The Answer to Bad Religion

Progressive Christian evangelical Jim Wallis has what he calls “the answer to bad religion,” which I respect and appreciate. But not surprisingly, I propose a different alternative religious geometry, one that looks with hope into a challenging but stimulating future. 

by Jaco B. ten Hove, co-minister
Cedars Unitarian Universalist Church, Bainbridge Island & Greater Kitsap County, WA
— August 26, 2012 —

The author of our reading this morning, Jim Wallis, calls himself a “public theologian” and has been known to speak at upwards of 200 events a year, addressing “the crossroads of religion and politics in America.” He is a progressive evangelical Christian, founder of Sojourners, a nationwide network of similarly optimistic religious folks “working for justice and peace.” One of his more recent books gives evidence to his approach. It’s perhaps wishfully titled: “The Great Awakening: Reviving Faith & Politics in a Post–Religious Right America.” (Would that we were in a “Post–Religious Right America”!)

But Wallis’s earlier book, God’s Politics, which was mentioned in the lead article of one of our UU World magazines (“The Religious Left“) and is the initial focus of my talk this morning, also has a catchy subtitle: “Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It.” It’s a rambling treatise that nonetheless contributes a lot to this public discussion, especially as an important qualifier to the Religious Right.

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