Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Book Review: THE FAITH OF BARACK OBAMA by Stephen Mansfield

Without a doubt, this election stands far and above any presidential election I've witnessed. Beyond politics, it's galvanized discussions in our country about race and religion.

I thought about waiting to post this review until my husband had a chance to read the book as well. Not that his perspective will be different from mine, but it's sure to be deeper.

However, I'm not reviewing perspective, or politics, or religion. I'm reviewing a book. Since, like most people, I bring my emotions and views with me wherever I go, trying to look at this book objectively was difficult at times.

Faith in American politics has seldom taken the stage like it's taking now. Rumors and misconceptions abound about Obama and his faith, and Stephen Mansfield works hard to get as close to the truth as possible given that he isn't, from what I can tell, a confidante of the man.

For the most part, Mansfield succeeds in his goal to present a balanced, insightful view of this Senator from Illinois who has become a household name in a few short years. Unfortunately, I sensed some subtle but decided shading in the portrayal of some of the differences between Obama and McCain.

If you're interested in getting some glimpses into the experiences that may have helped form Barack Obama and his Christian faith, from someone who I believe is really trying to provide an honest portrayal, you need to read The Faith of Barack Obama.

Discussion and discourse about the future of our country, particularly as faith propels the dynamics of change, are welcome and healthy in our society. This book will be a wonderful starting place for those discussions because it's thoughtful and
as balanced as any I've ever read on the subject.

Recommended.




About to start reading: The Sign of the Book by John Dunning.

It's all better with friends.

2 comments:

Rebeckah said...

Thank you for this review!

Anonymous said...

Mansfield succeeded with:

"I have to say that one of my goals for this book besides just the content was to find the tone that I hope will be replicated a bit more in American politics," said Mr. Mansfield. "This vicious left/right fighting that is happening in America is paralyzing us. It is keeping up from accomplishing anything. And I have to say, as a Christian, it is ungodly. My hope was to write a book that would model a certain tone while communicating facts that people need to know."

Stephen Mansfield does a great job of describing the pluses and minuses about Rev. Wright. In my opinion, Rev Wright's pluses far outweigh his minuses.

People will not understand Rev Wright until they open their hearts and minds to objectively reading sufficient information to make an informed judgment.

Mansfield describes Rev Wright as, "brilliant, angry, successful and unapologetic,"

I highly recommend Mansfield's educational and easy to read book. The book is especially good for people unfamiliar with black churches. I learned about Black Liberation Theology, which is much different from what I heard on TV.

The author is objective. He helps answer why Obama stated in Rev Wright's church for 20 years.

http://stephenmansfieldblog.blogspot.com/

Two interesting articles, one about the latest Obama Smear book. The other about Mansfield's Hannity & Colmes appearance

The book also has a very interesting chapter about the religious faith of John McCain, Hillary Clinton, and George W Bush.

Another view of Rev Wright

Shouldn’t all preachers exercise their prophetic call to encourage this country to live up to its own principles?

http://www.umc-gbcs.org/site/c.frLJK2PKLqF/b.3794227/apps/s/content.asp?ct=5182351