Timothy Keller and John Inazu (Thomas Nelson)
In their respective spheres of influence, pastor Timothy Keller and legal scholar John Inazu have been at the forefront of efforts to help contemporary believers live out their convictions in pluralistic environments. In Uncommon Ground, Keller and Inazu gather first-person accounts from leading Christian public figures, representing a range of vocations, who are known for cultivating habits of faithful and respectful engagement. Among those sharing their stories are theologian Kristen Deede Johnson, writer Tish Harrison Warren, entrepreneur Rudy Carrasco, rapper Lecrae, songwriter Sara Groves, and president of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities Shirley Hoogstra.
Jason Gaboury (InterVarsity Press)
Loneliness is widespread in modern society, and often the loneliest people are those you’d least expect. Jason Gaboury, a campus minister, couldn’t understand his persistent feelings of isolation amid an outwardly full and fulfilling life until a conversation with a trusted spiritual adviser yielded an insight: Loneliness can spur us toward deeper fellowship with God. “If we learn to hear the invitation of God in loneliness,” Gaboury writes, “we can discover aspects of God’s character, and ours, that are available no other way. If we meet God in loneliness we can grow the desire and capacity to love others.”
Gregg Okesson (Baker Academic)
Public life is marked by “thickness,” says Gregg Okesson, a missiologist at Asbury Theological Seminary. Between its overlapping networks of neighborhood, school, and workplace and its dense thicket of laws, customs, and mores, it isn’t easily moved or swayed. Fortunately, Okesson argues, local churches possess their own underappreciated thickness, empowering them to reach outward with the light and love of Christ. “[I]t is not possible,” he writes, “to witness to anything as thick (or complex) as the public realm with a thinness (or simplicity) of identity. We may think of a local congregation as a fairly simple entity, but it is actually a complex organism.”
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