With so many books about Martin Luther King, Jr. on the market and with a flood of new ones recently published to capture the interest surrounding the 40th anniversary of King's murder, why pick up another one?
First, Michael Eric Dyson has proven to be one of the most engaging and thought-provoking social commentators of the past few years. Second, he brings both his deep intellect as well as his accessible communication gifts to this tribute to Rev. Dr. King, and the impact of his life and death on our society. Dyson does a great job of setting April 4, 1968 in the context of the time, reflecting of King's difficulties and depression, as well as his notoriety and success. But more than merely a tribute to a fallen leader, Dyson also examines the aftermath, both good and bad, especially within the African-American community, but also for our world as a whole. A powerful "literary license" is Dyson's epilogue, an "interview" with King on his 80th birthday--a truly thought inspiring chapter.
With a host of volumes about King on the market, this one is well worth exploring.
For decades the accepted wisdom has been that America's mainline Protestant churches are in decline, eclipsed by evangelical mega-churches. Church and religion expert Diana Butler Bass wondered if this was true, and this book is the result of her extensive, three-year study of centrist and progressive churches across the country. Her surprising findings reveal just the opposite--that many of the churches are flourishing, and they are doing so without resorting to mimicking the mega-church, evangelical style.
"Christianity for the Rest of Us" describes this phenomenon and offers a how-to approach for Protestants eager to remain faithful to their tradition while becoming a vital spiritual community. As Butler Bass delved into the rich spiritual life of various Episcopal, United Methodist, Disciples of Christ, Presbyterian, United Church of Christ, and Lutheran churches, certain consistent practices--such as hospitality, contemplation, diversity, justice, discernment, and worship--emerged as core expressions of congregations seeking to rediscover authentic Christian faith and witness today.
This hopeful book, which includes a study guide for groups and individuals, reveals the practical steps that leaders and laypeople alike are taking to proclaim an alternative message about an emerging Christianity that strives for greater spiritual depth and proactively engages the needs of the world.
A word about the Narrator, Karen Saltus. Overall, I enjoyed her voice and reading style. At times I was put off by her pronunciations of certain "church" words, ("theologians comes to mind, where she consistently elongates and emphasizes the "i") and her choice to affect the accents of some of the interviewees.
Bass does a great job of exploring and dispelling the myths behind the reported demise of the Mainstream Protestants.
Ancient Future Christian Spirituality and the Hope for Future
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