How to Be a Patriotic Christian: Love of Country as Love of Neighbor, By Richard J. Mouw

How to Be a Patriotic Christian

Love of Country as Love of Neighbor

by Richard J. Mouw

How to Be a Patriotic Christian
  • Length: 160 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5 × 8.25 in
  • Published: July 19, 2022
  • Imprint: IVP
  • Item Code: A0402
  • ISBN: 9781514004029

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What does it mean to love our country?

Some Christians see loyalty to America as central to our faith and identity. Other Christians are skeptical that our nation warrants such devotion or attachment. But Richard Mouw encourages Christians to have a healthy sense of national peoplehood that promotes civic kinship and responsible citizenship. He navigates between Christian nationalism on one hand and cynicism about country on the other to avoid the perils of both idolatry and disengagement.

Mouw grapples with sticky questions such as how to honor national holidays in church and the place of protests in forging a more perfect union. Placing love of country in the context of Christian love of neighbor, he sees patriotism as an expression of our heavenly citizenship and a call to help our country be a place where all people can thrive in peace.

Mouw's winsome and wise reflections direct our patriotic affections toward the civic good of others within our churches and in our communities. This guide helps us travel together on a shared national journey toward liberty and justice for all.

"Rich Mouw's reflection on Christian faith, patriotism, and citizenship is essential reading for our times from one of the wisest and kindest voices around."

John Inazu, Sally D. Danforth Distinguished Professor of Law and Religion at Washington University in St. Louis

"As I read How to Be a Patriotic Christian, one word kept coming to me: wisdom. Our civic life requires wisdom, and this book by Richard Mouw helps to supply it page after page. The balance in this book and its tone help show the way to be a good loving Christian and a good citizen at the same time. May their tribe thrive and increase."

Darrell Bock, senior research professor of New Testament studies and executive director for cultural engagement at the Hendricks Center, Dallas Theological Seminary

"This is no 'how-to-be-a patriotic-Christian' self-help book; rather, this book provides us with wise Mouw counsel on how to continuously and honestly wrestle with what it means to be patriotic as a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ in a pluralistic society. Mouw's example of humility and his common-sense wisdom is desperately needed for our time."

Luke Brad Bobo, cofounder of Pursuing the Greater Good and visiting professor at Covenant Theological Seminary

"At a time of sharp polarities and confrontational discourse, Richard Mouw's, How to Be a Patriotic Christian could not be more timely. Drawing on his profound theological scholarship and his vibrant evangelical faith, he offers readers, in a conversational and respectful tone, a thoroughly balanced and wise discussion of how as believers we can both love our country as our home and, at the same time, be committed to the kingdom of God that embraces all nations and peoples. This is pastoral theology at its best."

Donald Senior, CP, president emeritus of Catholic Theological Union, Chicago

"As always, Richard Mouw offers his warmly humanistic thoughts on the state of America and its religiosity. This time, however, his inclusive understanding of Christian duty is especially welcome given the attraction of so many American Christians to an amoral worship of power for power's sake. A most welcome book."

Alan Wolfe, professor emeritus, Boston College, and author of The Politics of Petulance: America in an Age of Immaturity

"Richard Mouw invites us to be Christian disciples whose faithfulness to God helps us learn how to love our nation as true patriots. Rather than encouraging idolatrous nationalism, Mouw urges us to be those who lovingly care for their nation by being willing to live well with others, see the good and bad in our past, and seek the God of the nations where the Lord has placed us. Read, agree, disagree, and put into practice what you find in these pages."

Vincent Bacote, associate professor of theology and director of the Center for Applied Christian Ethics at Wheaton College

Read an Excerpt


1. Wrestling Together
2. "We the People"
3. Human Bonds
4. Where "Honor is Due"
5. The Scope of Government
6. Learning from Arguments
7. Patriotism in Church
8. Religion in Public Life?
9. Hopes and Fears


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Richard J. Mouw

Richard J. Mouw (PhD, University of Chicago) is a senior research fellow at the Henry Institute for the Study of Religion and Politics at Calvin University. He previously served as the president of Fuller Theological Seminary (1993–2013) and directed their Institute of Faith and Public Life (2013–2020). In 2007, Princeton Theological Seminary awarded him the Abraham Kuyper Prize for Excellence in Reformed Theology and Public Life. He is the author of over twenty books, including Uncommon Decency, Adventures in Evangelical Civility, Restless Faith, and All That God Cares About.