Take & Read: Ethics

Five new books about ethics in today’s world

Wading through tough political topics like abortion, racism, and poverty, The Politics of the Cross: A Christian Alternative to Partisanship (Eerdmans Press) brims with generosity and wisdom. A Reformed evangelical who has learned much from Catholic social teaching, Daniel K. Williams charts a path between many a partisan divide. Everything in this book comes off as imminently reasonable, well-informed, and well-argued.

A highly regarded historian, Williams maps out where our partisan convictions came from and where they are headed. He counsels those Christians “convinced that we have a moral duty to vote Republican” for religious reasons to remember that “the Republican Party’s policies on economics and race are not in the best interests of most blacks and Hispanics.” He also has some painfully obvious yet somehow overlooked things to say to liberals.

Williams’s goal is not to disabuse us of our political convictions but to historically contextualize them—in order to better situate them in the promise and demands of the gospel. There is a deep humanity to this book. It’s a humanity that Williams hopes our politics might return to.