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 from responsibility. How can we respond to the division in the world around us when we are too often polarized ourselves?
“Crossing the Lines We Draw: Faithful Responses to a Polarized America” offers scriptural insight 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 with others.
The book includes personal, firsthand accounts of recent incidents spurred by division, including 2017’s Unite the Right event in Charlottesville, Va. Then, using examples from the Gospels about Christ’s life, it explores how people of faith can break down barriers. It encourages readers to remember that God is with us during these difficult times and that God’s purposes—not humankind’s—will be fulfilled.
Praise for Crossing the Line We Draw
“Wherever you’ve 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, ‘I’d 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 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
“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 book—both practical and profound— should 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
Preaching in Plenty and in Want is a guide to preaching a culturally and economically sensitive sermon, in good times and bad.
Every day, people face new economic realities that affect their livelihoods, their families, their futures—and their faith. In this practical new resource, former brokerage-firm vice-president-turned-church pastor Matthew Tennant explains both why and how to connect the endless stream of economic information with a biblical message.
Preaching in Plenty and in Want offers pastors an accessible and relevant primer on basic economics. Then the author reviews what Scripture has to say on the topic and considers how current economies affect the individual as well as the congregation as a whole. Included are chapters on preaching specific economically-related messages, such as:
• The fallacy of prosperity
• Simple living
• “Where is God when…”
• Hope for tomorrow
At last, a revision of this classic volume in Judson Press’s best-selling “Work of the Church” series! Updated to reflect the use of technology in recordkeeping and budgeting, this resource includes all the essentials of the previous edition, brought into the practices of the twenty-first century church. Includes guidelines for handling the annual budget, receipts and disbursements, reports and audits, as well as an overview of the ministry of the treasurer in the life of the church, as part of a larger team tasked with faithful stewardship and ethical practices.