Asphalt Jesus: Finding a New Christian Faith along the Highways of America

Overview

On Easter 2006, Eric Elnes and several companions set out towalk from Phoenix, Arizona, to the nation's capital. They dreamedof fostering deeper conversations about what it means to beprogressive Christians in an age of fundamentalism. On theirjourney they discovered thousands of people in every state—redand blue—and every kind of church who welcomed them and sharedtheir hunger for relationship and conversation about what it meansto be Christian. Asphalt Jesus tells the story of the journey andfurther articulates...

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Overview

On Easter 2006, Eric Elnes and several companions set out towalk from Phoenix, Arizona, to the nation's capital. They dreamedof fostering deeper conversations about what it means to beprogressive Christians in an age of fundamentalism. On theirjourney they discovered thousands of people in every state—redand blue—and every kind of church who welcomed them and sharedtheir hunger for relationship and conversation about what it meansto be Christian. Asphalt Jesus tells the story of the journey andfurther articulates a joyous and loving faith that moves beyondsimple categories of "Christian Right" and "Christian Left."

Asphalt Jesus builds on Eric Elnes's previous book, The PhoenixAffirmations. Arising from the three great loves that the Biblereveals (love of God, love of neighbor, and love of self), thesetwelve affirmations reflect commitments to environmentalstewardship, social justice, and artistic expression as well asopenness to other faiths. Transcending theological and culturewars, inclusive and generous in spirit and practice, theseprinciples allow believers and seekers alike to affirm theirChristian faith in a fresh way.

Travel with Elnes and his companions on this remarkable journeyas they encounter fundamentalist talk radio hosts, receive radicalhospitality at Jesus First Baptist Church in Eager, Arizona, marvelat how a decidedly un-Christian welcome in Clovis, New Mexico,turns into something much more joyous, and watch their stereotypesabout Christianity at the grassroots crumble along the way.Discover the joys and challenges of this amazing 2500-mile walk andthe gifts of their conversations with thousands of people of allkinds about what it means to be Christian.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Arizona pastor Elnes (United Church of Christ) had an "idea that wouldn't go away": develop principles of a "more generous and affirmative" faith to counter the dominance of conservative Christianity in the media, and to witness for this faith by walking with other Christians 2,500 miles from Phoenix to Washington, D.C. Using as a guide these biblically based principles, emphasizing love of God, neighbor and self (described in his previous book The Phoenix Affirmations), Elnes recounts the cross-country journey as the walkers tried to spread the news that a vital alternative is flourishing in America's churches. The CrossWalk America travelers discovered extraordinary hospitality-and sometimes hostility-across surprising denominational lines as they searched for common ground with other Christians. The book shines when Elnes focuses on the walkers' encounters with people and churches in small towns across the U.S., but lags as he interprets biblical stories and discusses the Phoenix Affirmations. Less a narrative than a series of extended anecdotes, the book raises questions it doesn't answer about the walk and its impact on participants' faith. (Aug. 3)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780787986087
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 8/3/2007
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,032,952
  • Product dimensions: 6.34 (w) x 9.39 (h) x 0.99 (d)

Meet the Author

Eric Elnes, Ph.D., is the senior pastor of Scottsdale Congregational United Church of Christ (www.artin worship.com), a community committed to a progressive, inclusive Christianity. He is the cofounder of CrossWalk America (www.CrossWalkAmerica.org), a nonprofit organization that hosted the walk and continues to help those interested in progressive Christian faith find each other, explore, and articulate their beliefs.

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Diana Butler Bass.

Preface.

The Phoenix Affirmations.

1. The Idea That Wouldn't Go Away: Listening to God.

2. Phoenix Rising.

3. Hellfire, Damnation, and Garbage Dumps.

4. Jesus First Baptist Church.

5. The Trickster Shows Up-Again!

6. Asphalt Jesus.

7. Faith in Podunk.

8. Silence of the (Christian) Lambs.

9. A Little Light That Shined.

10. Art and Soul.

11. "Perfesser Creek-Water".

12. Faithful Doubting.

13. A Letter from God.

Discussion Guide by C. Howie Howard.

Notes.

CrossWalk America.

The Author and the Core Walk Team.

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