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Asphalt Jesus: Finding a New Christian Faith Along the Highways of America 1st Edition

4.9 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0787986087
ISBN-10: 0787986089
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Arizona pastor Elnes (United Church of Christ) had an idea that wouldn't go away: develop principles of a more generous and affirmative faith to counter the dominance of conservative Christianity in the media, and to witness for this faith by walking with other Christians 2,500 miles from Phoenix to Washington, D.C. Using as a guide these biblically based principles, emphasizing love of God, neighbor and self (described in his previous book The Phoenix Affirmations), Elnes recounts the cross-country journey as the walkers tried to spread the news that a vital alternative is flourishing in America's churches. The CrossWalk America travelers discovered extraordinary hospitality—and sometimes hostility—across surprising denominational lines as they searched for common ground with other Christians. The book shines when Elnes focuses on the walkers' encounters with people and churches in small towns across the U.S., but lags as he interprets biblical stories and discusses the Phoenix Affirmations. Less a narrative than a series of extended anecdotes, the book raises questions it doesn't answer about the walk and its impact on participants' faith. (Aug. 3)
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Review

“Elnes has hit one out of the ballpark with this remarkably energetic and accessible narrative presentation  of what twenty-first century Christianity looks like in the lives of those who are becoming it right now. This book is an exhilarating gift to all of us.”--Phyllis Tickle, complier, The Night Offices

 

“Eric Elnes’ book Asphalt Jesus is as exciting as the adventure it describes. He and his fellow walkers went from Phoenix to Washington, D.C., on foot to dramatize the crisis of American Christianity that is lost in the negativity of fundamentalism. Dramatically they hold out another vision that captivates millions. This is a ‘must read’ if you are concerned with what is happening to Christianity in the United States.”--John Shelby Spong, author, Jesus for the Non-Religious

 

“No one will ever be able to accuse Eric Elnes of ‘Talkin’ the Talk, but not Walkin’ the Walk!’ This beautifully told story is more than just the diary of a remarkable journey undertaken by an intrepid band of religious progressives. It is an odyssey into the heart and soul of the American religious scene. Readers will think they have made the journey themselves, met a whole new group of friends, and discovered a forgotten landscape and an abiding truth: we are all on the same journey, and we need to listen to, and respect, one another.”--Dr. Robin Meyers, UCC minister and professor; author, Why the Christian Right is Wrong: A Minister’s Manifesto for Taking Back Your Faith, Your Flag, Your Future

 

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (August 3, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0787986089
  • ISBN-13: 978-0787986087
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,525,110 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
For anyone who is worried about the public face of Christian faith in the United States, for anyone who loves Jesus but can't stand what the church has done to his message, for anyone who wants to follow God without belittling others, for anyone who's worried that liberal Christianity has lost its biblical foundation- "Asphalt Jesus" is bound to bring you hope.

Author Eric Elnes and a host of others walked across the United States, from Phoenix, Arizona to Washington, D.C. in an incredible journey to bring an inclusive, progressive Christianity to the heart of America. This book documents that journey, and what they found surprised them, and may surprise you as well!

I won't spoil too much, but let's just say that "Asphalt Jesus" reminds us that despite all the divisiveness political partisanship and the Christian right has fostered over the last few decades, Christians of all stripes- conservative and liberal, moderate and fundamentalist- are looking for something that transcends these traditional ways of thinking about our faith.

God is indeed working through us today, and "Asphalt Jesus" is a spirit-filled testimony to the power of God and God's never-ceasing presence. I can only hope Crosswalk America and other organizations devoted to inclusive Christianity will continue spreading the gospel so that all of us- conservative, liberal, moderate- can unite at least!
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I just purchased 8 of Elnes' books as Christmas presents because as I read it I realized it explains in clear, gentle words the hunger I have felt for years to be able to express my faith without fear of ridicule. Four years ago I found a faith community where I now feel safe to express my faith as well as my doubts. Elnes' book will allow me to share with those I love the essence of what I have found in "open and affirming" progressive Christianity. The Crosswalk group was walking for me and for the huge number of others who want to know how to love unconditionally and to fully comprehend and accept the unconditional love of God.
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For so long, I have thought that the "right-wing" has inappropriately hijacked what is termed to be "Christian" in America. This is a practical way for those who feel that way to fight back and to do so with love and affection...showing what we are "really" made of. Any church facing a need to do strategic planning for the future or group facilitation about the future would do well to read this book first. It will take you outside the box to a place that you will want to go.
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A wonderful telling of a brilliant idea! Listening to each other and communicating and caring and sharing and reaching out is what being "Christian" is about, and Eric Elnes is doing just that. We don't have to take a four month march - we can begin where we are, now, and try to keep the "church" alive. God be with us in our efforts.
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