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Running for Our Lives

A Story of Faith, Politics, and the Common Good

Availability:
3-5 days processing
Publisher:
Westminster John Knox Press
Publication Date:
2/18/2020
ISBN:
9780664266219
Pages:
180
Trim Size
5.5 x 8.5
Product Type:
Paper

Empowered by the Brand New Congress initiative in 2018, evangelical pastor and progressive Republican Robb Ryerse embarked on a long-shot, grassroots congressional campaign against Steve Womack, one of the most powerful Republican incumbents in Washington, DC. After he ultimately lost his race, Ryerse worked with the Vote Common Good campaign, traveling across the United States to help turn Congress blue.

Throughout his political journey, Ryerse gained new insights on the relationship between religion and politics in America today, the dynamics of our deep partisan divide, and the power of faithful people working for the common good. Running for Our Lives is the honest and authentic story of how one pastor tried to make a difference. Through all the joys and struggles of daring to make a stand, Ryerse shares what he's learned about how our political identities shape us, what the role of government has in helping to meet people's needs, and how others can get involved in politics as an expression of progressive faith.

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Robb Ryerse serves as Executive Director of Brand New Congress. He is the author of Fundamorphosis: How I Left Fundamentalism but Didn’t Lose My Faith. He lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas, where he copastors Vintage Fellowship with his wife, Vanessa.  


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Running for Our Li...
A Story of Faith, ...
by Westminster John Knox Press
 

“There is no time more important than now to talk about faith and politics. There is no person better than Robb Ryerse to lead us in that conversation. This book will be a crucial starting point for some, a provocative call for others, and an indispensable part of the journey for all of us on the engagement of faith, politics, and the common good.”

—DOUG PAGITT, pastor and Executive Director of Vote Common Good

“I admire the courage of Robb Ryerse and his willingness to have difficult conversations. So much of politics is poll-tested and consultant-driven, but Robb’s commitment is the opposite: to run as a GOP progressive when Trump and the Tea Party are ascendant and to organize evangelicals to support Democrats, when, for so many, church and party are inextricably aligned. We need more voices like Robb’s to expand the universe of what is possible as we build a stronger democracy.” 

—MIKE SIEGEL, candidate for Texas’s Tenth Congressional District

“Terminal toxicity now defines the words Christian, evangelical, and Republican. For those (like me) who still hope for the good side of faith and Republicanism to reemerge based on grace and the common good, Robb Ryerse’s Running for Our Lives offers real hope. If there’s any way back to sanity for the Republican and religious faithful post-Trump, this book offers the road map.” 

—FRANK SCHAEFFER, author of Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back

“Robb Ryerse is the kind of guy who believes in big ideas that are daring enough that they just might happen. As I found in my travels across red-state Christian America, our country desperately needs those big ideas and the kind of people—like Robb— who are willing to risk it all with the hope that things might get better for us all. As a pastor, a journalist, and a parent, I find hope in knowing that Robb’s story exists and that despite his electoral defeat, he hasn’t stopped believing. We need more stories like Robb’s in today’s America, stories that prove some people do still get into politics hoping to make things better for someone other than themselves.”

—ANGELA DENKER, author of Red State Christians: Understanding the Voters Who Elected Donald Trump

 

“A passionate, insightful, and skilled grassroots strategist, Robb Ryerse has given a gift to all politically conscious Americans. In Running for Our Lives, Robb therapeutically gives words to what so many of us felt deeply and painfully about the 2016 presidential election. This is not just a polemic, though; it’s also a how-to manual when it comes to the existential question, What can we do? If you’ve been vexed by the turn in religious voting in America, you’ll be relieved and encouraged after reading this book. We are not in a hopeless place—and Robb Ryerse doesn’t just say it, but he proves it to us by what he and others have already done to steer us all on a better path toward a brighter tomorrow.” 

—ROB SCHENCK, president of the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Institute and author of Costly Grace: An Evangelical Minister’s Rediscovery of Faith, Hope, and Love

 

“I got to know Robb as a Brand New Congress slatemate. I expected to meet someone I would disagree with a lot. Instead, I met an ally and the team encourager.”

—CORI BUSH, candidate for Missouri’s First Congressional District and star of Netflix’s Knock Down the House

 

“I’m grateful that the Spirit is stirring women and men to engage in public life for the common good, through both U.S. political parties and as independents. Robb Ryerse may not have won his race in 2018, but he and many others have stepped up to shift the moral narrative in America. I’m grateful for him.”

—JONATHAN WILSON-HARTGROVE, author of Revolution of Values: Reclaiming Public Faith for the Common Good

 

“It’s likely that the only thing to save our divided and anxious country right now is courageous acts of love taken by brave people of grace. Thankfully, Robb Ryerse shows us how it’s done. He and his wife, Vanessa, say yes to the ridiculous notion that extraordinary ordinary people—full of courage and love—are who our country needs right now to lead us. Sure, our political atmosphere feels hopeless at times, but Robb reminds me that as long as good people keep doing good work, there’s always reason to hope.”

—COLBY MARTIN, author of UnClobber and The Shift

 

“So much of modern politics is about bashing the other side or being against things. What I like about Robb is that he—and his message—brings people together.”

—J. D. SCHOLTEN, candidate for Iowa’s Fourth Congressional District

 

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