Ruben Orteza is the local pastor of The True Vine Christian Reformed Church. He served as OMF Literature’s Marketing Officer for five years, until God recently called him to full-time ministry. He is also taking up Pastoral Studies in Asian Theological Seminary.
This is the first of two parts of an article he wrote about Faith in the Corridors of Power for our Book Encounters column in Evangelicals Today. To view Part 2, click here.
The Christian faith has always been lived in the day to day circumstances of life. That Jesus Christ was born into the Jewish culture and grew up from baby to man at least tells us that faith and life go together. As Jesus began his public ministry, what he taught was not isolation from the world. Jesus gave us ‘eyes of faith’ to look at all of life—faith to live life as God’s people, priests and ambassadors.
But even with eyes of faith there are areas of life that are harder viewed than others. Politics and government have twisted corridors and multiple mirrors that most Christians would turn a blind eye to these issues or not look at all. Ignorance is bliss, no matter that ignorance in this case is wrong. But there are those among us more courageous—perhaps more faith-filled?—who dare to address these issues. Their example should encourage us to faith-filled engagement as well.
The late Evelyn Miranda-Feliciano was an active participant in this faith-life interplay. Her many writings show how she sought to bring her faith in many areas of Filipino living: Filipino Values and Our Christian Faith, Enjoy the Sunset, Hope Away from Home, Beyond the Honeymoon, Love and Courtship, and Love, Sex and Marriage. Her past involvement with the Institute for Studies in Asian Church and Culture (ISACC) reflected her love for the Philippine Church and culture.
Dr Jovito Salonga is a respected name in government and politics. He is a former Senate President, a statesman, an advocate of justice and the so-called ‘conscience of the nation.’ His writings include Not by Power of Wealth Alone, The Task of Building a Nation, and A Journey of Struggle and Hope. He is also a man of faith with a deep love for God’s Word. His life is truly a testimony of faith in the corridors of power.
Faith in the Corridors of Power is Feliciano’s last book with OMF Literature. In this book, she reflects on the writings of Dr Salonga about government, politics, national leadership, service and faith. She presents to us a Dr Salonga we are not familiar with, a spiritual and faith-filled man, who tried to live his faith as a lawyer and government official. Most of us know of him from his time in government; here in this book we read honest reflections of the faith that inspired the man, and shaped his convictions and decisions.
Each article has three elements: an area or issue in government or politics; a passage from the Bible that helps us look at this issue; and insights from Dr Salonga as he grappled with the interplay of both issue and God’s Word. Feliciano skillfully weaves all three elements into challenging and thoughtful articles for all of us. A sampling of the chapter titles show us the wide range of themes explored: Ethics, Peace Based on Justice, Sentinel of Justice, Loving Our Land, Air-conditioned Religion, Active Faith, Knowing the Right and Defending It, Respect of the Law, Respect is Earned, Politics as a Vocation.
Faith in the Corridors of Power has 87 articles, not arranged in any particular order. What was helpful to me was not to read the whole book in one sitting, but to read one chapter at a time. The insights of Dr Salonga and the presentation of Evelyn Miranda-Feliciano are already mind-engaging in themselves, but additional questions for reflection are included for each article.
To read Part 2 click here
Faith in the Corridors of Power is a thought-provoking collection of reflective entries, Evelyn Miranda-Feliciano interacts with Former Senate President Dr Jovito Salonga on the issues of life and faith in the context of Filipino society. The author leads you to take a peek into the mind and heart of this noble statesman who reveals how his relationship with God plays a crucial role in his decision-making as a politician, as an advocate of justice, and as the so-called conscience of the nation.
Faith in the Corridors of Power is available at all OMF Lit Bookshops, PCBS and National Bookstores nationwide