Just Politics

A Guide for Christian Engagement

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Evangelicals today probably have more political influence in the United States than at any time in the last century--but they might not be certain what to do with it. It has been difficult to develop a unified voice on pressing issues such as social justice and moral renewal.

Bestselling author and theologian Ron Sider offers a biblically grounded, factually rooted, Christian approach to politics that cuts across ideological divides. Shaped by a careful study of society, this book will guide readers into more thoughtful and effective political activity.

Practical, balanced, and nonpartisan, this book will be a welcome resource during the 2012 presidential race. It is a revised version of what was previously published as The Scandal of Evangelical Politics and includes a new introduction and revisions throughout.
Preface to the Second Edition
Part 1: The Scandal of Evangelical Political Engagement
1. Tragic Failure, New Opportunity
Part 2: A Better Approach
2. Developing a Faithful Methodology
3. Politics and the Biblical Story
Part 3: Building a Solid Framework: From Biblical Paradigms and Societal Analysis to an Evangelical Political Philosophy
4. The State: Its Nature, Purpose, and Limits
5. Justice
6. Human Rights, Democracy, and Capitalism
7. The Sanctity of Human Life
8. Marriage and Family
9. Religious Freedom, Church, and State
10. Peacemaking, Just War, and Nonviolence
11. Creation Care
12. Nation-States and International Affairs
Part 4: Loving One's Neighbor through Faithful Political Engagement
13. Biblical Balance, Historic Opportunity


"Ron Sider once again proves that he is one of our country's most important public theologians. Tackling the most pertinent debates of the day, Just Politics offers a blueprint for how evangelicals can be politically active in a biblically coherent, spiritually mature, and publicly reflective way. Any Christian who is looking to be challenged in what it means to be faithful and politically engaged should read this book!"

Jim Wallis, president and CEO, Sojourners; author, The (Un)Common Good

"Ron Sider, the founder of Evangelicals for Social Action, sets forth in this book ways in which Christians can work for justice with the political systems of our day. Drawing on his extensive scholarly research and his lifetime of activism, he provides a scenario that can assist Christians who want to responsibly implement biblical principles in the decisions of government. Those who want to know how to make informed statements in response to the crucial issues of these perilous times will find this book an invaluable guide. Ron Sider writes with clarity and conviction. This book deserves praise!"

Tony Campolo, Eastern University (emeritus)

"Ron Sider builds on years of experience and conversations with Christians across a very wide spectrum. His balance is better than that of most who want to influence politics for the better. And biblical faith is the solid platform on which he builds and balances. Listen to Ron carefully before taking your next step. Just Politics: that's what we need."

James W. Skillen, former president, Center for Public Justice

The Author

  1. Ronald J. Sider

    Ronald J. Sider

    Ronald J. Sider (1939-2022; PhD, Yale University) was the founder and president emeritus of Evangelicals for Social Action and served as distinguished professor of theology, holistic ministry, and public policy at Palmer Theological Seminary at Eastern...

    Continue reading about Ronald J. Sider


"Sider has given the Christian community yet another thoughtful critique, this time exhorting Christians to become politically active. . . . Just Politics offers an insightful overview of the theology and history of political engagement. Sider has offered Evangelicals convincing reasons to engage politically as well as the beginnings of a methodology for how to do so thoughtfully and effectively."

Sarah (Mackin) Imboden,

Brethren in Christ History and Life

"If I were to pick one book on politics for educated lay readers, this would be it. Sider offers a faithful methodology, starting with the biblical narrative as it shapes our worldview and public philosophy, to a coherent view of the state, to an examination of the pertinent biblical texts, to a judicious study of various sides of the contemporary issues. Biblical, gracious, balanced, this is a fine example of the way evangelical thoughtfulness can make a contribution to our civic lives."

Byron Borger,

Hearts & Minds BookNotes blog

"A solid, readable, and nonpartisan book that . . . illustrate[s] a distinctively Christian approach to politics. This is the best book I know of for ordinary, educated readers, about the methodology of how to think Christianly about our citizenship. . . . Thanks to Sider for his painstaking, costly faithfulness over the years, and his hard work insisting that we honor Christ by intentionally resisting the scandal of allowing the gospel to be hijacked by any worldly ideology, left, right, or center. . . . I think everyone who votes should read this book! Just Politics is one of the year's best."

Byron Borger,

Hearts & Minds BookNotes blog

"Just Politics: A Guide for Christian Engagement discusses today's pertinent political issues such as abortion, marriage, human rights, and war; [Sider's] book is unique because it isn't polemical. Instead, he responds by creating a balanced methodology rooted in biblical foundations. His systematic approach raises volume to a voice that is rarely heard when discussing these difficult topics--the voice of an impartial christian. . . . Sider teaches us how to speak political language implicit with biblical morals."

Emmanuel Octubre,

Revival Magazine