Before Martin Luther King Jr. there was W. E. B. Du Bois. Like King, Du Bois was a civil rights activist. We usually don’t think of his life or his activism in religious terms. He was a historian, sociologist, educator and journalist, and he was not a member of the clergy. But religion permeated his thought and spurred his actions.
Anyone who is still pondering the post-9/11 question “Why do they hate us so much?” will find no simple answer in Akbar Ahmed’s intellectually engaging and passionately written book, but they will find a complex web of persuasive reasons.
“Life is a journey” is both a certainty and a cliché. Young recaptures and deepens the image by describing five stages of the journey: wilderness, wrestling with God, the self-emptying way of Jesus, encountering the “other” in the stranger and the exile, and desire that is both frustrated and fulfilled.
This volume of essays explores evangelistic growth where it is coupled with liberal or progressive theology. The strongest chapters outline new sociological data or paint panoramic views of discrete segments of the church. The editors’ diagnostic reflections on the nature of liberal churches are wonderful.