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“Few waters are more difficult for Christians to navigate than political ones. This book helpfully steers us between the opposite errors of worrying too much about politics or investing too much hope in them. One of my biggest challenges as a pastor has been how to shepherd my people on this issue, and Jonathan has given us an invaluable resource to that end—whatever political persuasion they bring to the discussion. In his characteristically amenable but candid manner, he opens the Bible and shows us the way forward.”

- J.D. Greear, Ph.D. Pastor, The Summit Church, Raleigh-Durham, NC

“This is a book worth reading. Leeman is clear headed, tender hearted, and extremely thoughtful about an enormously critical topic. While I may not agree with every jot and tittle of Leeman’s analysis, I was helped, stirred, and provoked by what I read. We need more books like this.”

- Kevin DeYoung, Senior Pastor, Christ Covenant Church (Matthews, NC), Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology, RTS Charlotte

“Jonathan Leeman has written not simply a good book, but an important book. Using the ever-deepening political divide in the United States as a starting point, How the Nations Rage, exhorts Christians not to allow politics to rule our lives, but to allow God to do so. Leeman challenges readers to jettison the petty gods we often serve, and, rather, choose submission to Christ in all corners of the public square. This volume challenges our presuppositions about earthly power, informs our hopes for the heavenly kingdom, and repositions the center of our political lives inside the church of Jesus Christ.”

- Thom S. Rainer, President and CEO LifeWay Christian Resources

“What has the church to do with politics? Is there a proper, biblically informed relationship between church and state? In How the Nations Rage, Leeman exhorts the church neither to withdraw from nor to dominate the political sphere, but to represent heaven to a world in turmoil. What timely counsel, especially to the American church! This work is highly accessible and deserving of praise.”

- John MacArthur, Pastor at Grace Community Church, Sun Valley, California

“Most thoughtful Christians know in their hearts that while government is necessary, the solution for the difficulties of life and the social order will never arise in the nation's capital. Jonathan Leeman has written How the Nations Rage in part to show the futility of the political solution. His determination is not to have Christians avoid political agendas but rather to face honestly the insufferable difficulties in the machinations of men regarding political order. Eventually, Leeman recognizes the the church is subject to being pummeled by just about everybody in the political order, and yet, the church and its message of love in a hate-filled world is the only thing that offers any real solution. Any Christian concerned with political affairs should read this book.”

- Paige Patterson, President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

“Do our political convictions flow from Scripture or from American traditionalism? Do our political hopes find their roots in earthly governments or the heavenly government to which we have been called? These are the types of challenges Jonathan Leeman puts before us in How the Nations Rage. Leeman calls Christians to reevaluate and “rethink faith and politics from a biblical perspective,” reminding us that we are to represent King Jesus as faithful ambassadors working out of the heavenly embassies that local churches are meant to be. As the true cities on a hill, our churches are to display what it means to be King Jesus’ people, showing the world God’s marvelous wisdom and glory. So, whether you’re on the Evangelical Left or Right, in the majority or minority culture, or from the Greatest generation or Generation X, Y, or Z, pick up this book and start anew, making certain that our politics flows from Scripture so that we may faithfully represent our heavenly government well, as we sojourn on this earth.”

- Juan R. Sánchez, Senior Pastor at High Pointe Baptist Church

“As the son of Korean immigrants, I grew up wishing I was an Irish-American Catholic, like all my friends at St. Mary's grammar school. Identity inspired a good amount of confusion and angst in my life.

Even earlier in life, as a five-year old in the year of our nation's bicentennial, I distinctly recall my father insisting to my mother and all his friends in the immigrant Korean church we were part of, that Christians had an obligation to vote for a faithful, Southern Baptist peanut farmer from Georgia named Jimmy Carter--my first run-in with identity politics.

Thank you, Dr. Leeman, for spurring me to deeper rethinking & reflection on the issues involved through this title. When Christians over-complicate their identity in Christ (we are simply ambassadors of his kingdom rule and reign), we tend to settle on oversimplifying our politics to partisan- and identity-. This must change.”

- Won Kwak, Lead Pastor of Maranatha Grace Church

“Over the last 20 years, evangelical Christians have been politically mobilized in an outpouring of moral concern and political engagement. Is this a good development? To what extent should Christians be involved in the political process? In his new book, How the Nations Rage, Jonathan Leeman provides a careful and theologically compelling treatment of the relationship between faith and politics. This book is an urgently needed resource for Christians seeking to faithfully integrate their Christian commitments with their political engagement. Leeman is careful, cogent, and unflinchingly biblical in his presentation. This book deserves careful consideration by any Christian who seeks to walk faithfully in the public square.”

- R. Albert Mohler, Jr., President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

“Jonathan Leeman’s How the Nations Rage contains truths that will make any Christian—Republican, Democrat, Independent or otherwise—squirm, and that’s what makes it worthwhile. In this time of political polarization, Leeman offers an opportunity for people to step back from the headlines and the harangues to re-evaluate what it means to represent Christ in the public square and one’s local community. If read carefully, How the Nations Rage, can smooth some of the sharp edges of our current political discourse and move people of faith toward being truth tellers and peacemakers instead of mere partisans.”

- Jemar Tisby, President, The Witness, a Black Christian Collective; Co-Host, "Pass The Mic" podcast 

“These are fraught political times, both inside and outside the church. The “culture wars” model of the previous century has proven inadequate in addressing the polarization of our current social climate. How the Nations Rage provides a more mature, deeply biblical, and much needed pastoral understanding of the relationship between the church and the public square. In these pages, Leeman balances correction and encouragement, as well as principle and wisdom.”

- Karen Swallow Prior, author of Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me and Fierce Convictions--The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More: Poet, Reformer Abolitionist

“In How the Nations Rage, Leeman offers believers a refreshing outlook on how to engage the often turbulent but necessary political and social climate of America. The call is to reestablish a voice for King Jesus, all the while loving our neighbors, seeking justice and serving as Ambassadors of His through our local churches.”

- A. Horton, author, pastor of Reach Fellowship and chief evangelist for Urban Youth Workers Institute

“This is a timely book on a challenging topic.  It has both clear thinking and practical steps we can take.  In it, myths are exploded and advice is given. The goals the author sets out for us readers are wise, biblical and achievable.  Jonathan Leeman takes the reader on a satisfying journey of self-understanding, and even self-discovery.  Well-illustrated and engaging, this carefully reasoned book should be read in our churches before we come to an election year contest again.  The Christian and the local church, argues Leeman, should be more identity-shaping than ethnicity, nationality or the state.  As a pastor on Capitol Hill, I'm often asked what book I would recommend on politics for the Christian.  Jonathan Leeman has produced a new standard.”

- Mark Dever, pastor, the Capitol Hill Baptist Church, President of 9Marks

Jonathan Leeman, editorial director at the ministry 9Marks, challenges Christians frustrated with today's divisions to hit the restart button by living as citizens of another kingdom and offering the world a totally new kind of politics.

Religious liberty feels in jeopardy today, as cultural power brokers grow ever more suspicious of Christianity. Meanwhile, Christians cannot agree with one another politically. Some want to strengthen the evangelical voting bloc. Others advise focusing on social-justice causes. Still others would leave the public square to get on with the so-called spiritual work of the church. Prominent Christian leaders criticize one another in the news. Members of church small groups find themselves divided and angry. Clearly, Christians in America need a political reboot.

Jonathan Leeman, a scholar of political theology who has taught at various seminaries, believes this restart begins in local churches. Before we can truly do good and do justice, we need to be a good and just people. We cannot talk with integrity about family values if our marriages are falling apart. Or advocate for tax policy changes if we’re not being generous with fellow believers. The restart needed is conversion. Conversion makes us first citizens of Christ’s kingdom and then puts us to work as ambassadors to the world. Our focus must shift from redeeming the nation to living as a redeemed nation. Only when we realize that the life of our churches now is the hope of the nation tomorrow will we be the salt and light Jesus calls us to be.

Jonathan Leeman

Jonathan Leeman is the editorial director at 9Marks, a ministry that helps church leaders build healthy churches. He teaches theology at several seminaries and has written a number of books on the church. He is also a research fellow with the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. He has a degree in political science and English, a master of science in political theory, a master of divinity, and a PhD in political theology. Jonathan has served for years as an elder at Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC. He lives in the DC area with his wife and four daughters.

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