"Rulers: Gospel and Government" edited by Charles Garriott; a Review

Rulers: Gospel and GovernmentRulers: Gospel and Government by Charles M. Garriott
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In a highly politicized age like ours, it's rare to find Christian people who simply want to serve Christ by serving Government leaders. Most Jesus-followers I know have serious difficulty in separating their personal political views from their ultimate politics - the Kingdom of God. Over the centuries several pastor-scholars have sought to distinguish between the two realms, from St. Augustine's "The City of God" to Herman Dooyeweerd's Sphere Sovereignty. At times the Church has conflated one earthly reign or other with God's reign; and at other times, at least for a few portions of Christ's Church, the two reigns have been so divided that there has been almost no interface. All of this leaves Christians wondering how they can minister, as disciples of Jesus taking the Gospel of Jesus into the world for Jesus, to civil leaders. "Rulers: Gospel and Government" edited by Charles Garriott, one-time pastor of Heritage Presbyterian Church in Edmond Oklahoma and now Director of Ministry to State in Washington D.C., speaks just to this issue. Garriott has pulled together eight people to write a short, 143 page hardback that speaks to the "How-to" of bringing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus to governmental leaders.

"Rulers" is not an intensely theological work, though there is good theology in it. It is not a deeply theoretical book, though there is clearly some sound and worked-out theory between the covers. Most of the chapters are personal stories that describe how different pastors took steps to minister to legislators, senators, governors, and staffers at the State, Federal and International levels. The writers include: Steve Bostrom, pastor-at-large in Helena Montana; Charles Garriott, mentioned above; Bobby Griffith Associate Pastor of City Presbyterian Church in Oklahoma City; Dr. David Clyde Jones, Professor emeritus of Systematic Theology and Ethics at Covenant Theological Seminary; Glenn Parkinson, Pastor of Severna Park Presbyterian Church in Severna Park Maryland; Steven Preston, one time administrator of the Small Business Administration and then Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, both under the Bush Administration; Dr. Harry Reeder, Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham Alabama; and Dr. Rodney Wood who has led the Louisiana Legislators' Bible Study/Prayer Breakfast since 2000.

"Rulers" is an easy-to-digest book that will bring the Christian reader to appreciate the difficulties that civil servants and elected officials bear, as well as the importance of ministering to them. This book will also give one a better appreciation for the mission, the aim and the goal that informs and direct's "Ministry to State". This would be a good book to find on a congregation's book table, and a valuable "must-read" for anyone wanting to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the compassion of Christ to or Governmental leaders. I recommend the book.

{For more on the "Ministry to State" and how you can get involved, you can go to this link: http://pcamna.org/ministry-to-state/}

[Feel free to publish or re-post this review; and as always, please give credit where credit is due. Mike]
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