With issues like abortion, gay marriage, embryonic stem-cell research, and "intelligent design" dominating election campaigns, it often seems that the far religious right has defined the social agenda in American public life. In Middle Church, the Rev. Bob Edgar vigorously refutes the idea that the right wing has a monopoly on matters of faith and values. On the contrary, he says, by focusing on "personal piety" issues such as gay rights and abortion, the extreme right views morality too narrowly-and ignores more important issues such as poverty, the environment, health care, and war and peace.
"Middle Church" is the vast majority of American faithful to whom these larger social issues matter, and in this book Bob Edgar urges a national political agenda that addresses these vital concerns. Passionate and thought provoking, Middle Church is a call for Americans of all faiths to join together on the moral issues that matter most.
Bob Edgar is the general secretary of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, the leading U.S. organization in the movement for Christian unity. He has headed the 45-million-member NCC since January 1, 2000. An ordained elder in the United Methodist Church, Dr. Edgar came to the Council from the Claremont School of Theology in Claremont, California, where he was president from 1990 to 2000. Dr. Edgar is well known for his service as a six-term member of the U.S. House of Representatives, where he was the first Democrat in more than 120 years to be elected from the heavily Republican Seventh District of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Edgar has been a pastor, teacher, college chaplain, community organizer, and director of a think tank on national security issues. He serves on the boards of several organizations whose missions involve social justice. Dr. Edgar and his wife live in New Jersey and have three adult sons.
"With this engaging and insightful book, Bob Edgar speaks to and for the many, many members of 'Middle Church, Middle Synagogue, and Middle Mosque' who believe it's time to reset our nation's moral compass and priorities."
-- Marian Wright Edelman, President, Children's Defense Fund
"Middle Church is a treasure. Bob Edgar shares his wisdom and calls us all to reclaim the moral agenda for the faithful and expose the radical religious right as power-based, not religion-based."
-- Patricia Schroeder, twelve-term member of Congress and President & CEO of the Association of American Publishers
"A Stirring Call to American believers who resent their spiritual beliefs being co-opted for a political agenda contrary to their faith."