Toward a Hopeful Future

Toward a Hopeful Future


toward a hopeful future 150

Toward a Hopeful Future highlights the reasons why an increasing number of evangelicals are leaving the churches of their childhood in pursuit of more progressive approaches to the Christian faith. In turn, it shows how mainline communities of faith (that tend to be more liberal) can offer hospitality to former evangelicals longing for a faith that’s deeply rooted in the gospel values of justice, equality, and inclusivity.

Winner of the 2011 Mayflower Award for Best Book in Church & Society.

This painstakingly researched, beautifully crafted work not only places the reader’s hand on the pulse of emerging theology but draws out how this contemporary movement relates to, and resonates with, the wider Christian heritage.
–Peter Rollins, author of The Orthodox Heretic

Phil Snider and Emily Bowen have given us just what we need — and more, because the book not only says what needs to be said, but does so in a delightful, intelligent, and encouraging way. Enthusiastically recommended — yes, for Mainliners, but also for Evangelicals and Roman Catholics who also need a shot of hope about the future.
–Brian D. McLaren, author/speaker/activist (

Convergence between streams of emergent and progressive Christianity is a striking and hopeful happening. This exciting book is very much needed now.
–Marcus Borg, best-selling author of The Heart of Christianity

At the end of his 1913 edition of The Quest of the Historical Jesus, Albert Schweitzer compared “conservative and liberal” forms of Christianity to “two thin streams that wind alongside each other between the boulders and pebbles of a great river bed.” But, “when the waters rise and overflow the rock, they meet of their own accord.” But when and how will that happen? “When desire and hope for the kingdom of God,” he said, “and fellowship with the spirit of Jesus govern them as an elementary and mighty force.” One hundred years later, at the start of a new century, this present book, Toward a Hopeful Future, proves that contemporary streams of “emergent” and “progressive” Christianity are turning Schweitzer’s hope into a reality.
–John Dominic Crossan, author of God and Empire

You won’t be disappointed as Snider and Bowen guide you through the convergences and departures of mainline Christianity and the emerging church movement. They’ve given careful and critical attention to the church at the margins and have a clear and hopeful idea of what these communities offer the established church and vice versa. I’m grateful someone has taken the effort to understand emergence beyond just the aesthetics. This book is far overdue.
–Nadia Bolz-Weber
Founding Pastor, House For All Sinners and Saints, Denver, Co
Author, Salvation on the Small Screen? 24 Hours of Christian Television

Phil Snider and Emily Bowen sort through the cacophony of information that clamors around emergent movements, and write a clear and compelling symphony. Through their research and practical application, Snider and Bowen lift up the voices that resonate with a chorus of progressive Christians from our past, while they inspire great hope for our future.
–Carol Howard Merritt, author of Tribal Church