Politicians from the three largest UK political parties are among those offering advice in a new book aimed at Christian voters from an evangelical background.
Votewise Now!, edited by Rose Lynas and Theos think-tank research director Nick Spencer, is pitched at those "who want to cast their ballots according to their consciences ahead of the coming general election."
The book says that politics should be first and foremost about justice, understood as right relationships, and that the best way to ‘do’ politics is to engage with the large and small matters that really concern people, rather than pursuing tribal warfare among parties.
Published by Cambridge-based Christian social reform organisation the Jubilee Centre, the book draws on a panel of advisers examining "the most important issues facing Britain today", including topics such as the economy, criminal justice, race relations, and employment.
After outlining the key debates, Votewise Now! presents what it calls "a Christian perspective" and offers a series of principles against which readers may evaluate party promises.
The book concludes with an MP "from each of the UK’s three main political parties" responding to the question, ‘Why should a Christian vote for your party?’
The focus of the book is Westminster and the established party system. The Green Party and other political options are not given the same weight.
The Jubilee Centre seeks "a constructive relationship between social reform and the advance of the gospel."
To coincide with the launch of the book this month, the Jubilee Centre has also released a group discussion guide and an accompanying short video, which poses questions such as ‘Which party has the best answers to the global economic crisis?’
Votewise Now! can be purchased here: http://shop.ekklesia.co.uk/christian-bookshop/votewise_now__1961602.html
Different perspectives on politics and religion from Ekklesia:
* State of Independents: Alternative Politics (2009) - http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/research/independent_politics
* Subverting the Manifestos: A Christian agenda for change (2005) - http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/content/article_agendaforchange.shtml