The New York Times Press Items
10 THE GREAT AWAKENING, by Jim Wallis. (HarperOne, $25.95.) How religious faith can be a force for fighting social problems like poverty and global warming.
“Evangelicals are going to vote this year in part on climate change, on Darfur, on poverty,” said Jim Wallis, the author of a new book, “The Great Awakening,” which argues that the age of the religious right has passed and that issues of social justice are rising to the top of the agenda. Mr. Wallis says that about half of white evangelical votes will be in play this year.
Jim Wallis, an evangelical minister and antipoverty activist whose 2005 book, "God’s Politics," was much discussed in Democratic circles, recognizes that Rauschenbusch's call for "Christianizing" society is inappropriate for one as religiously diverse as our own. But even he, one of the most astute of the contributors to this volume, fails to recognize how harshly intolerant Rauschenbusch sounds to a contemporary reader.
The bureau, the target of a class-action lawsuit by prisoners because of the book purge, is hearing criticism from a broad array of religious groups and leaders. Sojourners, a liberal evangelical group based in Washington, sent an alert to its members, who within 48 hours sent the bureau more than 15,000 e-mail messages urging it to scrap the policy. The issue is also a hot topic on conservative Christian talk radio shows.
Besides decrying the religious right on issues like gay rights, abortion and intelligent design, Mr. Schultz has also disparaged even seeming allies like Jim Wallis, probably the most prominent liberal among the evangelical Christian clergy. Mr. Schultz has reviled Mr. Wallis's ''patronizing lectures.''
For example, after a forum last month for Democratic candidates that was organized by Sojourners, a liberal evangelical group, some conservative bloggers attacked Mrs. Clinton’s professions of faith as "a little too convenient," "a little too timely" and "a little too scripted."
In a post-forum wrap-up, the Rev. Jim Wallis, founder and editor of Sojourners and a tireless campaigner to get poverty on the nation’s political agenda, told Ms. O’Brien: “We were off to a good start tonight. Finally, a better conversation about faith and values.”
Each is aiming to make historic inroads among evangelical Christians and other committed churchgoers who have up to now been most linked with the Republican base. The candidates appeared eager not just to discuss their policies but also to discuss their personal faith journeys as they spoke, one after another, at George Washington University.
While the religious views of Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama and former Senator John Edwards received wide coverage at Monday’s forum organized by the evangelical group, Sojourners, four other Democratic presidential hopefuls also had a chance to weigh in during the second hour.
Mr. Warren, along with Mr. Hybels, 55, and several dozen other evangelical leaders, signed a call to action last year on climate change. The initiative brought together more mainstream conservative Christian leaders with prominent liberal evangelicals, such as the Rev. Jim Wallis of Sojourners