What if “conservative” did not just mean emphases on traditional morality, small government, and lower taxes? What if conservative also meant doing the right thing in compassion issues like Jesus did: healing the sick, feeding the hungry, appreciating the “lilies” (God’s creation), and freeing the oppressed? What if believers were also enthusiastic for the furtherance of science and rigorous training in rational debate? What if conservatives were not only patriots but also valuable contributors as citizens of the world?
In his book A NEW KIND OF CONSERVATIVE, pastor, author, and conservative spokesman Dr. Joel C. Hunter provides a field manual for the next generation of conservatives. In today’s geopolitical climate, the United States, indeed the entire world, will be judged by our ability to cooperate with others who are very different from us. Whether we are conservatives or liberals, believers or secularists, we tend to define ourselves by suspicion of the other side. What if there was a way to increase our identity and our intensity for right by associating in common causes with “the enemy”?
A NEW KIND OF CONSERVATIVE offers an intriguing alternative to the angry rhetoric associated with the extreme Religious Right. While Dr. Hunter is uncompromising on issues such as abortion and the redefinition of marriage, he urges conservatives to expand their agenda to include other biblical concerns: poverty, social justice, AIDS, and the environment.
“Being compassionate doesn’t mean that we surrender our distinctive characteristics or stop spreading the good news,” Hunter states. “Today, Christians in the United States have a unique opportunity in history. We are a nation that was formed by differences. There are many widely agreed on improvements that people of all faiths want to make in this world. Ad hoc cooperation between or among a church, synagogue, mosque, or government agency doesn’t require partnering in a spiritual sense. We can cooperate on common causes with people who believe differently as a way of being more obedient to God, who told us to love our neighbors as ourselves.”
Early in the book, Dr. Hunter discusses frankly his resignation as president-elect of the Christian Coalition of America. He also addresses some tough questions about Christians and politics including:
Joel C. Hunter is senior pastor of Northland, A Church Distributed, a congregation of 12,000 that meets at several physical sites throughout Central Florida and at hundreds of virtual sites worldwide via the Internet. Recognized for his ability to build bridges across denominational lines, he serves on the board of the National Association of Evangelicals and the World Evangelical Alliance and was a key spokesman for the Evangelical Climate Initiative. He is a regular guest on Fox News, appears on CNN, MSNBC, and ABC, and has been featured in the NY Times and the Wall Street Journal.
Rather than endorsing any particular party or candidate, A NEW KIND OF CONSERVATIVE includes a voter’s guide that teaches readers how they can evaluate issues or candidates for themselves. Perhaps most refreshing, A NEW KIND OF CONSERVATIVE devotes two chapters to the art of discussing politics without becoming disgusting. This book is a must-read for anyone willing to consider that cooperation doesn’t have to mean compromise.
A NEW KIND OF CONSERVATIVE © Copyright 2011 by Dr. Joel C. Hunter. Reprinted with permission by Regal Books. All rights reserved.