“It would be difficult to imagine anyone reading this book without finding some new insight or inspiration, some new and unexpected testimony to the astonishing breadth of Christianity through the centuries.” — Philip Jenkins, author of The Lost History of Christianity “Interesting, insightful, illuminating, and remarkably relevant.” — Marcus Borg, author of The Heart of Christianity In the tradition of Howard Zinn comes a new history of Christianity that reveals its bottom-up movements over the past 2,000 years, which preserved Jesus’s original message of social justice, and how this history is impacting the church today.
In this panoramic view of two millennia of Christian history, Butler Bass (Christianity for the Rest of Us) attempts to give contemporary progressive (the author prefers the term "generative") Christians a sense of their family history, refracted through little known as well as famous men and women whose work within and outside the institutional church fueled sometimes "alternative" practices as they tried to follow Jesus the Prophet. "Without a sense of history, progressive Christianity remains unmoored," argues Butler Bass, a former columnist for the New York Times syndicate. Organized chronologically, each section of the book includes a chapter on religious observance and one on social justice, illuminating the author's conviction that authentic Christianity can be discovered in the practice of loving God and neighbor. Laced with stories from the author's own life and with contemporary examples of "generative Christianity," Butler Bass's version of Christian history includes familiar figures like the fourth-century church father Gregory of Nyssa and lesser-known individuals like the 19th century American abolitionist Maria Stewart. Is this truly "the other side of the story," as the subtitle proclaims? It's definitely a start.