Book Review Introduction

This month our three book reviews address guns and political beliefs.  The first two books offer insights directly relevant to gun violence and gun control debates.  These books are reviewed by two ELCA pastors living in Montana.  Rev. Jean Larson, who also served as Faith Outreach Leader for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, offers a critical analysis of Fear Not: Living Grace and Truth in a Frightened World by Eric Law.  Larson’s review includes the details of a conversation she pursued at the suggestion of the author.  As such, Larson advocates that we all pursue such conversations with our neighbors of differing perspectives. Dr. Paul Seastrand has retired from serving the ELCA in a variety of roles and now, in his own words, “unabashedly uses rod and gun to savor the beauty and fruits of creation.”  He reviews Talking About Gun Violence in America by Donald Gaffney.  The third book broadens the canvas.  It has one chapter on “God and Guns” within a larger focus of trying to understand the relationship between evangelical Protestant Christianity and support for Donald Trump.  By sharing stories from her interviews with Trump supporters, the author seeks to uncover commonalities between Christians with radically different political beliefs. Dr. Robin Taylor, a theologian and attorney, reviews this timely book by Angela Denker, Red State Christians: Understanding the Voters Who Elected Donald Trump.

Nancy Arnison

Nancy Arnison is a lawyer, theologian and nonprofit executive and serves as the Book Review Editor for the Journal of Lutheran Ethics.