The Reverend Mark Feldmeir is a clergy member of The California-Pacific Conference who serves as Lead Pastor at St. Andrew United Methodist Church in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. He is the author of four books, including his latest work, A House Divided: Engaging the Issues through a Politics of Compassion. He has served on the Adjunct Faculty at Claremont School of Theology, where he has taught homiletics, and has spoken at various conferences throughout the country on topics ranging from preaching, politics, and pop culture.
Mark received his B.A. in Religious Studies from the University of California, Riverside (1990), and his M.Div. from Claremont School of Theology (1993). In his free time, Mark enjoys cycling, hiking, fly fishing, and camping in his 2002 VW Eurovan.
Who should read this book?
My book seeks to reach those who have grown weary of the politics of contempt that dominates our national, local, and personal conversations. I advocate for a politics of compassion that’s absent of all the talking points from the cable news talking heads on both sides of the aisle—a new kind of politics grounded a shared commitment to mutuality, collaboration, and the common good modeled by Jesus of Nazareth. I address nine controversial political and social issues (immigration, climate change, racism, LGBTQ inclusion, etc.) using axioms to build dialogue that leads to actionable change. Those that are ready to engage these complex issues without weaponizing the Christian faith will find this book helpful.
What can a reader expect to be improved, challenged or learned by reading this book?
The issues I address in the book are chronic, complex issues that pre-date out current debate. I try to provide some historical context for the reader to understand how we got to where we are today on a particular issue. The reader will appreciate the old George Santayana adage: “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
I think the reader will also, to some extent, hear the call to repentance for the past and the call to conversion toward a more Jesus-centered way of living and loving the neighbor—especially that neighbor that’s hard to love.
What is one surprise, experience or “Aha!” that has come as a result of writing or presenting this book?
People from both sides of the aisle seem to genuinely appreciate the book for its fair and generous approach to discussing and engaging the issues. Readers have come to see that Jesus was profoundly political (not partisan) in his teaching and preaching ministry. The gospel has deep political implications that many Christians tend to overlook or minimize in favor of more “spiritual matters.”
The book is the outcome of a sermon series I preached by the same title in 2019. What surprised me is that, during the nine weeks I preached this series, worship attendance increased by an average of 17%. People (especially young adults) are longing to connect the gospel with real life/world problems.
After or before we read your book, we should read…
“Between the World and Me” by Tanehisi Coates; “More Together Than Alone” by Mark Nepo; “Citizen: An American Lyric” by Claudia Rankine.
What/who are your reading these days?
“What Strange Paradise” by Omar El Akkad; “Appleseed” by Matt Bell.
Are you available for readings, talks, presentations, etc.? How shall individuals or groups contact you?