We’re More Political Than We Think

Today I have a book review up at The Gospel Coalition’s website. The book is The Liturgy of Politics by Kaitlyn Schiess. Normally I would just post an excerpt and link to the piece, but since it was a more critical review, I wanted to preface those things with this thought:

I think Schiess is a talented writer and critical thinker. There are many things about her approach to politics that I deeply appreciate. (My copy of the book has as many “YES!” markings in the margins as it does anything else.) For example, she carefully and excellently makes the point that politics forms us in ways much deeper than we’re inclined to believe. And she offers thoughtful guidance for Christians to counter the pull of politics by rooting themselves in local churches and establishing or embracing counter formative practices to ensure our souls are shaped by the Spirit more than political movements swirling around us. But I think in taking aim at the evangelical tradition, she misses the mark. There are clearly examples of the things she is criticizing–in some cases far too many–but her sweeping indictment was unfair to millions of believers. In my review, I attempted to show a few of the ways I found that to be true.

I’ve posted an excerpt below.

Everywhere we turn, we’re confronted with politics. Political ads on our phones and televisions. Campaign signs on billboards as we commute to work. And politics dominate not only the news but also our neighborhoods, with flags, yard signs, and bumper stickers marking out political divides. As annoying as some of us might find all of that, the permeation of politics should remind us that our lives are inescapably political. And in her book, The Liturgy of Politics: Spiritual Formation for the Sake of Neighbor, Kaitlyn Schiess confronts readers with precisely this message by exposing just how formative politics is on our souls.

A staff writer at Christ and Pop Culture and graduate of Liberty University, Schiess penned a notable New York Times op-ed addressing the recent scandal involving the school’s former president, Jerry Falwell Jr. In this book, Schiess writes about politics as a lifelong evangelical. And she speaks to a generation of young evangelicals who have grown disillusioned by the political engagement of their parents and grandparents and are “desperate for an alternative” (20).

Read the rest here.