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
Asphalt Jesus: Finding a New Christian Faith along the Highways of Americaby Eric Elnes
On Easter 2006, Eric Elnes and several companions set out to walk from Phoenix, Arizona, to the nation's capital. They dreamed of fostering deeper conversations about what it means to be progressive Christians in an age of fundamentalism. On their journey they discovered thousands of people in every statered and blueand every kind of church who welcomed… See more details below
On Easter 2006, Eric Elnes and several companions set out to walk from Phoenix, Arizona, to the nation's capital. They dreamed of fostering deeper conversations about what it means to be progressive Christians in an age of fundamentalism. On their journey they discovered thousands of people in every statered and blueand every kind of church who welcomed them and shared their hunger for relationship and conversation about what it means to be Christian. Asphalt Jesus tells the story of the journey and further articulates a joyous and loving faith that moves beyond simple categories of "Christian Right" and "Christian Left."
Asphalt Jesus builds on Eric Elnes's previous book, The Phoenix Affirmations. Arising from the three great loves that the Bible reveals (love of God, love of neighbor, and love of self), these twelve affirmations reflect commitments to environmental stewardship, social justice, and artistic expression as well as openness to other faiths. Transcending theological and culture wars, inclusive and generous in spirit and practice, these principles allow believers and seekers alike to affirm their Christian faith in a fresh way.
Travel with Elnes and his companions on this remarkable journey as they encounter fundamentalist talk radio hosts, receive radical hospitality at Jesus First Baptist Church in Eager, Arizona, marvel at how a decidedly un-Christian welcome in Clovis, New Mexico, turns into something much more joyous, and watch their stereotypes about Christianity at the grassroots crumble along the way. Discover the joys and challenges of this amazing 2500-mile walk and the gifts of their conversations with thousands of people of all kinds about what it means to be Christian.
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What People are saying about this
“Eric Elnes’ book Asphalt Jesus is as exciting as the adventure it describes. He and his fellow walkers went from Phoenix to Washington, D.C., on foot to dramatize the crisis of American Christianity that is lost in the negativity of fundamentalism. Dramatically they hold out another vision that captivates millions. This is a ‘must read’ if you are concerned with what is happening to Christianity in the United States.”John Shelby Spong, author, Jesus for the Non-Religious
“No one will ever be able to accuse Eric Elnes of ‘Talkin’ the Talk, but not Walkin’ the Walk!’ This beautifully told story is more than just the diary of a remarkable journey undertaken by an intrepid band of religious progressives. It is an odyssey into the heart and soul of the American religious scene. Readers will think they have made the journey themselves, met a whole new group of friends, and discovered a forgotten landscape and an abiding truth: we are all on the same journey, and we need to listen to, and respect, one another.”Dr. Robin Meyers, UCC minister and professor; author, Why the Christian Right is Wrong: A Minister’s Manifesto for Taking Back Your Faith, Your Flag, Your Future
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