I received this “timely” book, How Would Jesus Vote?, and asked to review it prior to the 2008 presidential election. While I am an admirer of Dr. D. James Kennedy, I am reasonably sure that I don’t agree with many of the points of his book. I believe there are some philosophical, as well as theological, differences that keep us from seeing issues from the same perspective and I think that early in the book there was a foundational statement made by Dr. Kennedy that I disagree with. On page 32 Dr. Kennedy states the following:
“it is a sin not to vote.”
I’m not going to go through all the points that cause me to bristle at this comment, but will say that one of the freedoms that we have been granted in this nation is whether or not we want to participate…or to what degree we want to participate in the political process through voting. Personally, I choose to participate; however, I cannot see from any perspective how choosing not to vote is a “sin.”
Allow me to state this qualifier before I continue any further with my review; I am very conservative in my political views. I lean “right” most of the time politically as well as theologically. I mention these points about my thinking because the rest of this book seems to paint Jesus as a conservative, western-thinking person rather than God…who’s ways and thinking are much greater than our own. I am not entirely comfortable with the portrayal of Jesus and the positions set forth in How Would Jesus Vote, nor do I think the subtitle gives a global perspective of Almighty God…or yeah, the subtitle: A Christian Perspective on the Issues (This is my opinion worth about as much as the electrons that have provided it).
- The book helped me to re-think my own positions and why I hold them as such.
- Helped me to remember that Jesus is much bigger than His american-made counterpart, “AmeriJesus“
- Made me wrestle with questions regarding the American democratic process, and while understanding that the process has many flaws and short-comings, realize that it is one of the better political processes functioning in the world.
- Led me to praise God for the liberties and freedoms we enjoy in our country
- Led me to pray for guidance and leadership for this country as we continue to affect the the global economy.
The Final Thoughts (found in Part III) of the book offer a little more balance (in my opinion) than the earlier chapters of the book. The final thoughts offer a bigger and more global perspective of Jesus, and personally, I would have liked this to have permeated the local issues described in the earlier chapters. Maybe because of the perceived dogma and hardline stance taken on setting the foundational premise of the book, my opinions were tinged with defensive bias…maybe. I think the book is a worthy read, if for no other reason than stimulating thought…and…I still respect and love Dr. D. James Kennedy
Book: How Would Jesus Vote?
Summary: The 2008 election is shaping up to be one of the most important political contests in American history. In fact, Dr. D. James Kennedy believes it will be a watershed moment that could impact our very survival as a nation under God.
Values voters-people whose political views and votes are based on their faith in God-are being targeted as never before. As the campaign season moves forward, the significant players will debate terrorism, radical Islam, nuclear threats, global warming, social issues, gay marriage, immigration, education, health care, and many other essential issues that can create sharp ideological divisions.
Into this overwhelmingly complex political situation, Dr. Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe bring a clear, compelling, and nonpartisan exploration of what God’s Word has to say on these critical matters. How Would Jesus Vote? isn’t intended to tell readers which candidates to support; rather it offers a Christ-centered understanding of the world to help readers draw their own political conclusions.
Jerry Newcombe is senior producer for Coral Ridge Ministries television and has produced or coproduced more than fifty documentaries. The host of two weekly radio shows, he has also been a guest on numerous television and radio talk shows. He is the author or coauthor of more than fifteen books.
Dr. D. James Kennedy is one of the most trusted and recognized Christian leaders of our time. The senior minister of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, he is the featured preacher on television’s “The Coral Ridge Hour” and radio’s “Truths That Transform”, syndicated on over one thousand stations throughout the U.S. The founder and president of Evangelism Explosion International and chancellor of Knox Theological Seminary, he is the author of more than sixty books, including the bestselling What If Jesus Had Never Been Born?