In 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.
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.