Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Book Review: Reclaiming Hope by Michael Wear

Politics is nasty business at times. Politics is also confusing as well. There are men and women claiming to be believers in Jesus who say all the right words yet their actions and policies don't reflect that. When the 2008 presidential election came, many were wondering about the views of Barack Obama on marriage and abortion, considering he was the most likely candidate to win prior to knowledge of the election results. He did say the right things, but it seems he shifted.

Michael Wear served as the director of faith outreach for President Obama during his first four years in office. Wear has written a book that takes at the lessons that were learned during his time in the Obama administration as we well as the future of faith in America. The book is titled, Reclaiming Hope.

Wear being with how he met the president and it all came together for him to be part of Obama's team. He wrote about the first election campaigned and how Obama answered the right questions when it comes to marriage and life in the womb. Wear confesses in the book that he is a believer in Jesus and a Democrat while he doesn't 100% agree with the majority's views on marriage and abortion. Wear writes about how Obama's faith played out during his campaign as well as his first four years in the White House.

Wear continues by writing about the Obama's administration seeking to find common ground on abortion, which there is really no such thing. Then there was the Affordable Care Act (ACA as known as Obamacare and the backlash from that law, which Wear says how it did benefit some while there were those who did not. Then comes Obama's view on marriage when he publically supported same-sex marriage after saying he believed marriage was one man and one woman during his first campaign. Wear was wondering if this was the plan all along to get votes during Obama's first term. In an indirect way, he was questioning the president's intentions on this matter.

Wear concludes this book addressing the hope he has in the political realm for the United States. In addition, he talked about how Christians should always have hope. Their hope is in Christ and not humanity. He also goes on to say that Christians should not shy away from the public light. He said Christians need to be now more than ever advocating human dignity whether it would be immigration reform or recognizing abortion as not a moral good. Then comes religious freedom which was a big issue in the 2016 presidential election. Wear wrote:

When one religious group’s freedom is abridged, it affects everyone’s religious freedom. Either religious freedom is for all or it is for none. And religious freedom will always be most important to minority religious groups.

Christians need to be in politics not only for the sake of human dignity and social justice, but also for religious freedom.

When I picked up Reclaiming Hope, I was not sure what to expect. I knew it received high praise from various church leaders such as Tim Keller and Andy Stanley. Wear is an excellent writer and he presents a fair assessment of the Obama administration during his time with them. I felt he was at times bias to Obama while at the same time, he was trying to be fair to him as a person.

Thanks Booklook Bloggers for letting me review this book.

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