In the fall of 2006, Mark Douglas, a professor of Christian ethics, was invited to write weekly editorials for a secular newspaper. Surprisingly, his editor placed no limits around either the content or the rhetoric of those editorials. This book offers Professor Douglas's reflections on that work and the editorials themselves. Taken together, they model a particular vision of Christian engagement in the public sphere. This book offers a single sustained argument about why and how the Christian faith should shape the public lives of its adherents. Both the reflections and the editorials model various aspects of that argument.
At the center of this book's argument are the Christian virtues of faith, hope, and love. Douglas begins by arguing not only that faith matters in the public sphere but describing how this is so. He then describes the way hope shapes a worldview through which to interpret public life. Finally, the virtue of love informs the practices of a life in which Christians learn to "believe aloud."
Many recent books have made the case that it is important for people of faith to engage in matters of public interest-this one actually shows how one person has done so.
Endorsements & Reviews-
"Mark Douglas consistently finds ways to surprise the reader--not with gimmicks, but with hope so truthful it reveals the world anew. That hard-won hope lets Douglas make a crucial contribution to academic debates about religion and politics. It also helps him write editorials that crackle with good humor and fresh insight. Douglas calls his readers to believe aloud--and then gives rich samples of what that sounds like for our time." --Ted A. Smith author of The New Measures: A Theological History of Democratic Practice
"Mark Douglas's Believing Alou is a wonderful book, or really two books: one a collection of his newspaper columns, the other a series of meditations (which connect the columns) on what he was trying to do in the columns, and how he thought he did. Combining theological depth, political and cultural acumen, and a vivid and sharp writing style, the book is both an education in Douglas's wise and persuasive understanding of religion's role in public life, and an education about how to communicate that understanding to others. A delight." --Charles Mathewes author of A Theology of Public Life
Mark Douglas Walter Brueggemann
Mark Douglas is Associate Professor of Christian Ethics at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA. He is the author of Confessing Christ in the 21st Century (2005).