw from broader principles drawn from Scripture, and, finally, arguments drawn from facts in the world (see page 17). The question arises from the third type of argument and whether it is appropriate to call your book _Politics *According to the Bible*_ when it addresses issues like what sort of regulations should auto-manufacturers be held to or issues regarding farm subsidies. These are issues that can be tied back to the Bible only in the broadest of senses and, as Grudem himself admits, there is a lot of room for disagreement here. Granted that we could tie the issue of farm subsidies to some biblical principles, would anyone think it appropriate to title a book _Farm Subsidies According to the Bible_? I doubt it. Nevertheless, Grudem does try to keep the biblical principles in mind and I think the majority of the book concerns itself enough with the first and second type of arguments that the presence of this third category of arguments doesn't totally ruin the credibility of the book's title. Whether you are politically liberal or conservative you'll want to pick this book up and, if not read it all the way through from front to back, use it as a reference. If you are a liberal and you use the book in a reference manner you'll want to be careful about arriving at hasty conclusions or generalizations. Some issues are taken up more than once in different sections. Some of the arguments Grudem makes relate back to earlier arguments in different sections. The introduction should be read in its entirety... some of the problems that politically liberal Christians expressed to me would have been cleared up just by reading the intro.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Noah McMillen

    The title of this book is a bit misleading, though Grudem is clearer in his intention for the book within the writing itself. Grudem is not laying out what the Bible clearly teaches on politics but instead lays out basic principles from the Bible and then argues for his perspective on many key political issues based on these Biblical principles, adding pragmatic arguments and data for support, mostly aligning with the Republican Party. As a result, I strongly disagree with him on some points, li The title of this book is a bit misleading, though Grudem is clearer in his intention for the book within the writing itself. Grudem is not laying out what the Bible clearly teaches on politics but instead lays out basic principles from the Bible and then argues for his perspective on many key political issues based on these Biblical principles, adding pragmatic arguments and data for support, mostly aligning with the Republican Party. As a result, I strongly disagree with him on some points, like immigration laws, but agree with him more often than not. I thoroughly enjoyed the first part of the book, “Basic Principles,” and I praise the method in which Grudem argued his views, even in areas where I disagree with him.

  16. 4 out of 5

    C Clark

    This book is huge. It takes over 31 hours audibly. In the first 5 chapters Wayne Grudem lays the foundation for the impacts Christians should have on government from a biblical viewpoint. Definitely read these chapters. Chapters 6 -15 deal with specific issues. I can see where reading through these chapters is beneficial to get an overview but I could also foresee that people would come back to them as a resource when needed. Chapters 16-18 are his concluding thoughts. The book is from 2010 so t This book is huge. It takes over 31 hours audibly. In the first 5 chapters Wayne Grudem lays the foundation for the impacts Christians should have on government from a biblical viewpoint. Definitely read these chapters. Chapters 6 -15 deal with specific issues. I can see where reading through these chapters is beneficial to get an overview but I could also foresee that people would come back to them as a resource when needed. Chapters 16-18 are his concluding thoughts. The book is from 2010 so there are many examples that could be updated but the ones given are known and support his statements.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jean

    Grudem gives compelling arguments, supported by Scripture, for many social issues that Christians struggle with these days. This book is very long! I only got to Part 2 - Chap. 6 before it expired at the library. I listened to the audio version and don't care much for the narrator. But my husband thought he was good. Grudem gives compelling arguments, supported by Scripture, for many social issues that Christians struggle with these days. This book is very long! I only got to Part 2 - Chap. 6 before it expired at the library. I listened to the audio version and don't care much for the narrator. But my husband thought he was good.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Liam

    Listened to the audio so I wasn’t able to examine it extremely well as I listened. Didn’t agree with absolutely everything Grudem argues for, but several of his arguments made this book very worth the read. The section on the Supreme Court in particular is spectacular. I was also impressed with how comprehensive a scope this book has.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Swett

    Trash, his political theology looks suspiciously like retroactively justifying a particular brand of american conservatism. No insight into what politics should or could look like outside of a contemporary American context. Read O’Donovan instead

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kingsley Layton

    In a world that expects subjective morals and situational ethics, this is a must read for any Christian running or involved in running in politics.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Connor Longaphie

    Wrong

  22. 5 out of 5

    Elliott Rinehart

    Very biased. Book does not consider cultural differences between parts of America, the world and even the Bible.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    Well written, balanced and fair. An excellent reference for any political topics.

  24. 5 out of 5

    David Graieg

    While it has sounds insights on a Christian perspective on politics, it is really only for a US audience, also it feels a little dated already.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

    I’m having a hard time figuring out what exactly to say about this book. Grudem consistently argues that conservative, specifically Republican, values and policies are more in alignment with the Bible than liberal, Democratic values. He has every right to make his case, and he does so very openly and explicitly multiple times. However, the consistent alignment between him and the Republican party does cause me to wonder how impartial he really is. The book is titled "Politics- According to the B I’m having a hard time figuring out what exactly to say about this book. Grudem consistently argues that conservative, specifically Republican, values and policies are more in alignment with the Bible than liberal, Democratic values. He has every right to make his case, and he does so very openly and explicitly multiple times. However, the consistent alignment between him and the Republican party does cause me to wonder how impartial he really is. The book is titled "Politics- According to the Bible", but it doesn't often feel like Grudem is really being honest in attempting to objectively base his political opinions on the Bible. The high level of alignment between his views and Republican views makes you wonder if his views are coloring his interpretation of the Bible. Sometimes the argument is so thin it's hard to imagine Grudem himself being convinced by it. For example, when arguing against euthanasia, he appeals to the story of David executing the Amalekite claimed to have killed a wounded King Saul on the battlefield. Scripture is obvious that David didn't execute the Amalekite because he performed euthanasia, he killed the Amalekite because he dared to kill the Lord's anointed. David himself killed many people, but he himself would not let him kill the King God himself anointed. So, for a respected Biblical scholar to abuse the passage in this way makes you wonder how objective he really is. However, if you ignore the title and just see it as a defense of Republican policies, it's helpful. Though I didn't agree with all of it, I got a better sense of the reasoning behind Republican policies (though I rarely felt confident that he had really taken the time to seriously consider opposing viewpoints). However, when seen in the light of the major claim Grudem makes in the title, the project seems disingenuous.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Paul Kurtz

    Overall, I liked this book and thought it was a worthwhile read. I thought Dr. Grudem gave very good arguments for his conservative political convictions, which I mostly agree with, and was able to do a good job of supporting most of those convictions from the Bible. Although I did think the Biblical support stated for some of his views was pretty weak. For example, he tried to argue that the Bible favors some sort of democratically elected civil government over other forms such as monarchies or Overall, I liked this book and thought it was a worthwhile read. I thought Dr. Grudem gave very good arguments for his conservative political convictions, which I mostly agree with, and was able to do a good job of supporting most of those convictions from the Bible. Although I did think the Biblical support stated for some of his views was pretty weak. For example, he tried to argue that the Bible favors some sort of democratically elected civil government over other forms such as monarchies or dictatorships. I thought this particular argument was weak at best, especially considering that the Bible presents God as ruling over all of His creation as a monarch who does not need our consent to govern us. I was disappointed with what seemed like an unwavering support of the Republican Party. While agree that the Republican Party’s platforms tend to be much more in line with my conservative political views, they don’t seem to do a very good job of actually governing that way when elected. It also seemed to give the book more or a political slant than a theological one. Perhaps a better, more honest title would be The Bible according to Republican Politics. What was even more disappointing was the seeming assumption that most, if not all genuine Christians are also Republicans (or at least ought to be). I very much doubt the veracity of that sentiment. I know too many people who love Jesus and do not identify themselves as Republican. Despite my disappointments with the book, I still think it is worth reading because Dr. Grudem does give very cogent arguments for conservative political views on a host of topics.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Todd Miles

    About 100 pages into this volume I thought, "This is a book on conservative political positions, not a theological treatise on social ethics." Then I looked at the title and sheepishly realised that the book is exactly what it claims to be. Wayne Grudem's "Politics" is really a conservative Christian response to Jim Wallis's "God's Politics." In typical Grudem style the volume is expansive, comprehensive, and is totally submitted to the authority of Scripture with solid exegesis and legitimate p About 100 pages into this volume I thought, "This is a book on conservative political positions, not a theological treatise on social ethics." Then I looked at the title and sheepishly realised that the book is exactly what it claims to be. Wayne Grudem's "Politics" is really a conservative Christian response to Jim Wallis's "God's Politics." In typical Grudem style the volume is expansive, comprehensive, and is totally submitted to the authority of Scripture with solid exegesis and legitimate prooftexts. It is written at a level that an intelligent high school student could profit by and would make a good college text book. Some will be frustrated that it is unapologetically conservative and largely endorsive of the Republican Party (though Grudem is not ultimately satisfied with the Republicans). Some may not agree with his conclusions (I rarely disagreed). But the arguments are so clearly presented that, agree or disagree, his readers will understand those arguments. That cannot but prove to be helpful. The book provides the conservative Christian counterpoint for so much of what is foisted onto the public by the liberal left as being axiomatic, intuitively obvious, compassionate, or the unassailable findings of science. My guess is that it will prove to be foundational for political conservative Christians - a good conversation starter and the first place to turn for initial research and thinking on the many subjects it addresses.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Gabriel

    Grudem in taking on the issue of government and the church seeks to help Christians in making better (and informed) decisions in regards to their politics. His first section on a Christian perspective of government is worth it’s weight in gold and I think he does a great job in providing practical thinking. However, the bulk of the book revolves around different topics and ideologies that are political in nature. It comes as no surprise as to which part of the political spectrum Grudem most firm Grudem in taking on the issue of government and the church seeks to help Christians in making better (and informed) decisions in regards to their politics. His first section on a Christian perspective of government is worth it’s weight in gold and I think he does a great job in providing practical thinking. However, the bulk of the book revolves around different topics and ideologies that are political in nature. It comes as no surprise as to which part of the political spectrum Grudem most firmly attaches to himself, and this is his biggest fault. Because of this, he is very dismissive of the other perspective. Throughout the book, he cites many different sources which gives some credence, though I found many of them to not be as persuasive, but that was my perspective. Overall the book is a good option for those who want a cursory overview of a subject but is not useful for an in depth study of a particular subject. As a student of Political Science, I was not a big fan of it.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    Very little to like - even as a conservative Shallow analysis. Several substantial stretches. Here's a couple examples: 1. The subchapter on the F-22 raptor was borderline absurd. How one can deduce the specific requirements of an army navy or air force from the Bible remains a mystery even after reading that chapter. 2. The chapter on an unbiased press is ridiculous. Sure, large chunks of the media are in fact biased, but there's no evidence in the book that this is a biblical issue. Unfortunate Very little to like - even as a conservative Shallow analysis. Several substantial stretches. Here's a couple examples: 1. The subchapter on the F-22 raptor was borderline absurd. How one can deduce the specific requirements of an army navy or air force from the Bible remains a mystery even after reading that chapter. 2. The chapter on an unbiased press is ridiculous. Sure, large chunks of the media are in fact biased, but there's no evidence in the book that this is a biblical issue. Unfortunately, there simply isn't enough Bible here to be a useful tool for examining Biblical politics. Moreover the legal and economic arguments.aren't impressive enough to make this a useful non Biblical political book either. In the end I hoped for something more than "God commands that government do good, and this is what I think is good so therefore this is a biblical position" and this book just didn't really deliver it

  30. 5 out of 5

    Larry Killion

    “Politics According to the Bible. by Wayne Grudem. I have the hard copy of Grudem's book discussed here. It is available now in electronic format. Heard about it at a local non-partisan political activist meetup group I've been involved with. Bought it on the cheap through Alibris. Took it with me to a conference on "Understanding the Times" back in May of 2011 sponsored by Family Research Council and Watchmen on the Wall. Grudem was one of the speakers. Got him to sign my copy. :) I think it is “Politics According to the Bible. by Wayne Grudem. I have the hard copy of Grudem's book discussed here. It is available now in electronic format. Heard about it at a local non-partisan political activist meetup group I've been involved with. Bought it on the cheap through Alibris. Took it with me to a conference on "Understanding the Times" back in May of 2011 sponsored by Family Research Council and Watchmen on the Wall. Grudem was one of the speakers. Got him to sign my copy. :) I think it is well outlined and a great reference. I think the first chapter is worth the Kindle $4.99 price. It comes from a biblical world view and is therefore more conservative than liberal on several points. The only negative reviews I've seen are from obvious leftists who scoffed at the biblical references and call it a mere Republican 101 Primer. ”

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