Book review – The Faith of Barack Obama

August 19th, 2008 by Gallagher John 3 Comments

Those of you who know me well know that I like to read books on leadership. I was given the opportunity to receive a copy of Stephen Mansfield’s book, The Faith of Barack Obama. The timing of reading this book coincided well with the recent Saddleback Civil Forum where our two presidential candidates were questioned by Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA. (On a side note, I thought that it was the best format ever for a presidential ‘debate’ of sorts. Both candidates did well. )

In Stephen Mansfield’s book, I find that he does a nice job of detailing the story of Barack Obama’s faith from his birth to today. As a man of faith myself, I found the book to be an easy read. The author states right up front that he is not a Barack Obama supporter, but the book is fair in it’s presentation. In the first few chapters, Senator Obama’s faith history growing up is described and later in the book, the author does a nice job of drawing comparisons to other Presidents and presidential candidates including Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, and George W. Bush.

What I really appreciate about the book is that it provides us with the information needed to make a choice about Senator Obama’s faith journey. For example, the author invests a lot of the book on the relationship of Obama and his former pastor, Jeremiah Wright. It asks the right questions: “Why did Obama Stay at Trinity United Church of Christ, not just for some twenty years, but even after his pastor’s radical views became public?”

Anyone unsure of the positions of Senator Obama on faith-based initiatives, as well as the life he lived growing up should read this book prior to making their choice for the next President of the United States.

This book did not change my view on who my choice for next President for me. It did; however, answer some questions for me, while generating a few new ones as well.

I want to thank Thomas Nelson publishing for the opportunity to read this book. If you get a chance, take a look at Michael Hyatt’s blog. He is the CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishing.