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Faithful Presence: The Promise and the Peril of Faith in the Public Square


Does today’s political climate leave you frustrated and discouraged? When you think about politics, do you get a sinking feeling in your stomach? Do you wonder if there is a way to speak truth without caving to fits of anger and name calling?

In his new book, Faithful Presence: The Promise and the Peril of Faith in the Public Square, two-term Governor of Tennessee Bill Haslam reveals how faith -- too often divisive and contentious -- can be a redemptive and unifying presence in the public square.

faithful presence by governor bill haslam
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As a former mayor and governor, Bill Haslam has long been at the center of politics and policy on local, state, and federal levels. And he has consistently been guided by his faith, which influenced his actions on issues ranging from capital punishment to pardons, health care to abortion, welfare to free college tuition. Yet the place of faith in public life has been hotly debated since our nation's founding, and the relationship of church and state remains contentious to this day—and for good reason. Too often, Bill Haslam argues, Christians end up shaping their faith to fit their politics rather than forming their politics to their faith. They seem to forget their calling is to be used by God in service of others rather than to use God to reach their own desires and ends.

Faithful Presence calls for a different way. Drawing upon his years of public service, Haslam casts a remarkable vision for the redemptive role of faith in politics while examining some of the most complex issues of our time, including:

• partisanship in our divided era;
• the most essential character trait for a public servant;
• how we cannot escape "legislating morality";
• the answer to perpetual outrage; and
• how to think about the separation of church and state.

For Christians ready to be salt and light, as well as for those of a different faith or no faith at all, Faithful Presence argues that faith can be a redemptive, healing presence in the public square—as it must be, if our nation is to flourish.


Published April 20, 2021



















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