Item description for Healing for a Broken World: Christian Perspectives on Public Policy by Steve Monsma...
Overview Equips Christians to understand and respond to current public policy issues in a thoroughly biblical manner so that they may live as thoughtful, conscientious world citizens.
Do today's believers know how to be not simply good citizens but good Christian citizens? Are they ready to respond to contemporary public policy issues such as genocide, global AIDS, global warming, and human trafficking according to Scripture rather than any particular political agenda? A growing segment of them are, even if they aren't quite sure how to accomplish it. This book is for them.
With American evangelicals having more political influence today than ever before, this book is especially important. The opening chapters establish the foundational biblical principles that are relevant to our lives as Christian citizens no matter the topic. Author Steve Monsma next highlights crucial global issues in which believers are called to live out their faith. Forgoing ready-made answers, Monsma encourages a reflective, thoroughly biblical response via a lively writing style. His book will equip all believers to make godly, humanitarian choices rather than purely political ones.
A DVD featuring a 10 minute introduction to each chapter of this book is available from Crossway at www.crossway.org or from the Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics at www.calvin.edu/henry. It is ideal for use in classes and discussion groups.
Citations And Professional Reviews Healing for a Broken World: Christian Perspectives on Public Policy by Steve Monsma has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Video Librarian - 01/01/2009 page 54
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Studio: Crossway Books
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.38" Width: 5.79" Height: 0.49" Weight: 0.69 lbs.
Release Date Feb 4, 2008
Publisher GOOD NEWS PUBLISHING #65
ISBN 1581349610 ISBN13 9781581349610
Availability 0 units.
More About Steve Monsma
Steve Monsma (PhD, Michigan State University) is a senior research fellow at the Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics at Calvin College and professor emeritus of political science at Pepperdine University. He was a Michigan state legislator from 1974 to 1982 and has published widely in the fields of church-state relations and faith-based nonprofit organizations. Steve lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with his wife, Mary. They have two adult children and four grandchildren.
Reviews - What do customers think about Healing for a Broken World: Christian Perspectives on Public Policy?
Thoughtful Treatment of Intense Political Issues Nov 5, 2008
I knew I had to buy this book when I saw that both Chuck Colson and Ron Sider were recommending it. Healing for a Broken World: Christian Perspectives on Public Policy (Crossway, 2008) by Steve Monsma helps evangelicals consider how our Christian faith influences our view of politics and public policy.
Monsma calls us to a biblically-informed view of public policy. He writes:
"The truly important thing is that we approach public-policy issues humbly and with our minds shaped by biblically-based principles, not by the various political idols of our day." (11)
Monsma warns us of the traps awaiting well-intentioned evangelicals who participate in the political sphere. Some evangelicals fail to prioritize the right issues. Others may have a narrow goal of seeing Christianity recognized in public life instead of seeing freedom for all religions as a civic responsibility. A few evangelicals throw up their hands in despair, convinced that political solutions to our country's problems are too complex.
In order to help us avoid these traps, Monsma lays a foundation of biblical principles that should undergird all our political involvement. Three principles are key: justice, solidarity, and civil society. These principles frame the rest of the book, but Monsma concentrates on the principle of solidarity when he is speaking of specific political problems.
Monsma writes about abortion, immigration, religious freedom, human rights, the environment and other hot-button political issues. Readers might be frustrated that Monsma does not always come down forcefully with regard to specific political proposals. He sees how Christians might disagree as to how justice, solidarity and civil society are best preserved. Monsma seeks to offer a framework to help us think about these issues rather than taking a "This is the Christian approach" position that silences healthy discussion.
The chapter on poverty helpfully steers between the call to full responsibility and full dependence. He is right to see that the poor need help at a deeper level than a mere handout. My only quibble with Monsma's treatment of poverty is that he accepts at face-value the government's definition of poverty. Perhaps it is my experience in Romania with people who are truly destitute that makes me question the government's poverty line.
The chapter on church and state is thoughtful in its approach to the role of the Church in civil society. But surprisingly, Monsma never deals with the issue of Muslim Law. The growth of the Muslim population in Europe and the United States has led to a resurgence of interest in Muslim Law that is not at all separate from the State. Monsma helps us understand the issues at stake in Church/State debates, but does not address the growing concern about Mosque/State relations.
The chapter on the environment is biblically sound. But there is no discussion about whether or not global warming is man-made. I find this omission unfortunate, since determining the cause is key to how evangelicals decide how to address climate change.
The chapter on human rights is terrific. The principle of solidarity frames the discussion. Monsma peppers the chapter with good stories that are designed to shake us out of complacency and lead us to action on behalf of the persecuted in our world.
Overall, Healing for a Broken World is a much-needed book. I appreciate Monsma's treatment of these political issues. He manages to bring more light than heat to these issues - a true feat indeed in our polarized political climate today. I suspect that some may be disappointed in this book, having expected more concrete expressions of political passion. But I, for one, think we could use a few more cool heads.
Needs more scripture Aug 24, 2008
If you're expecting a philosophy of government based on a careful exegesis of scripture, you will be disapointed. For a book purporting to present a Christian perspective, it contains suprisingly few scripture references. Dr Monsma espouses several "basic Biblical principals," justice, solidarity, and civil society, which, not being carefuly defined by Scripture, are easily twisted to support what ever position he desires: mostly a call for more Government. The book advocates unbounded government power to overcome social evils in Americal and all over the world. Not until the final chapter, when discussing Iraq and the Patriot Act, does Dr Monsma seem to remember that this world is fallen and cannot be redeemed through Government action.
Just In Time For the Elections.... Jun 6, 2008
I actually took my time reading through this book. After all, it's subject content is a combination of two things that are very important to me: Christianity and politics. It was a lot to absorb but it made me realize just how robotic we have become when taking on the opinions of others.
Until now, I have not been able to put into words how I view the way these things should go hand in hand but now I don't have to because Monsma did it for me. God gave us free will. Jesus lived and died using it. Military men and women make sacrifices every day so we can keep it. So then why do we as Christians try to take that free will away from non-Christians?
We can't force them to believe as we do and why would we want to? God doesn't like that. He wants us to willingly choose to love Him and serve Him. Trying to convert people using the laws of the land isn't the change of heart God requires.
Monsma won't tell you who to vote for but he does address the questions you should ask yourself when choosing the person you will rally behind. Will they protect my rights as a Christian? Will they stand behind the constitution as it was originally intended? Will they fight for the well being of each man, woman, and child?
These are some of the major components addressed in this book but Monsma touches on many other subjects as well. He opens up with discussion about "taking every thought captive and making it obedient to Christ". That is his starting point.
In part one he talks about biblical principles such as Creation, Sin, and Redemption; Justice; Solidarity; and Civil Society. Each of which I found very eye opening.
Part two discusses applications of these principles to hot topics such as: Church and State; Life Issues; Poverty; Caring for God's Creation; Violations of Human Rights; Disease and Poverty in Other Countries; and War and Terrorism.
I gained a much greater insight after reading this book and have learned to look a bit deeper into the candidates and their policies. This book will be especially helpful with the upcoming election (don't get me started on that one!)
I do believe that every Christian and American citizen can benefit from this book.
Ideal for the thoughtful, worthless for the demagogues Apr 30, 2008
As the political season heats up, there's no shortage of books coming out advocating particular political agendas by "baptizing" them in a whitewash of religious rhetoric. Steve Monsma's book will be useless to anybody who wants to leverage a church to promote a candidate or legislative agenda; anyone who's been around a church for long has seen this attempted, and too often carried out. The effects have been disastrous for the Kingdom and for Christ's reputation.
But for the church, the small group, the book club, the campus ministry, the thoughtful believer...those who take seriously the call to follow Christ and to do so in the context he's put us in, those who understand that as believers who are citizens in a democracy we have responsibilities as citizens of the Kingdom, those who see that Scripture has much to say about questions of political ethics and political policies, though often not the particular ones we're asking...this book will be invaluable.
In the midst of the hype -- hype which will no doubt leave many faithful believers burned out and discouraged when the ardor for the latest cause has cooled -- there must be those who test everything and hold on to the good, who recognize that not everybody claiming he's a prophet has been sent by God, who search the Scriptures carefully to see if what a particular author, activist or candidate is true. A book like this will be an invaluable guide to the kind of journey through the Bible and our history that will yield a sustainable understanding of what faithful citizenship looks like -- on issues like the environment and abortion and war, as well as on the more basic questions of what God demands of his disciples who are citizens with the ability to influence elections and policy.
Steve Monsma has brought decades of hard-won wisdom and experience as a legislator, political scientist, and faithful churchman to bear on these important questions. This book provides ample fodder for group discussion as well as personal reflection, moving briskly without glossing over complexities. The companion video and the discussion questions at the end of each chapter will catalyze group interaction even with rotating facilitators, and the text is meaty enough to serve classroom purposes as well.
As the election season heats up, God's people will increasingly feel the need for sober, thoughtful, sensitive and wise guidance on the issues of the day, and will increasingly feel that the loudest voices on each side are ill prepared to offer anything beyond red meat for their followers and red-faced denunciations of those who disagree with them. Steve Monsma's book has arrived just in time.