Revolution of Values

Reclaiming Public Faith for the Common Good

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Pub Date 03 Dec 2019 | Archive Date 14 Feb 2020

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Description

2019 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Award - Political and Social Sciences The religious Right taught America to misread the Bible. Christians have misused Scripture to consolidate power, stoke fears, and defend against enemies. But people who have been hurt by the attacks of Christian nationalism can help us rediscover God's vision for faith in public life. Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove explores how religious culture wars have misrepresented Christianity at the expense of the poor, and how listening to marginalized communities can help us hear God's call to love and justice in the world. He highlights people on the frontlines of issues ranging from immigration policy and voting rights to women's rights and environmental stewardship. Through these narratives, we encounter a recovery of values that upholds the dignity of all people. Rediscover hope for faithful public witness that serves the common good. Join the revolution.

2019 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Award - Political and Social Sciences The religious Right taught America to misread the Bible. Christians have misused Scripture to...


Advance Praise

"Jonathan has served as a scribe for the moral movement in America today. In Revolution of Values, he tells the truth about how the Bible was hijacked by the religious Right. But more importantly, he highlights the people who are challenging a false moral narrative and shows us how faith can revive the heart and soul of this democracy."
-William J. Barber II, president of Repairers of the Breach, cochair of the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival

"At this critical and highly problematic time for both the nation and the church, Wilson-Hartgrove offers a compelling set of stories and analyses to stimulate a fresh Christian imagination for justice and the public square. Woven through it is his personal journey of transformation, as well as inspiring examples of ordinary people who have leaned into the public square with faith, resilience, humility, and courage. This is the Revolution of Values he offers: how slaveholder religion can be dismantled and replaced by the vivifying truth and justice of Jesus for all. May we learn and follow."
-Mark Labberton, president, Fuller Theological Seminary

"Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove is a prophetic voice for our times. Through a combination of storytelling, biblical reflection, and cultural criticism, Revolution of Values sheds light on the human victims of an immoral presidency defined by nativism, racism, militarism, Christian nationalism, and anti-intellectualism. Evangelicals can no longer stand on the sidelines and watch the injustice from afar. It is time to join the revolution."
-John Fea, historian and author of Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump

"Jonathan has served as a scribe for the moral movement in America today. In Revolution of Values, he tells the truth about how the Bible was hijacked by the religious Right. But more importantly, he...


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Features in IVP e-newsletters
Early DRC posting on Edelweiss
Librarian and educator outreach 

National print and broadcast campaign
Online publicity and blog outreach
National print and online media reviews
Magazine features and op-eds
IndieBound monthly box mailing
National author speaking...


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ISBN 9780830845934
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Featured Reviews

I have read Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove's book Reconstructing the Gospel: Finding Freedom from Slaveholder Religion (excellent book) and was really looking forward to reading this book. I was not disappointed and found it to be a stimulating and challenging book. This book offers a detailed look at how American slaveholder religion has a menacing grip on the church and poltics in the United States. In reading this we are being asked is the God we claim to serve greater than racism? The answer to this question will require a transformation of slaveholder religious values to the values of the God we serve. This was an excellent read and will be a book I will recommend to friends, churches, and the broader public.

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During primary season in 2008, my pastor challenged the congregation to “Vote the Bible.” I took his exhortation seriously and scoured the pages of scripture over the next five months, with the result that for the first time in 30 years, I voted for a Democrat for president. No doubt the pastor thought abortion and gay marriage would point me to the Republican candidate. But when I examined the Iraq war, the financial collapse, healthcare, the environment, immigration and criminal justice reform, I found the Democratic platform to be more in line with biblical teaching. In Revolution of Values, Wilson-Hartgrove shows how conservative white Christians have been defining the moral issues in public life rather narrowly (namely abortion and gay marriage – but interestingly not #metoo) and that it is time to reclaim a broader definition of morality. Quoting Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the author asserts that a “revolution of values” is needed to change our nation. Wilson-Hartgrove grew up in the conservative evangelical subculture, serving as a Senate page to Strom Thurmond. He spells out the way Christian nationalists, such as David Barton, have misused scripture to promote a political agenda. (E.g. Deuteronomy 32:8--where God “set[s] up boundaries for the peoples according to the number of the sons of Israel”--is support for a border wall.) Or how Dr. James Fifield joined Christianity and capitalism with the help of the National Association of Manufacturers in the 1940s. And sadly, the link between racism and the Christian right, with many Christian schools launched in the south as a way to avoid integration. In the aftermath of George Wallace, the author contends, the Christian right swapped “culture” for “race” when describing their ongoing war with the larger American society. It would be easy to dismiss this book as a screed—and no doubt some will. However, 15% of the book consists of endnotes supporting the author’s contentions. Clearly, he has done his research. At the same time, Wilson-Hartgrove holds the reader’s attention by skillfully weaving human interest stories into the didactic portions of his argument … much like a well-placed sermon illustration in the hands of a captivating preacher. Among the topics covered are: immigration, poverty, voting rights, criminal justice, women’s rights, science, and war. (Chapter 6 is my personal favorite.) Every now and then, it is a good practice to read a book outside your comfort zone; one that will challenge your presumptions and make you think. C.S. Lewis coined the term “chronological snobbery” to define “the uncritical acceptance of the intellectual climate common to our own age and the assumption that whatever has gone out of date is on that account discredited.” I would like to apply Lewis’s tenet to a common practice today of reading only within our preferred bubble and discounting anything from the other side, whatever that may be. For those, who like me, have spent their lives in the evangelical wing of Christianity, Revolution of Values is a great place to start.

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