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In a society increasingly divided along political, theological, cultural, and racial lines, lines that we have drawn to separate us from them, the Christian church is not exempt. How can we respond to the division in the world around us when we are too often polarized ourselves? Pastor and scholar Matthew Tennant offers scriptural insights for developing strategies that will equip people of faith to cross the lines in meaningful dialog within their congregations and in the communities where they live, work, and minister to others.
We are all unhappily aware of how deeply polarized our culture has become. What theological resources might help address this dilemma? In this fine book, Matthew Tennant advances several theoretical and especially practical suggestions to aid pastors and congregations, including a renewed sense of solidarity across all differences and an appeal to genuine conversation allied with continued resistance to all injustices. This important bookboth practical and profoundshould help guide us all in some realistic ways forward in the present polarized impasse. David W. Tracy, Andrew Thomas Greeley and Grace McNichols Greeley Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Catholic Studies, University of Chicago Divinity School
Matthew Tennant had just moved to Charlottesville to pastor a church when the so-called Unite the Right rally occurred in 2017. Witnessing the deep divisions between neo-Nazi protesters and antiracist counter-protesters and torn about how to respond, Tennant turned to the Bible for guidance. The result is this book, which confronts the fear driving our polarization and celebrates the shared humanity that we have difficulty seeing across political lines. Urging Christians to Get off the bystander bench and get into the game, Tennant crafts a powerful call to be agents of reconciliation in a deeply troubled world. R. Marie Griffith, John C. Danforth Distinguished Professor in the Humanities, Director, John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics, Washington University, St. Louis, MO
Wherever youve drawn your lines, this book invites you to revisit them. You may realize, for the very first time, that you have drawn lines in the first place....You may still want them, right where they are. But you might decide those lines have been there long enough and think to yourself, Id like to figure out how to cross over that line. This book, my friend, is a good place to begin your journey. from the Foreword
Matthew Tennant is senior minister of University Baptist Church, Charlottesville, VA. He serves on the Human Rights Commission for the City of Charlottesville and as a visiting professor of philosophy of religion at L'Université Chrétienne du Nord d'haiti. He holds a DPhil from the University of Oxford where he also received his MSt in Theology. In addition, he has an MDiv from the Baptist Theological Seminary of Richmond, VA, and an MBA from the University of Alabama.
Tennant lives in Charlottesville, VA with his wife, their two sons, and their dog and cat. The Tennants enjoy sailing and hiking.
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