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Seeing Gray in a World of Black and White: Thoughts on Religion, Morality, and Politics Hardcover – April 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 242 pages
  • Publisher: Abingdon Press (April 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0687649692
  • ISBN-13: 978-0687649693
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #221,141 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Adam Hamilton is a thoughtful man whose writings will stretch your mind and heart. --Bill Hybels, Senior Pastor, Willow Creek Community Church<br /><br />When a book like this one comes along at odds with formulaic Left/Right positions and with both liberal and conservative pieities, savor it conservatively and share it liberally. --Leonard Sweet, Drew University, George Fox University<br /><br />When it comes to matters of faith which keep believers awake at night, trigger conflict among best friends, or simply pique our own curiosity, Adam Hamilton seems to read our collective minds. Written with a pastor's heart and an articulate theologian's mind, Seeing Gray offers a third way that joins vital piety with social holiness. It unites Scripture with tradition, reason and experience. Even when we cannot agree on common ground, Seeing Gray reminds us that we stand together on higher ground. This is a book for thinking Christians. --Janice Riggle Huie, President, Council of Bishops, the United Methodist Church

When a book like this one comes along at odds with formulaic Left/Right positions and with both liberal and conservative pieities, savor it conservatively and share it liberally. --Leonard Sweet, Drew University, George Fox University

Adam Hamilton is a thoughtful man whose writings will stretch your mind and heart. --Bill Hybels, Senior Pastor, Willow Creek Community Church

About the Author

Adam Hamilton is senior pastor of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas, one of the fastest growing, most highly visible churches in the country. The Church Report  named Hamilton's congregation the most influential mainline church in America, and PBS’s Religion and Ethics Newsweekly identified him as one of the top “Ten People to Watch.” Hamilton is the best-selling and award-winning author of Why? Making Sense of God's Will, 24 Hours that Changed the World, Enough, When Christians Get It Wrong, Confronting the Controversies, Making Love Last a Lifetime, Unleashing the Word, Leading Beyond the Walls, Selling Swimsuits in the Arctic, Christianity and World Religions, Christianity's Family Tree and Seeing Gray in a World of Black and White, all published by Abingdon Press.

More About the Author

Adam Hamilton is senior pastor of The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas, one of the fastest growing, most highly visible churches in the country. The Church Report named Hamilton's congregation the most influential mainline church in America, and he preached at the National Prayer Service as part of the presidential inauguration festivities in 2013. Hamilton is the best-selling and award-winning author of The Journey, The Way, 24 Hours that Changed the World, Enough, When Christians Get it Wrong, and Seeing Gray in a World of Black and White, all published by Abingdon Press.

Customer Reviews

One needs to think more.
Janet Louise Morris
He does an excellent job of presenting both sides of all of the issues.
LSP
I am buying several copies to give as gifts this Christmas.
Life Healer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Daniel B. Clendenin on September 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover
In 1990 Adam Hamilton founded the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas. After starting with four people, today their weekly attendance numbers about 7500 worshippers. Along the way, Hamilton has written at least a half-dozen books, the most current one urging a "radical center" that moves beyond the tired debates between evangelical conservatives and mainline liberals. Elsewhere Hamilton has advanced the language of "liberal evangelical" or "evangelical liberal."

"This book," he writes, "is my attempt at laying out one Christian's view of a Christianity of the via media or middle way between the extremes" of a Jerry Falwell and John Shelby Spong. That's not to say he argues for a mushy middle or some lowest common denominator. Far from it. The call of Jesus is radical. But because of the transcendence of God and the fallenness of humanity, we should never claim to understand the Jesus Way perfectly. Nor do we have to, for to do so would be a horrible burden.

What Hamilton argues for is not moderation but modesty. He embodies the so-called "peace-saying" of Peter Meiderlin, a Lutheran pastor who had grown tired of the rancor and division caused by doctrinal disputes in the wake of the Protestant Reformation. In the early 1620s he wrote a book under the pen name of Rupert Meldenius, entitled A Prayerful Admonition for Peace to the Theologians of the Augsburg Confession. In it he urged "in essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, and in all things charity."

Hamilton is a fine example of an articulate pastor who's followed the Wesleyan quadrilateral of Scripture, tradition, reason, and experience.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Life Healer on October 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am in the process of reading this book for small group at my church. I have to say it is one of the most insightful books I have seen regarding dealing with issues that confront us in today's world. Our society tends to see things as being black or white, one extreem or the other; you are liberal or conservative. Adam Hamilton suggests a different way of dealing with the issues. It is ok not to be one extreem or the other, but to be somewhere in the middle. As a matter of fact, that might be preferable to the extreems, and enable a ground on which to have productive conversations and perhaps even achieve resolutions to problems.

In the book Adam addresses some very controversial issues including evolution, abortion, homosexuality, heaven and hell, and even whether non-Christians will be in heaven. He even addresses politics.

This is probably not a book for those who are determined to be at the poles of an issue. It is not just a book for Christians, although I consider it a must read for those who wish to see an end to the senseless bickering between liberal and conservative Christians that leads non-Christians to avoid us and the faith. It is a book for any individual who wishes to promote productive discussion on issues that face our world today. I am buying several copies to give as gifts this Christmas.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By John W. Matthews on June 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Hamilton squarely faces the "noisy" issues of popular society to bring forth reasonable, moderate understanding to encourage thoughtful people to recognize the futility of polarities. His rationality of listening rather than shouting restores hope that overcomes fear, makes places for peace to "break out."
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By blaise j mercadante on August 18, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Inevitably in a philosophy that aims for the middle, there are no sharp edges in the thoughts presented. The book can be summed up in a sentence. Be humble: neither you nor anyone else has all the answers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Paul Froehlich on July 27, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Adam Hamilton has undertaken a herculean task, namely trying to nudge evangelical Christianity into the 21st Century. He recognizes that to the extent evangelicals are defined by their opposition to evolution, homosexuality, and other social issues, they seriously limit their ability to appeal to seekers in the broader society.

Hamilton is the senior pastor of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas, which was named the most influential mainline church in America by The Church Report. He also wrote When Christians Get It Wrong (2010), which this author also reviewed.

In the 1950s and 60s the mainline Protestant churches were most influential, but their membership and influence has steadily waned since. Hamilton thinks conservative Christianity today is where the mainline church was in 1964, with much influence, but facing a changing society. If conservative Christianity fails to respond to the challenges and to connect with younger generations, then it too will decline.

One sign of this change is found among young evangelicals who reject their elder's view on homosexuality. Another sign is that both Willow Creek and Saddleback Church, two of the most influential megachurches, have gone beyond solely evangelism and have added the social gospel to their agendas.

The world is seen as black and white to those on the extremes. Jerry Fawell and John Shelby Spong, for instance, represented two extremes on the right and left among American Protestantism circa 1990. Hamilton rejects the old categories of liberal or conservative, fundamentalist or progressive, instead claiming a moral center, what he calls the "radical center," a new approach that combines elements of traditional values and social justice.
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