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A Letter to My Anxious Christian Friends

From Fear to Faith in Unsettled Times

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Westminster John Knox Press
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The last few years have seen dizzying social change in the United States. Many of these changes—such as the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage—seem to challenge or overturn long-standing Christian teachings, while disputes over issues such as immigration, racism, and the abuse of police authority create uncertainty and confusion about what a faithful Christian response looks like. Small wonder, then, that the dominant mood among many Christians is anxiety about what it means to be a follower of Jesus in the world today.

In a clear and readable style, leading Christian ethicist David P. Gushee explores the many social and political changes that are causing Christian anxiety, offering ways to understand and act on these issues that are grounded in the reign of God rather than in human fear. What do we see when we look at a given political issue, argument, or candidate? What do we wish to see? And what might Christian faith contribute to seeing, interpreting, and acting rightly in this particular moment? Gushee helps average Christians think through and make sense of their fears and anxieties about rapid social change in American society, showing how our faith is calling us not to fear and worry but to hope.

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Dr. David P. Gushee is Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics at Mercer University and Chair of Christian Social Ethics Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam/IBTS. One of the world's leading Christian ethicists, he is the author or editor of more than 25 books, including Changing Our Mind, After Evangelicalism, Kingdom Ethics, Still Christian, Righteous Gentiles of the Holocaust, and The Sacredness of Human Life. Gushee is a frequent speaker, "Kingdom Ethics" podcaster, and activist. He and his wife, Jeanie, live in Atlanta, Georgia. Visit or @dpgushee on social media.
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"David Gushee is among the most important ethicists and theologians of our time. A Letter to My Anxious Christian Friends: From Fear to Faith in Unsettled Times is an instant classic—a short book that persuasively cuts to the core of the most significant issues facing Christians in the United States today. I strongly recommend this book to anyone looking for a deeper understanding of our nation's most contentious debates, and to all Christians who are seeking to square their feelings about this country with the tenets of their faith."
—Jim Wallis, New York Times best-selling author, president of Sojourners, and editor-in-chief of Sojourners magazine

"David Gushee is one of America's finest public theologians, and this letter to fearful Christians shows why. He analyzes issues with political intelligence and biblical acumen, offering readers a way to move away from fear toward a deeper faithfulness. But what makes this book shine is his heart—as each page beats with love for the church, his neighbors, and, yes, even America. The message is simple: things may be changing, but a gracious God is with us. And that is good news indeed."
—Diana Butler Bass, author of Grounded: Finding God in the World—A Spiritual Revolution

"David Gushee is one of the best Christian ethicists alive today. This is his manifesto to America . . . written like a love letter to the empire."
—Shane Claiborne, speaker, activist, and author of Executing Grace

"David Gushee is one of our most searching and important voices for public theology. He defies Christian stereotypes and divisions that have played a part in dividing America in so many other ways. And this book is a road map for discerningly, faithfully claiming the promise and redemption that are possible in this tumultuous national moment."
—Krista Tippett, executive producer/host, On Being and The Civil Conversations Project

"It is hard in our increasingly polarized society to find a straightforward description of things. This is the great gift of Gushee's book. In a time of heightened anxiety and confusion, Gushee cuts through the divisive language and ideologies that saturate our political context and provides much-needed clarity on the issues we face. His brief but comprehensive reflections serve as a starting point for Christians to find common ground with one another and make a productive contribution to public life."
—Jennifer M. McBride, Associate Dean for Doctor of Ministry Programs and Continuing Education and Assistant Professor of Theology and Ethics, McCormick Theological Seminary

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