The Jesus Candidate

Political Religion in a Secular Age

by James Paul Lusk

In recent years we have seen more and more Christian rhetoric directed against secularity and the liberal state in a plural society. We hear that Christianity is being ‘marginalised’, ‘picked on’, even ‘persecuted’ by a secular liberalism that is inherently anti-religious. These voices often also wish for the restoration of a ‘Christian nation’ at the level of civil and state power, on the basis that there is a biblical mandate for this and that the idea of a fair, neutral state is a myth. It must either be Christian or, effectively, anti-Christian.

In this powerful book, James Paul Lusk, writing from a socially-engaged evangelical viewpoint, seeks to show why such an attempt at reasserting Christian hegemony over a plural society is wrong theologically, flawed in its characterisation of the liberal state in relation to expressions of belief, historically ignorant of the role Christianity has played in bringing about a secular order alongside others, and deeply dangerous for all who value freedom of speech and action (whatever their religious or non-religious convictions). He suggests that its British advocates owe their politics, at least in part, to the United States’ Religious Right, prominent again in the US presidential campaign and now the presidency of Donald Trump.

March 2017
PB, 134pp, 229 x 152 mm
First published in March 2017 by Ekklesia, now available direct from the author

This book recasts the debate about religion, politics and the secular state. It creates the possibility of a different, more fruitful kind of conversation about how to live Christianly in a mixed-belief society. Simon Barrow, Director of Ekklesia