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The main thing is to have God; to live in God; to have God live in us…
that is the blessed life.
So declared the founder of the Social Gospel, and so forms the hearts of this inspirational collection of Rauschenbuschs thoughts and prayers about the spiritual life. Comprised of a scriptural passage, excerpted reading, and actual prayer written by Rauschenbusch himself, this volume of 180 daily reflections will encourage and exhort readers in spiritual growth and social action. Organized into three sections of 60 reflections each, the book focuses first on the inward journey of solitude, then the outward journey of service, and the common journey of solidarity.
In this devotional, Dr. Dennis Johnson has gifted to the church the deep wisdom of Walter Rauschenbusch, merging social justice with a contemplative spirit. Johnsons thoughtful curation of Rasuchenbuschs work (as well as the innovative biblical translations of Helen Barret Montgomery and Edgar Goodspeed) takes the reader on the outward and inward pilgrimage toward becoming a more tenderized, sensitized, and conscientized follower of Christ. This is a book for our time as Christians seek to be the new apostolate and meet the needs of our generation.G. Travis Norvell, Pastor, Judson Memorial Baptist Church, Minneapolis, MN
Over decades of ministry, teaching, and non-profit work, I have turned to many excellent spiritual guides. To Live in God is unsurpassed. In this and every culture of chaos, violence, and crisis, it is exactly what we need.Rev. Dr. Heather S. Entrekin, Des Peres Associate Professor of Congregational Health, Central Baptist Theological Seminary (retired)
Dennis Johnson brings for us as readers the devotional insights and prayers of one whose historic work gave shape and form to the theological and social landscapes we navigate today. In a time when political and religious negativity permeates our world, Johnson reminds us with Rauschenbuschs words that life is still worth living and that the world will steady itself once more to its keel. Brian J. Henderson, DMin, Minister, First Baptist Church of Denver, Denver, CO
Beloved pastor and scholar Dennis Johnson has created a spiritual resource for the ages. Not for the faint of heart who crave only devotional baby formula, To Live in God: Daily Reflections with Walter Rauschenbusch invites us to a robust feast of prayer and reflection to strengthen us in courage and compassion for the way of the cross to which Jesus calls us. Rev. Dr. A. Roy Medley, General Secretary Emeritus, American Baptist Churches USA
This collection of devotional thoughts and prayers of Walter Rauschenbusch is truly lovely. The volume can be used for personal spiritual purposes, but also it is of profound historical and theological interest. To Live in God is an important addition to an urgent conversation today about what it really means to be a follower of Jesus. Rev. Dr. David P. Gushee, Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics, Director, Center for Theology & Public Life, Mercer University; Past President, American Academy of Religion & Society of Christian Ethics
Rev. Dr. Dennis L. Johnson recognizes that, in American society today, we lack a shared understanding of what public life, common good, and other communal phrases mean, especially in terms of faith and living life in God. By making Walter Rauschenbusch accessible to a wider public than scholars of early twentieth-century American religion, Dr. Johnson provides guidance for experiencing anew the insight that in God all of us are connected. The welfare of one is the welfare of all; the diminishment of one diminishes all. We cannot look out only for our own self-interest and expect this world to be a place worth inhabiting. Inward, outward, and common are not three alternate routes or separate journeys; they are three facets of loving God and loving the whole of Gods creation, including each person we encounter. Dr. Johnson is to be commended for integrating his wide-ranging academic and pastoral experience into a format wherein anyone who picks up this book can encounter the living God and Gods call on public life. Phyllis Rodgerson Pleasants Tessieri, PhD, John F. Loftis Professor of Church History (retired)
After a century, Walter Rauschenbusch is still well known for his socially prophetic works on the kingdom of God. During his lifetime he was also much beloved for his devotional works, Prayers for the Social Awakening and an extended Bible study, The Social Principles of Jesus. This present edition of the prophets spiritual thoughts is welcome indeed, especially as it also provides a new generation with the translated Bible texts of fellow Rochesterian, Helen Barrett Montgomery, and the University of Chicago biblical scholar, Edgar J. Goodspeed. The discipline of reflecting daily with Rauschenbusch and the Scriptures is surely a gift to us all from Dennis Johnson. William Brackney, PhD, Millard R. Cherry Distinguished Professor of Christian Thought and Ethics Emeritus, Acadia University, Wolfville, Nova Scotia
For many Christians, Walter Rauschenbuschs identification as the most important theologian of the Social Gospel has hidden from view his profound spiritual hunger for God. So, we are fortunate now to have Dennis Johnsons book that makes available this striking collection of Rauschenbuschs elegant spiritual reflections. This book not only enriches our knowledge of the Social Gospel movement, but it enriches our lives. Stanley Hauerwas, Duke Divinity School
Dr. Johnson is a retired American Baptist pastor with over forty years of ministry on spiritual formation and vital congregational worship. He is deeply committed to maintaining and living out historic Baptist identity and convictions. He is a graduate of Northern Baptist Theological Seminar (M.Div. and D.Min.) and has been an adjunct faculty member at Northern and Palmer Theological Seminary, mentoring students and guiding them in the practice of theological reflection. He received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Alderson-Broaddus University, Philippi, WV. He is married to Holly Bauer Johnson and they make their home in Lexington, KY.
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