Faithful Citizenship, by Greg Garrett

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Why is it that people who call themselves Christian may find it next to impossible to talk to other people who call themselves Christian?

Why is it that people who love this country and are grateful for the many freedoms we enjoy may find little common ground with other Americans who likewise love their country and cherish freedom?

And where does this divisiveness, cited by Maine’s Republican senator Olympia Snowe and other retiring senators and members of Congress as their reason for getting out of politics, even come from in a nation some like to call “Christian”?

Well, the answer is that Americans don’t always act Christian when it comes time to make their political decisions. That’s why I wrote Faithful Citizenship, my new book from Patheos Press. If its true that Christians may come to different conclusions about political issues, what can we agree on? I suggest a step back from the precipice, back to Christian first principles. One possibility is Augustine’s Two-Fold Commandment of Love, what Augustine described as the heart of the Christian faith: Love God, Love Your Neighbor. Faithful Citizenship asks, What would a Christian ethic look like that took the Two-Fold Commandment seriously?

It also asks each reader, What would it look like to make our political decisions out of our religious beliefs—instead of attempting to reconcile our faith and decisions we’ve actually made for secular reasons?

To read the book’s first chapter at Patheos and introduce yourself to my thoughts on faithful citizenship, click here.

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