Monday, May 16, 2016

How Would Jesus Vote? by Darrell L. Bock

The title to this book may be a bit misleading. Bock admits he is not sure if Jesus even would vote. Jesus intersected little with politics except to tell his disciples to pay taxes. Perhaps a better title would be something about relating the teachings of Jesus and of Scripture to current issues.

Bock examines current political issues in the light of Scripture. The issues are complex and often simple conclusions are not possible. The values and teachings of Jesus challenge us to think deeply and not make snap decisions.

He covers a number of topics including racial conflict, economics, health care, immigration, gun control, foreign policy, war, education, sexuality, abortion, and more. He gives much background material on the topic and frequently includes statistics. He then looks at Scripture and gleans principles from it.

Many of these issues are not up for a vote, at least for we individual U.S. citizens. The emphasis of this book seems to be more in the area of engaging one another in discussion. These issues are very complex and frequently there is not a clear cut answer found in Scripture. On the issue of health care, for example, Bock admits that he has no concrete ideas how to fix the situation. He does present the biblical and moral values that tell us we should be better at caring for one another.

This would be a great book for a “current issues” discussion class at church. There would be much to discuss guided by principles from the Bible. It is also a good example of how one explores Scripture to find principles when engaging in a complex issue in our modern world.

You may be convinced you know how Jesus would vote on a particular issue. I suggest you read this book as you may find some surprises. I did on a couple of the issues, like gun control and health care. You won't find any definite supernatural answers to the complex issues of today but you will find lots of material to help you engage others in meaningful discussions about them.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Darrell L. Bock is Research Professor of New Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary. He also serves as Professor for Spiritual Development and Culture for the Seminary's Center for Christian Leadership.

Howard Books, 272 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
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