Monday, August 18, 2008

Book Review: "The Faith of Barack Obama"

faith of obamaOver the weekend, I just finished Stephen Mansfield's The Faith of Barack Obama.

I'll cut to the chase... his faith is complicated. Mansfield describes Obama's beliefs as fitting into sort of a new culturally-acceptable left-wing moral majority (the "religious left"). Obama uses all the right words to describe his faith and make it acceptable to evangelical Christians, but his voting habits seem to slant the other direction. (Ultimately, his faith is known to him and God.)

The book is a quick read. The most interesting section was the first half, which covered Obama's life history and how that shaped his faith. The "meat" of the book was the second half, but I guess I'm more into stories.

The last section compares the faith of McCain, Hilary, George W. and Obama. Mansfield's well-informed descriptions were interesting and drew some thought-provoking conculsions.

Mansfield ends with hope. It's almost as if he assumes that Obama will win - but hopes that the ensuing change in our country and the world will be for the better. I think I agree.

Should you buy the book? If you are an Obama fan - or detractor - and are curious about his faith, I would recommend it.

ps (Update) Yes, there was an interesting debate on TV over the weekend too. I'm watching it via YouTube, when I can find time. So far, very interesting. Highly recommended.

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