Historian Mark Noll has written that historic Pietism "breathed a badly needed vitality" into post-Reformation Europe. Now the time has come for Pietism to revitalize Christianity in post-Christendom America. In The Pietist Option, Christopher Gehrz, a historian of Pietism, and Mark Pattie, a pastor in the Pietist tradition, show how Pietism holds great promise for the church—and the world—today. Modeled after Philipp Spener's 1675 classic, Pia Desideria, this timely book makes a case for the vitality of Pietism in our day. Taking a hard look at American evangelicalism and why it needs renewal, Gehrz and Pattie explore the resources that Pietism can provide the church of the twenty-first century. This concise and winsome volume serves as a practical guide to the Pietist ethos for life and ministry, pointing us toward the renewal so many long for. The Pietist Option introduces Pietism to those who don't know it—and reintroduces it to those who perceive it as an outdated and inward-focused spirituality, a nitpicking divisiveness, or an anti-intellectual withdrawal. With its emphasis on our walk with Jesus and its vibrant hope for a better future, Pietism connects decisively with the ideas and issues of our day. Here is a revitalizing option for all who desire to be faithful and fruitful in God's mission.
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About the Author
Christopher Gehrz (PhD, Yale) is professor of history at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he also helps coordinate the Christianity and Western Culture program. He is the editor of The Pietist Vision of Christian Higher Education and coeditor of The Pietist Impulse in Christianity.
Table of ContentsIntroduction: "Come Back to Jesus"Part I: Christianity in the Early Twenty-First Century
1. What's Wrong?
2. Hoping for Better TimesPart II: Proposals for Renewal
3. A More Extensive Listening to the Word of God
4. The Common Priesthood for the Common Good
5. Christianity as Life
6. The Irenic Spirit: Unity, Mission, and Witness
7. Whole-Person, Whole-Life Formation
8. Proclaiming the Good News
Benediction: "Like a Tree Planted by Water"
Appendix: Learn More About Pietism
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