“In our pluralistic society, the only way we can get along with one another is by respecting the rights of groups with whom we don’t necessarily agree. This book explains how religious institutions caring for our communities risk losing their character as faith-based organizations. We have to protect the rights of everyone in our society if we are to protect the rights of anyone. This is an important book for our times.”
— Richard Stearns, president, World Vision US; author of The Hole in Our Gospel and Unfinished
“An excellent, readable book on a crucial topic. The next decade may very well see more ferocious—and hugely important—battles over religious freedom than at any time in recent years. This book is one of the very best guides to the threat and the solution. A must-read for anyone interested in preserving our country’s historic stance on religious freedom.”
— Ronald J. Sider, senior distinguished professor of theology, holistic ministry, and public policy, Palmer Seminary, Eastern University
“Monsma and Carlson-Thies present a timely and compelling case for how the United States can navigate the current changes to social norms by proposing that society value and give equal credence to the ideas of all religions and the non-religious alike. Higher education presents one such successful model. Christian colleges and universities have long been part of a vibrant and diverse community of higher education in the United States. Such a pluralistic model, which has produced the best higher education system in the world, serves as a guide for how a society that is open to free thought, belief, and practice cannot only survive, but thrive.”
— Shirley V. Hoogstra, JD, president, Council for Christian Colleges and Universities
“Anyone who cares about the state of religious freedom in America should read this book. First Amendment protections for faith-based organizations are undergoing seismic change, pushing us in a dangerous direction. The authors have accurately surveyed the shifting landscape and where our first freedoms may be headed. Free to Serve is a cautionary yet hopeful assessment of the future of religious liberty.”
— David Nammo, executive director and CEO, Christian Legal Society
“Stephen V. Monsma is the dean of social science scholars who study faith-based organizations and Stanley Carlson-Thies is the nation’s most passionate yet nuanced public voice for institutional religious freedom. Together they have produced this timely, readable, and intellectually serious book. Whether one embraces or eschews their preferred policy prescriptions, the authors make their case in civic-minded ways that leaven and enlighten our increasingly shrill and polarized church-state discourse.”
— John J. DiIulio Jr., Frederic Fox Leadership Professor of Politics, Religion, and Civil Society, University of Pennsylvania; first director, White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives
“Today’s complacency is tomorrow’s captivity. Religious liberty, one of our God-given rights, stands under unprecedented assault. Free to Serve provides a clarion call and prophetic prescription for those committed to never sacrificing truth on the altar of expediency.”
— Samuel Rodriguez, president, NHCLC/CONELA, Hispanic Evangelical Association
“Religious liberty is a first and fundamental freedom that the Constitution intends as protection for all citizens of the United States, whether they are religious or not. Today that freedom is increasingly endangered as intolerance toward Christianity and other religions threatens the mission of faith-based institutions that pursue the common good. In Free to Serve, Stephen Monsma and Stanley Carlson-Thies offer proactive remedies that nourish the hope of principled pluralism and promote a civil society in which people of all faiths, or none, enjoy expansive freedom.”
— Philip G. Ryken, president, Wheaton College
“Sobering and significant, Free to Serve outlines the very real threats to religious freedom for all faith-based organizations. If you believe your faith should extend beyond the walls of your place of worship, you simply must read this outstanding book.”
— Peter Greer, president and CEO, HOPE International; coauthor of Mission Drift
“The threat to religious liberty grows more intense, even as the debate over the meaning of religious freedom escalates. Monsma and Carlson-Thies speak into this critical moment, unveiling errors in the four common faith-based assumptions of our day. Free to Serve examines the unintended consequences of violating religious freedom and offers hope for a society where individual beliefs are fully expressed and diversity in those beliefs is respected and protected.”
— Tami Heim, president and CEO, Christian Leadership Alliance
“Free to Serve is an important and timely book. The authors’ call to principled pluralism—allowing divergent religious groups latitude to live out the implications of their faith in the public square—is a vital message. Cultural pressure to privatize faith to the narrow sphere of the sacraments is bad news not only for people of faith, but for our nation as a whole.”
— Alec Hill, president emeritus, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA