Reclaiming Hope—and Intellectual Honesty: A Christian’s Insider View of the Obama Administration

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Reclaiming Hope is an excellent book that deserves a wide reading, especially by rising activists and statesmen seeking to find ways to make their faith relevant in an increasingly post-Christian world.

In a hyper-politicized age like our own, intellectual honesty is one of the first casualties. Hewing to the ideological line prevents otherwise honest people from admitting error when things go wrong. Inevitably, every side falls prey to this. So when a book comes on the scene that reminds readers what an honest critique of one’s own tribe looks like, we’re surprised by such honesty and we find it refreshing—because something about self-assessment reminds us of our own predilection to myopia.

Intellectual honesty is the theme I came away with after reading Michael Wear’s Reclaiming Hope: Lessons Learned in the Obama White House about the Future of Faith in America. Wear does not shy away from issuing honest, blunt critiques of the modern Democratic Party’s foreignness to faith and of the tension inherent in being an evangelical in a party whose platform flatly contradicts biblical teaching at many irreconcilable points. For conservatives who believe that the modern Democratic Party is uncompromisingly hostile to evangelical and conservative Catholic beliefs, Wear’s book in large part confirms this angst.

One of the youngest White House staffers in American history, Wear is unusually young to have written a memoir. Although he is not yet thirty years old, he writes with great maturity and insight about serving on both of Obama’s campaigns and serving in the White House from 2009 to 2013 in the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. In 2012, Wear was tapped to lead President Obama’s faith outreach in his campaign. This is no small honor, especially considering his youth.

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