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To Change the World: The Irony, Tragedy, and…
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To Change the World: The Irony, Tragedy, and Possibility of Christianity… (edition 2010)

by James Davison Hunter (Author)

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511635,266 (4.18)None
The call to make the world a better place is inherent in the Christian belief and practice. But why have efforts to change the world by Christians so often failed or gone tragically awry? And how might Christians in the 21st century live in ways that have integrity with their traditions andare more truly transformative? In To Change the World, James Davison Hunter offers persuasive--and provocative--answers to these questions.Hunter begins with a penetrating appraisal of the most popular models of world-changing among Christians today, highlighting the ways they are inherently flawed and therefore incapable of generating the change to which they aspire. Because change implies power, all Christian eventually embracestrategies of political engagement. Hunter offers a trenchant critique of the political theologies of the Christian Right and Left and the Neo-Anabaptists, taking on many respected leaders, from Charles Colson to Jim Wallis and Stanley Hauerwas. Hunter argues that all too often these politicaltheologies worsen the very problems they are designed to solve. What is really needed is a different paradigm of Christian engagement with the world, one that Hunter calls "faithful presence" - an ideal of Christian practice that is not only individual but institutional; a model that plays out notonly in all relationships but in our work and all spheres of social life. He offers real-life examples, large and small, of what can be accomplished through the practice of "faithful presence." Such practices will be more fruitful, Hunter argues, more exemplary, and more deeply transfiguring thanany more overtly ambitious attempts can ever be.Written with keen insight, deep faith, and profound historical grasp, To Change the World will forever change the way Christians view and talk about their role in the modern world.… (more)
Member:PeterNicholas78
Title:To Change the World: The Irony, Tragedy, and Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World
Authors:James Davison Hunter (Author)
Info:Oxford University Press (2010), Edition: 1, 368 pages
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To Change the World: The Irony, Tragedy, and Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World by James Davison Hunter

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A humbly written but incredible book that all Christians should read. He discusses with great background data that make his arguments incredibly persuasive. He manages to praise and criticize all parts of the political spectrum without feeling biased one way or the other.

Ultimately his main point is that attempting to change culture from the top down--from a position of power, is not an effective way. Has never really been an effective way. Then he lays out how it has been done in the past and, at a high level, how it can be done today.

He has no trouble with Christians being involved in politics, they just need to understand that's not the best way to change the world.

Highly Highly Recommended. ( )
  Skybalon | Mar 19, 2020 |
Good critique of typical Evangelical theories of culture. Weak on critique of "Neo-Anabaptists". Proposal was quite disappointing. ( )
  KameronEdenfield | May 13, 2016 |
I have a habit of trying to finish almost any book that I start reading, especially, books that are favorably reviewed. This habit, more or less, forced me to slog through this very tedious tome.

It's not that I didn't, by and large, agree with the premise of the book, it's just that I think the author is riding a hobby horse and couldn't get off. My best summation would be "DUH"! The author is saying many very important, but obvious things, over and over and over and over again. Did I mention "shalom" and "faithful presence" because the author uses these catch words over and over and over and over again, apparently thinking that these key words, and saying them often, will be saying anything more powerful than what has been said by Christians for the last two thousand years.

Micah 6:8 says "He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD requires of you, but to do justice, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?" This Old Testament reading pretty much sums up the entire book and I suggest, instead of spending time reading this repetitive book, that you find some tangible way, in your own community, of living this out. ( )
  Tower_Bob | Nov 11, 2015 |
A really excellent book. ( )
  chriskrycho | Mar 30, 2013 |
By divine intent humans are world changers - mandate at creation, affirmed by covenants Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus Christ the first born of creation
Today Protestant Orthodox evangelicals are wealthy and of high influence YET declining in influence, ideas, imagination. Fair question - why do evangelicals by their numbers not produce more change? Esp when smaller groups i.e.Jews do
  sjmonson | Dec 1, 2012 |
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added by Christa_Josh | editJournal of the Evangelical Theological Society, David P. Smith (Dec 1, 2011)
 
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The call to make the world a better place is inherent in the Christian belief and practice. But why have efforts to change the world by Christians so often failed or gone tragically awry? And how might Christians in the 21st century live in ways that have integrity with their traditions andare more truly transformative? In To Change the World, James Davison Hunter offers persuasive--and provocative--answers to these questions.Hunter begins with a penetrating appraisal of the most popular models of world-changing among Christians today, highlighting the ways they are inherently flawed and therefore incapable of generating the change to which they aspire. Because change implies power, all Christian eventually embracestrategies of political engagement. Hunter offers a trenchant critique of the political theologies of the Christian Right and Left and the Neo-Anabaptists, taking on many respected leaders, from Charles Colson to Jim Wallis and Stanley Hauerwas. Hunter argues that all too often these politicaltheologies worsen the very problems they are designed to solve. What is really needed is a different paradigm of Christian engagement with the world, one that Hunter calls "faithful presence" - an ideal of Christian practice that is not only individual but institutional; a model that plays out notonly in all relationships but in our work and all spheres of social life. He offers real-life examples, large and small, of what can be accomplished through the practice of "faithful presence." Such practices will be more fruitful, Hunter argues, more exemplary, and more deeply transfiguring thanany more overtly ambitious attempts can ever be.Written with keen insight, deep faith, and profound historical grasp, To Change the World will forever change the way Christians view and talk about their role in the modern world.

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