It’s a weird feeling to launch a book.
On the one hand, you’re afraid no one will read it. On the other, you’re afraid they will.
Unlike my prior books, which have focused exclusively on either Bible or theology, this one crosses boundaries. It is academic–but not heavily. It marries fiction with theology and cultural critique. It even lodges a qualified endorsement of a term that functions as a shame word in the academy: “speculation”–or what I call “faith seeking imagination.”
It is starkly critical of many currents within American evangelicalism; yet it also stubbornly refuses to defect from historic Christianity because of sheer embarrassment.
In other words, some will like it; others won’t.
That is as it should be. I hope it finds the audience that needs it. And specifically, I hope it finds those exhausted and disillusioned souls (like the “Eliza” character within the book) whose faith is hanging by a thread.
As I put it in the Introduction:
“The importance of what I define as ‘faith seeking imagination’ increases in a cultural moment when the church is torn by two unsavory extremes: the force of crippling secular doubt and the zealotry of partisan religious dogmatism. Rekindling a gracious theological imagination—rooted in orthodoxy, Scripture, tradition, community, and great works of art—is essential to confront the ‘resounding gong[s]’ (1 Cor 13:1) of our day with something better than pervasive skepticism or abrasive certainty. In this blank space between unchecked doubt and dogmatism, Christians must relearn how to say ‘perhaps’.”
I’ll blog a bit more about the book in weeks to come, but for now I’ll end with the words of Robert Southey,
Go, little Book! From this my solitude
I cast thee on the Waters,–go thy ways:
And if, as I believe, thy vein be good,
The World will find thee after many days.
Be it with thee according to thy worth:
Go, little Book; in faith I send thee forth.
See here to purchase a copy of Perhaps: Reclaiming the Space between Doubt and Dogmatism.
Or see here for the audio version (*not read by me…).
To learn more, here’s an old blog post that became the basis for Perhaps, several years ago.
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