"As someone who knows Joel Vaughan from our days working together at the Christian Coalition, I highly recommend his book. If you want to know the truth of what happened, this book is a must read."
--Chris Freund, Vice President, The Family Foundation
"In a thorough and entertaining manner, Vaughan's The Rise and Fall of the Christian Coalition captures the essence of the Coalition, its leaders, and the political environment in which the group rose to prominence, as well as how it ultimately dwindled into insignificance. All students of political history and social movements will benefit from Vaughan's fair-minded recounting of this unique period of our history, when Christians were able to mold the political landscape in a manner few would have ever believed possible. And those who witnessed this remarkable organization's dramatic evolution will find Vaughan's 'behind the scenes' insights to be both illuminating and engaging."
--Rusty Leonard, CFA
Founder and CEO of MinistryWatch.com
"Joel Vaughan relies on neither gossip nor guesswork in this compelling book. His is an insider's account; ten years at the Christian Coalition and an easy writing style provide the reader with a ringside seat to one of the most controversial--and consequential--periods in modern American political history."
President and CEO,_ WomanTrend
Christian Coalition: A Tale Well Told
Review by Professor Alan Snyder
This new book by Joel Vaughan traces the history of the organization called the Christian Coalition. The title is accurate: it rose and it fell.
I was drawn to the book not only because I am acquainted with Joel, but also because I used to be a Christian Coalition county director back in the early 1990s, when I taught at Indiana Wesleyan University. Then, when I moved to Regent University, I was just down the street, more or less, from the Coalition's headquarters, and a number of my students in the master's program in government worked there. I attended the annual Road to Victory conferences in Washington, DC.
There are so many tell-all books in the market that I wondered how Joel was going to handle this one. He was with the Coalition almost from the start, and was one of the last to leave before it rapidly disintegrated. How could he tell the tale well, being honest about its demise without being censorious?
Well, I believe he has accomplished that nearly impossible task. It is evident from the first pages that he shared the vision of Christians influencing public policy and making their voice heard in politics. He speaks of the sincere, genuine believers who wanted to make a difference, and he points to the many ways Christian Coalition achieved its goals during the 1990s. It's obvious he loved being a part of it.
When he turns to the downfall, he does go into the problems in a straightforward manner, clearly showing why it fell. Yet even as he spells out the issues and talks about the people who made bad decisions, he does so in a thoroughly Christian way. This is not a bitter memoir; instead, it carries a tone of sadness--an appropriate tone because what happened was a tragedy. A Christian voice in politics became a mere shadow of what it once had been.
I appreciate the Christian spirit in the book. In effect, Joel Vaughan has provided a case study of the highs and lows of Christian political involvement. We can read this book and learn significant lessons about how we should go about our involvement, as well as how to avoid the common errors: overextending ourselves financially or losing the humble servant heart.
Next year, I plan to use this book in a new course I'll be teaching called Biblical Worldview and Public Policy. It will be a valuable guide for this new generation of Christian leaders. I'm hoping this account of a high-profile Christian political organization will help them carry the work forward and do so in the right spirit.
Professor Alan Snyder