Today TGC carries my review of Michael Wear’s Reclaiming Hope:
Conservatives and progressives are both defined by their strong sense of alienation from the advanced modern life they see around them; both view modern life as morally empty. Progressives like Wear tend to believe our moral emptiness consists of insufficient concern for the well-being of those in greatest need. Conservatives tend to believe the moral emptiness of modern life consists of an excessive focus on people’s material circumstances as the measurement of their well-being, to the exclusion of personal virtue and authentic spiritual community.
Both impulses become dysfunctional if pursued to an extreme, but both are necessary elements of any well-balanced understanding of what it means to do justice and mercy. The church and the nation must overcome our polarization so that all of us—on both sides of the aisle—will equally value the command to feed the hungry and the insistence that man does not live by bread alone. In the present circumstance, that means we need more people like Wear and more books like Reclaiming Hope.
I’d love to hear your thoughts.