A Book About Dignity for Everyone Has a Lot to Teach the Church

The Gospel Coalition | 9/20/2019 | Justin Lonas
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It’s no secret that an increasingly large portion of wealth in the United States belongs to a small number of people. Lest we simply write that off as “part of the deal” with capitalism and a global economy, economists and sociologists express great concern that pathways to economic mobility seem to be narrowing. Americans’ chances for financial stability depend more and more on being born and raised in a certain set of circumstances.

It’s becoming clear that the divides in our economic life also cut across our community life and relationships, even in the church. Christians in America often fear splitting into camps over political or moral issues. But are we in danger of sorting along economic lines—into one church for the wealthy and upwardly mobile, and another church for everyone else? One recent book sheds light on these divides and offers a subtle but striking corrective to our churches as well.

Chris - Arnade - Dignity - Respect - Back

Chris Arnade’s Dignity: Seeking Respect in Back Row America hits nerves across the political and cultural spectrum with troubling observations. Here, through stories of people from various ethnicities and regions, we’re confronted with the fact that our systems haven’t resulted in “the American dream” for far too many. Historian Thomas Kidd called the book “the most sympathetic treatment of poor, broken Americans that I can recall ever reading.” Though coming from a professed non-believer and a mainstream publishing house, Dignity raises vital questions about how churches are failing to address the key concerns of many Americans—both in how we proclaim the gospel message and, more critically, in how our lives reflect what we profess to believe.

Much of Dignity‘s power flows from the book’s format—it’s not an academic work but a travelogue, weaving itinerant thoughts with personal stories from all over the United States It’s also a coffee-table book of sorts....
(Excerpt) Read more at: The Gospel Coalition
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