By DAVID CRUMM
Editor of ReadTheSpirit magazine
Christianity is in crisis—and our community of authors includes Christians who are in the vanguard of lifting up the timeless good news that made Christianity the world’s largest religious movement.
Need evidence of this crisis? We laid out much of it in our earlier story about the timeliness of a prophetic new book about E. Stanley Jones. Then, here’s another example of this crisis: Coming in May 2022, Brian McLaren—once celebrated as America’s best selling “evangelical” author—will publish a book titled, Do I Stay Christian? Chapter 1 of Brian’s book begins with two sentences that capture the hostility many people feel toward Christians and the anger many Christians feel toward political partisans distorting their faith. Brian writes: “Nobody is born a religious jerk. It takes a religion to help someone become that way.”
At this historic turning point in the faith of 2.4 billion people worldwide, McLaren certainly is not alone. This week, America’s most influential Christian ethicist Dr. David Gushee is publishing his magnum opus: Introducing Christian Ethics—Core Convictions for Christians Today.
This is a unique and powerful book. It becomes the capstone on a long series of Dr. Gushee’s books by giving readers 25 chapters drawn from his decades of teaching Christian Ethics at Mercer University—a career that has led to honors showered on Dr. Gushee from around the world. In recent years, those honors have included election by his peers for terms as president of both the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Christian Ethics.
In fact, Dr. Gushee felt so strongly about the timely need for this particular book that he summoned additional resources. That included substantial work by Mercer’s multimedia staff so that Dr. Gushee could include both videos and audio recordings of every chapter. Links to video and audio are right there in each chapter so readers can choose from three multi-media formats as they read this book: the text itself, video of Gushee delivering the message of each chapter or audio of Gushee’s voice.
This book is a multimedia package that no other publisher of religious books is giving readers today. Dr. Gushee chose this cutting-edge format because he wanted to be heard, loudly and clearly, in whatever form will reach people in the most compelling way.
Why did he put so much effort—and content—into a single book? Because Christianity’s core convictions are truly a life-and-death issue for millions of people, Dr. Gushee says in interviews. “They need convictions they can build their lives around.”
The crisis is real, Dr. Gushee argues. “I am seeing a fundamentalist religion with so many holes in it, and with so much absolutist talk, that when it blows up for people, they are left free falling. I believe people cannot float free.”
If you care to hear from Dr. Gushee himself about these issues, please watch a 59-minute “webinar” with Dr. Gushee hosted by Jeff Brumley of Baptist News Global. You can watch that webinar in the streaming screen that should appear, below, on this page. Or, you can go directly to YouTube to watch the webinar, which includes an array of buttons that make it easy to share this video with friends via email or social media.
In fact, if you are one of the many writers and teachers who follow our online magazine, at the YouTube site you can find a “share” code that will allow you to easily embed this inspiring video in your own blog, weekly column or congregation’s website.
Care to learn more?
GET THE BOOK—The book is available via Amazon in hardcover, paperback and Kindle editions. The book also is available from Barnes & Noble in hardcover, paperback and Nook editions. You can find it at Walmart.com, Powell’s Books, and the independent-bookstore-related website alibris. In keeping with Gushee’s international work as a scholar and teacher, the book also is available around the world, including: Australia’s giant Booktopia, as well as Blackwell’s in the UK, Taiwan’s huge Amazon-like retailer Books.com.tw and Books Kinokuniya in Japan.
HELP SPREAD THE NEWS BY REVIEWING THE BOOK—You’ll have the most influence if you review Dr. Gushee’s book on its Amazon page. You also can be influential by writing about the book in the Amazon-owned Goodreads community.
LEARN MORE ABOUT DR. GUSHEE’S WORK. Visit his online home DavidGushee.com and you will find a wide range of resources from his biography to his most recent columns. Sign up for his free email newsletter to follow his ongoing work.