Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove has taken on such a project with The Awakening of Hope, a contemporary catechism.
I think this approach to catechetical guidance is beautiful and paramount. It assumes a way of life to be lived into and guides others into it as the elements of life together are explored.
Once a life is examined, it is easy to explain to others why we do things, where the hope to do such things like frequently eating together come from, and why, if someone were to take those rhythms into their own life, they'd discover redemption that Jesus has freed and forgiven all people for. This conversational feel is also where I discover a major hurdle for the life of The Awakening of Hope book in today's American Christian life.
Thirteen Modern Challenges to Awakening and Revival - Mattera Ministries International
The book is written from a perspective of people who are already living a certain way of life and inviting and teaching others into those rhythms. For many of us, life inside a Christian community with a common way of life traditionally called a Rule is foreign. This was the first time I felt the similarity between a Rule of Life and a Catechism. What's needed is a merge, like Wilson-Hartgrove's book. The chapters all have a hunger element to them - they aim to cultivate a hunger for the life of Jesus within our own lives.
Hence the title: Awakening of Hope. The practices we live out form us deeply, particularly when they are filled with the narrative of Jesus, and point us to hunger for him and his redemptive way. Wilson-Hartgrove's book does that for us. When I closed The Awakening of Hope, I paused to imagine what the book could be if it had the authority like a modern, Mainline Christian catechism would have like my own family's Luther's Small Catechism.
Benedict's Rule do for our faith communities? Jan 23, James rated it it was amazing Shelves: practical-theology , spiritual-formation , missional. I continue to be challenged and inspired by the New Monastic movement.
HISTORICAL FOUNDATIONS OF CHRISTIANITY
I live in a sleepy suburb isolated from my Christian community, but the challenge of Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove and Shane Claiborne stirs me to delve deeper into intentional community and invest in a particular place. The accompanying six-session DVD and discussion guide exp I continue to be challenged and inspired by the New Monastic movement. The accompanying six-session DVD and discussion guide explores each of the themes in the book from a different angle.
In the review below I will discuss the book first, then the DVD and the discussion guide. Wilson-Hartgrove has culled together a set of Christian practices into a type of catechism intended to inspire hope, conversation and action. He shares inspirational stories and also delves into the reason behind each practice.
The chapters are short, easy reads, but they offer some significant challenges. I like how he thoughtfully draws together theological and biblical reflection, church history and lived experience. He is a thoughtful writer and has thought and lived deeply each of these practices. But he manages to share his deep insights into the Christian life and his experience without sounding arrogant or self aggrandizing. In the accompanying DVD Wilson-Hartgrove and his co-conspirator Shane Claiborne bring together material which complements but does not reproduce the book.
Each of the sessions has an example of what people are doing. There are several inspiring interviews.
Each of these voices adds color and depth to the topic. In the discussion guide for the DVD located at the back of the book there are questions on the DVD presentation and chances to delve deeper into Scripture and tradition by examining Bible passages and quotations from church history. And of course, there are challenges you to live out the practice. Intentional communities and small groups will be able to use this book profitably to spur one another on in faithful living.
So get this book and accompanying DVD and kind a group to discuss it with. Yes, you could just get the book and read it yourself, but you will have done it all wrong. This is the sort of book that is meant to spark deeper conversation.
- The Dance of Time (Belisarius).
- Sustained by Faith Personal Awakening in God by Johnston & Mary Ann.
- Thirteen Modern Challenges to Awakening and Revival - Mattera Ministries International.
- The Political Economy of International Capital Mobility!
It gets five stars from me. I was not required to write a positive review.
See a Problem?
The opinions I have expressed are my own. I respect what Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove is doing, and pray that more church leaders will follow his courageous and provocative example. Most church leaders stay secluded from the communities they live in, but Jonathan is busy getting his hands dirty in the real world.
We're both engaged in similar work, in the same part of the country, so I would consider I him an ally and a mentor. I share his vision, in general, though I suspect we would differ in some particulars. For instance, I'm not convi I respect what Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove is doing, and pray that more church leaders will follow his courageous and provocative example. For instance, I'm not convinced that Christians should be pacifists, though I did find it interesting that the medieval church had rites of penitence and confession for returning soldiers pg.
On other issues, such as women's ordination and homosexuality, I'm afraid I must remain theologically old-school and "intolerant". But, though I'm not a pacifist, I share Jonathan's critique of the American military-industrial complex.
The Awakening of Hope: Why We Practice a Common Faith
Just because our government decides to go to war, does not make it "just. Rather, I believe we should welcome them into the church, as the only place to find true healing and healthy love. On other issues, such as racial reconciliation and caring for the poor, Jonathan is putting us conservatives to shame. We sit comfortably in our pews, listening to yet another screed on the latest hot topic in the "culture wars," while we neglect the poor down the road and only hang out with others of the same race.
The stories that Jonathan tells are inspiring and moving. They encourage, and should provoke many American Christians to return to the ancient practices of community, eating together, making promises, thinking about where we live, fasting, making peace, and proclaiming the Gospel. It's ironic that so many Christians can give a theologically-correct statement of the Gospel, yet it has so little effect on our lives. This book joins Davidd Platt's "Radical" and J. Greear's "Gospel" as essential reading for Christians looking to put feet on their faith.
May this little book speed the awakening of thousands more communities of genuine Hope! Jan 17, Tim rated it it was amazing. A book that reflects on historical practices of the church, examining them from Scripture, from history, especially that of monasticism, and from Wilson-Hartgrove's own experience within and beyond the New Monasticism. It is a kind of catechism, focused on discipleship, without ignoring doctrine. The practices he focuses on include: why we eat together, why we fast, why we make promises, why it matters where we live, why we live together, why we would rather die than kill, and why we share the g A book that reflects on historical practices of the church, examining them from Scripture, from history, especially that of monasticism, and from Wilson-Hartgrove's own experience within and beyond the New Monasticism.
Sustained by Faith: Personal Awakening in God
The practices he focuses on include: why we eat together, why we fast, why we make promises, why it matters where we live, why we live together, why we would rather die than kill, and why we share the good news. Wilson-Hartgrove's writing is simple and direct and always challenging. I did find some of the earlier chapters rambled on me some - I lost the train amid the many excellent stories and examples coming paragraph by paragraph.
The last three chapters cohered better for me and are moving and eloquent, a real force with their insistent and winsome message of what the message of Jesus means. It is a book clear-eyed about the necessity and work of community and confident in the power of grace. Oct 06, Pathway Midland rated it really liked it. The author includes a lot "Awakening of Hope" explores the topic of hope from a kingdom perspective as it examines seven different common practices of the community of which the author is a part: Eating together, fasting, making promises, living together, living in a certain area, elevating the choice of our own death over our choice to kill, and sharing the gospel.
The author includes a lot of his own experiences which helps to bring together the teaching in a way in which the reader can easily relate. As Christians we are in the process of becoming and we look forward to when the God will reign supreme and his Kingdom will have fully arrived.
Until that time we wait in hope, we speak in hope and we live in hope as we usher in his kingdom. Sep 28, Adam Shields rated it liked it. This form is highly influenced by the new monastic movement and Wilson-Hartgrove's strong commitment to place. It feels more like theological reflections by Eugene Peterson or Wendell Berry more than a traditional catechism.
And that is partially successful.