How can Christians interact respectfully with those of different beliefs while remaining faithful to the Gospel? This is the crucial question best-selling author and Pastor Timothy Keller and Washington University Professor John Inazu sought to answer in their new book, Uncommon Ground: Living Faithfully in a World of Difference, to be released by Nelson Books April 14.
A timely and thought-provoking guide for every believer seeking to walk in humility, patience and tolerance, Uncommon Ground shares insight from 12 respected Christian thought-leaders, including Keller and Inazu, about how they live out Christ's command to love others above themselves in an increasingly fractured culture.
"If our culture cannot form people who can speak with both conviction and empathy across deep differences, then it becomes even more important for the church to use its theological and spiritual resources to produce such people," wrote Keller and Inazu. "The Christian calling is to be shaped and reshaped into people whose every thought and action is characterized by faith, hope, and love."
Recognizing that God often reveals Himself to us through narrative, Keller, Inazu, and their fellow contributors offer stories-rather than prescriptions-that cover a diverse array of perspectives on often divisive or isolating issues, including race, politics, peacemaking, and so much more.
● Tish Harrison Warren, writer and Anglican priest;
● Lecrae, storyteller and Grammy, Dove and BET award-winning Christian hip hop artist;
● Sara Groves, songwriter and singer;
● Trillia Newbell, reconciler, author, speaker, commentator and Director of Community Outreach for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission for the Southern Baptist Convention;
● Claude Alexander, peacemaker and Senior Pastor of The Park Church in Charlotte, North Carolina;
● Kristen Deede Johnson, theologian, writer and speaker;
● Tom Lin, adventurer and President of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship;
● Shirley V. Hoogstra, bridge-builder and President of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities;
● Rudy Carrasco, entrepreneur, author, speaker and program director at the Murdock Trust; and
● Warren Kinghorn, caregiver, psychiatrist and author, who is jointly appointed within Duke Divinity School and the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences of Duke University Medical Center and is a staff psychiatrist at the Durham VA Medical Center.
Through the transparency exhibited in the stories seen in Uncommon Ground, Christians of every kind are sure to gain both tools for faithfully relating with others and encouragement to take with them through a lifetime of learning to love God and others well.
"Our engagement with the world will lead us into unfamiliar relationships and risky spaces," wrote Keller and Inazu. "There can and will be costs. But we look to Jesus, who engaged with the world, not just at the possible risk of his comfort, but at the sure and certain cost of his life."