There’s a lot that Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove thinks and write that I agree with. His last book, for instance, inspired me to write about Why I’m Staying Put. He and his family are committed to staying in Durham, NC, and my family and I have made the same decision about Edina, MN.
He’s got a new book out – The Awakening of Hope: Why We Practice a Common Faith – and I agree with this one, too. A lot.
Jonathan writes about the everyday, not unlike the Everyday Spirituality series I’ve been running. Toward the beginning of the book, for instance, he writes about the practice of cooking and about sharing the food at a regular community dinner. As he’s walking the lasagna that he’s made over to the dinner, he thinks about how much more easily and conveniently he could get his required calories for the day — at a local restaurant or deli. Instead, he’s spent the afternoon chopping vegetables and making this lasagna, keeping in mind that members of group are vegetarian, and others have gluten intolerance, which have changed how he composed the lasagna.
Yet, in spite of these inconveniences, he’s committed to this practice of cooking from scratch and eating together. He also writes poignantly about fasting, making (and keeping) promises, and committing to peace.
I’ve written a lot lately about the impending collapse of denominational Christianity. If there is going to be a future of our faith, I really believe that it’s in the small, committed, practice-oriented communities like the one that Jonathan describes in The Awakening of Hope. Someone considering this shift in Christianity couldn’t do much better than reading this book.
Stay Tuned – I’ll be giving away a couple copies of this book next week!