15 May 2019

Political Visions and Illusions: release and interview

The second edition of Political Visions and Illusions is now out and available for purchase from the publisher, bookstores and the usual online vendors. An excellent place to find it is at the famous Hearts & Minds Bookstore in Dallastown, Pennsylvania, operated by the indefatigable Byron Borger, who has been a great supporter of my work. If you can't get there in person, he would be happy to send it to you.

If you want to know what's in the new revised edition, Steve Bishop has just posted an interview with me on the topic. Here is an excerpt:

What is new in this edition?

Quite a bit actually. The most significant change is a tweaking of the central thesis, in which I connect political ideologies with idolatry—the making of a god out of something the true God has created. Soon after the first edition was published, I began to think of the stories each of the ideologies tells—a redemptive narrative that parallels the biblical story of salvation in Jesus Christ. This angle I got from my friend and former colleague, Mike Goheen, and from the man on whom he wrote his dissertation, Bishop Lesslie Newbigin. The new edition provided me the opportunity to rework the book so as to adjust its focus. . . .

In recent years I have also come to see more clearly the importance of the institutional church for political life. In the first edition, my understanding of the church was primarily as the larger body of Christ living out its members' diverse callings throughout the broad array of life's responsibilities. But in a “Concluding Ecclesiological Postscript,” I now undertake to explore the role that the institutional church—the gathered community of the faithful meeting for worship and catechesis—might play with respect to political life. This will make the book even more relevant for ministers in training at seminaries, or even for seasoned parish clergy grappling with their roles in equipping their members for living out the kingdom in their daily lives.

Finally, at the end of the book are discussion questions for each chapter.

I might add that Richard Mouw has written a splendid foreword. I pray that God will use this new edition to advance his kingdom.

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