Praise for Preaching After God: Derrida, Caputo, and the Language of Postmodern Homiletics
“In this grand-scale book, Snider takes on the enormous task of rethinking homiletics in light of postmodern thought, and comes up with a fresh and wonderful preacher-sized proposal for speaking of God in times like ours. His refreshing honesty and engaging style will kindle new hope in those who secretly fear that preaching may be impossible in progressive circles. His energy and delight in asking the big questions will inspire others to do the same. A lively conversation-starter of a book.”
— Anna Carter Florence, author of Preaching as Testimony and Peter Marshall Associate Professor of Preaching at Columbia Theological Seminary
“There is a growing industry of Christians attempting to domesticate the work of radical thinkers to fit them into an already existing theological system. Provocative writers are thus tied to a Procrustean bed by religionists seeking to make them fit within an already established religious dogma. Not so with Snider. Here he reads these vital thinkers seriously and subtly, pouring their new wine into the old wineskins. Why? So as to crack open the actually existing church and help prepare the way for a new reformation.”
— Pete Rollins, author of Insurrection
“In Preaching After God Phil Snider adroitly shows that postmodern theology will preach! He mounts an impressive argument that a ‘homiletic of the event’ is the best way to reach a world that has had enough of a supernaturalism that nullifies human agency, without sinking into an anthropologism where human subjects are the only game in town. He has an ear for postmodern theory and the gift of telling us what preaching needs to be. A must read for theologians and preachers alike.”
— John D. Caputo, author of What Would Jesus Deconstruct? and Thomas J. Watson Professor of Religion Emeritus at Syracuse University & David R. Cook Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at Villanova University
“With a scholar’s reach and a pastor’s wisdom, Phil Snider courageously explores the postmodern crisis in religion and, thus, in preaching. He invigorates preaching once again by proposing a dangerous homiletical wager, that preachers risk everything, not on the power of their dogma but instead on the advent of the in-coming God. A most provocative book!”
— Thomas G. Long, author of Preaching from Memory to Hope and Bandy Professor of Preaching at Candler School of Theology, Emory University
“In this smart and readable book, Snider does the spadework for a theology of preaching after the death of the Christian God shaped by Western metaphysics. Influenced by John Caputo’s reading of Derrida, Snider discovers a constructive homiletic emerging from the ashes of philosophical deconstruction . . . His relentlessly positive approach to Derrida is refreshing, and his homiletical ideas encourage a fundamental rethinking of both our reasons for preaching and the messages we preach.”
— John S. McClure, author of Other-Wise Preaching and Charles G. Finney Professor of Preaching and Worship at Vanderbilt Divinity School
“There has been a lot of talk about preaching over the past number of years–debates about its viability and vitality in these post-secular, interactive times. But in the midst of all that talk, very little has been said about content. It was assumed that we all knew ‘what the message’ was, that it was simply a matter of finding the right container. Phil Snider ups the conversation by inviting us to consider the content of the influential and culture-shaping world of continental philosophy and offers us ways to incorporate it into our communicating. Phil doesn’t want us to domesticate these ideas, he wants us to use them to inform and frame a new way of preaching, but beyond that, a new way of thinking about life, God, church and everything in between.”
— Barry Taylor, Professor of Culture & Religion at Fuller Theological Seminary and Associate Rector of All Saints Episcopal Church, Beverly Hills
Praise for Toward a Hopeful Future
WINNER OF THE 2011 MAYFLOWER AWARD FOR BEST BOOK IN CHURCH & SOCIETY
A lot of us have been saying that a book like this one needed to be written. 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 (brianmclaren.net)
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
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
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
Phil Snider and Emily Bowen point mainline churches Toward a Hopeful Future. Let’s hope that the churches start down the path they’re suggesting! This book will help standard churches take a look at this new, “emergent” idea they’re hearing about. It’s thoughtful, well-researched and contains practical ways for typical churches to move into a faithful and effective ministry with a new generation.
–Martha Grace Reese, author of the Unbinding the Gospel series
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.
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
Praise for The Hyphenateds:
From Brian McLaren:
“I’m normally an upbeat person, but I get a little depressed when I see religious communities retrenching, reacting, defending, and engaging in more boundary-maintenance than bridge-building. That’s why I find this volume so helpful and hopeful. It’s about faith communities exploring, creating, admitting faults, and bridging divides on all sides. You’ll meet Christian leaders who are obviously bright, passionately committed, and downright fascinating, people I’m so glad to know as companions in this wild journey of emergence.”
From Martha Grace-Reese:
“The Hyphenateds will give you a clear sense of a new generation of leaders’ hope-filled vision for the church.”
From Phyllis Tickle:
“Here a baker’s dozen of the most influential Hyphenateds in this country talk boldly and unapologetically about what they are doing, how they are doing it, and why they are doing it. Whether one is an emergence Christian or a mainline Christian or a traditional Christian or even a disaffected Christian, one has the opportunity here to look at the future through the lens of an evolving present. What’s written here is intimately told, without apology, and with no holds barred.”
From Doug Pagitt:
“[Hyphenateds] recognize that they are in a new relationship, but they also know where they come from. They want to be fully in the emerging family, but as a product of another family… The ecclesial hyphenateds are doing what they can to live in a complex blended family.”