THE CALL TO CONVERSION by Jim Wallis

THE CALL TO CONVERSION

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Yes, there are left-wing Evangelicals, and Wallis (editor of Sojourners) is one of their most convincing spokesmen. In this loosely organized collection of sermon/editorials he makes a strong case for Christianity as radically opposed to the American status quo, and assaults the unholy alliance between the Evangelical mainstream and conservative political causes. For most Evangelicals, conversion means personal moral reform, especially as evidenced by certain conspicuous signs of non-partisan ""godliness."" For Wallis, on the other hand, ""Any idea of conversion that is removed from the social and political realities of the day is simply not biblical."" These realities include oppression of the Third World and of native minorities, nuclear weapons, rapacious consumerism, and other public evils. Wallis calls for prophetic resistance to all this and denounces as un-Christian the vision of America as ""white, prosperous, and number one in the world."" Nowhere does Wallis attack his Falwellian brethren by name, and except on the issue of arms control (the Cross vs. the Bomb) he deals in moralizing generalities and skips the details--but then he is doing theology rather than journalism. Like other revolutionaries, Wallis has to answer the question, what should we do? In reply he points, diffidently, to the Sojourners community (a commune in Washington, D.C.) and its efforts, practical and symbolic, for social justice. Wallis' exposition of the Gospel is neither exceptionally original nor exceptionally vivid, but his intense, honest, and humane commitment to it give his book undeniable power.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1981
Publisher: Harper & Row