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Empowered by the Brand New Congress initiative in 2018, evangelical pastor and progressive Republican Robb Ryerse embarked on a long-shot, grassroots congressional campaign against Steve Womack, one of the most powerful Republican incumbents in Washington, DC. After he ultimately lost his race, Ryerse worked with the Vote Common Good campaign, traveling across the United States to help turn Congress blue.
Throughout his political journey, Ryerse gained new insights on the relationship between religion and politics in America today, the dynamics of our deep partisan divide, and the power of faithful people working for the common good. Running for Our Lives is the honest and authentic story of how one pastor tried to make a difference. Through all the joys and struggles of daring to make a stand, Ryerse shares what hes learned about how our political identities shape us, what the role of government has in helping to meet peoples needs, and how others can get involved in politics as an expression of progressive faith.
“I'm grateful that the Spirit is stirring women and men to engage in public life for the common good, through both US political parties and as independents. Robb Ryerse may not have won his race in 2018, but he and many others have stepped up to shift the moral narrative in America. I'm grateful for him.”
—Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, author of Revolution of Values: Reclaiming Public Faith for the Common Good
“Robb Ryerse is the kind of guy who believes in big ideas that are daring enough that they just might happen. As I found in my travels across red-state Christian America, our country desperately needs those big ideas, and the kind of people—like Robb—who are willing to risk it all with the hope that things might get better, for us all. As a pastor, a journalist, and a parent, it gives me hope to know that Robb's story exists, and that despite his electoral defeat, he hasn't stopped believing. We need more stories like Robb's in today's America, stories that prove some people do still get into politics hoping to make things better for someone other than themselves.”
—Angela Denker, author of Red State Christians: Understanding the Voters who elected Donald Trump
“It’s likely that the only thing to save our divided and anxious country right now is courageous acts of love taken by brave people of grace. Thankfully, Robb Ryerse shows us how it’s done. He and his wife, Vanessa, say yes to the ridiculous notion that extraordinary ordinary people—full of courage and love—are who our country needs right now to lead us. Sure, our political atmosphere feels hopeless at times, but Robb reminds me that as long as good people keep doing good work, there’s always reason to hope.” —Colby Martin, author of UnClobber: Rethinking Our Misuse of the Bible on Homosexuality and The Shift: Surviving and Thriving After Moving from Conservative to Progressive Christianity
“Terminal toxicity now defines the words Christian, evangelical, and Republican. For those (like me) who still hope for the good side to faith and Republicanism to reemerge based on grace and the common good, Robb Ryerse’s Running for Our Lives offers real hope. If there’s any way back to sanity for the Republican and religious faithful post-Trump, this book offers the roadmap.”
—Frank Schaeffer, author of Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back