Saturday, August 25, 2012

Body Broken by Charles Drew


Body Broken is an updated and revised version of A Public Faith (NavPress, 2000).
Drew finds it sad that the body of Christ should be divided along political lines. The church has what it takes to be different from every other social institution in the world. Pondering how serious minded Republicans, Democrats and Independents worship together brought him to preach a serious of sermons that became this book.
To help those who want to celebrate their unity in Christ, he makes some distinctions in this book: distinction between moral principle and political strategy, between the calling of individuals and the calling of the church, and between theocracy and influence.
He addresses the question of how Christians should respond to what have named the culture wars. Do we remove ourselves or do we fight?
He has ordered this book around the Bible. He identifies our misdirected worship as the deepest cause for the heat in our political disagreements. He calls us to put our trust in God's sovereign rule.
He clarifies the priorities of the church in public life. He explores the ramifications of Jesus' teaching about what belongs to Caesar and what belongs to God. He ends his book with ways of affecting social and political change that lies outside of the world of politics.
He has questions at the end of each chapter. While you could make good use of them on your own, they would be better used in a group setting.

Some will certainly bristle at what Drew suggests. For example, that hope in politics may have become an idol, or that we are not to make America legally Christian, or that we do not value God's glory above political goals.

I found his suggestions very valuable. Respect people. “Whatever we do as American citizens we must always act upon our King's operating principle that people are more important than politics or power.” (107) Look for ways to cooperate – Christians working together in a fallen world. Use your gifts and opportunities to bring the reign of Christ to bear upon your particular world. Choose to do what is right. Keep it simple.

In this year of national elections when feelings run strong, I recommend reading this book to help each of us keep politics and God's rule in perspective.

Charles Drew has pastored for thirty years in Virginia, Long Island, and New York, all in university settings. He presently serves as the senior minister at Emmanuel Presbyterian Church, near Columbia University.

Follow the author's blog on this topic here.

New Growth Press, 175 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from The TB&B Media Group for the purpose of this review.
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