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Beyond Homeless by Brian Walsh & Steven Bouma-Prediger reviewed at the website

beyond homelessness.jpgIn my effort to get caught up with some long overdo more substantial--or at least more long-winded--reviews, I've just put up one of our "monthly" reviews over at the Hearts & Minds website, listed as a July 2008 review.  This one takes a long look at what may be the Book of the Year, Beyond Homelessness: Christian Faith in a Culture of Displacement by Steven Bouma-Prediger and Brian Walsh (Eerdmansl $24.00.) I've commented on this several times at the blog, each time hinting why I am so fond of it, and why I think it is important, but am only now able to post my fuller remarks.  I really enjoyed giving an overview of this complex and serious work, noting that these authors are solid guys who live what they write about.  The integrity of this project is evident, and the thoughtfulness soars.  I hope you'll read my longer remarks; I truly hope you enjoy them.  Thanks.



Naked Vegetarians.jpg
I happen to know that these authors are not vegetarians, and I've never seen them naked, thank goodness, but this sentiment taken from a very cool poster by our friends at Restoring Eden seems a fine place to start to think about their "home-making" book.  Can we imagine a safe home, a created order where God and God's shalom dwells?  Can we seek to create a vision of Biblical faith, and subsequent spiritually-guided practices of creation care and attention to place that allows us to be healing homemakers, intimate and real?  Can we truly care about the vast issues of public life, as well as live daily with sustainable notions of home economics, that make for pleasant homes and strong families?  Can we care about the merciless slaughter of creatures and the extinction of species and also the plight of the urban poor and international refugees, even as we find new find energy for fun relationships, mature friendships, intergenerational extended families, and worshipping communities that teach us the Godly way of hospitality and gracious love?  Can we feel "at home" when we are alone?  Do we have a sense of place? Can we do anything about suburban sprawl?  Can our cares and concerns translate into prophetic action in this new era of rethinking public policy?  What does the Bible, and the cross of Christ which stands central to it's story, have to do with all this? 

These guys---I'm tellin' ya---are experienced and able guides to help us, as Marva Dawn puts it in her rave endorsement of Beyond Homelessness, "comprehend and mend" our broken, alienated world.   They can help us come home.  Please check out my review.   Help us spread the word...pass this on to anyone you know who likes to consider big books about important stuff.  Thanks.


2 Comments

Hey Byron. Long time no talk. Betsy and I are in West Virginia now serving in World Visions Appalachia project (US programs). Both IUP grads mentored by Dean Weaver, Joe Kaufer, Hank Suhr, etc. Betsy was on staff with CCO in the late 80's at Penn State Altoona. It was good to happen upon your site and blog. Ive been eating books in the realm of justice, poverty , community development. I am transitioning to a new position in which ill be travleing to each of our 10 US sites to train our staff how to train local volunteers, youth organizations, NGO's, schools, etc. in the area of youth development and youth empowerment. It has been frustrating not being able to dialogue with others on books im reading. Ive been posting my reads on my Facebook page (ireads). I look forward to reading along with you and participating in the dialogue. On my desk right now i have Exlusion and Embrace (Volf) The faith of the Outsider (Spina) The New Christian Manifesto (Ekblad, a colleague of mine) and re-reading Christ and Culture. I look forward to working my way toward Beyond Homelessness.

Byron,
Check out

Craig Rennebohm "Souls in the Hands of a Tender God" (Beacon Press)--a UCC pastor in Seattle who "companions" with people who are homeless, and living with brain disorders commonly known as mental illness. He gives workshops nationally and internationally. We know him and really appreciate his witness. Fond regards to you and Beth! --Jim and Norma