So this week is the launch for In Search of the Common Good: Christian Fidelity in a Fractured World. You can order the book at all the usual online vendors, though I would encourage you to either buy it from a local bookstore or from the publisher directly.
To give you a short summary of what to expect: The book grew out of some of the thinking I was doing in response to the work of folks like Rod Dreher and Archbishop Chaput. I was reading a number of different books that all wanted to better understand and explain the place of traditional Christians in 21st century America.
That said, as I continued to work on it, I started to realize that the Christians weren’t the only ones writing books about communal decline. Many other folks were as well. George Packer’s The Unwinding became a major book for me as I thought about these things more. Patrick Deneen’s Why Liberalism Failed helped as well.
So the book started to shift away from being addressed explicitly toward religious decline in the US and it focused more on civil decline. With that framing, suddenly the problem facing Christians is not simply about catechesis and spiritual formation in their own communities. It actually becomes one of catechesis and evangelism, which are inter-connected and concern how you teach the faith to those both within the community and those outside it.
So the book became my attempt to answer two basic questions:
The only review I am currently aware of is Byron Borger’s over at Hearts and Minds Books. It’s a generous review, but he does a good job of summarizing the book. If you want a longer summary, start there. (Oh, and if you haven’t ordered it and don’t have a local bookstore, why not buy it from the Borgers?
I now have a personal author website. Thanks to the great work of Dan Beltechi, I have a professionally designed author website that did not require me to spend hours hacking around in WordPress. If you want information about the book, links to my recent work, or to get in touch about speaking engagements, that’s where you can find it. Also, if you have any web design needs, Dan does great work.
The other big item is that thanks to a partnership with the New Horizons Foundation, Mere O is now able to receive tax-deductible donations. If you value our work and want to support it, use our portal over at New Horizons. The Patreon is also still live, as it has been for a couple years now. So if you want a more familiar platform and don’t care about donations being tax-deductible, you can also give through the Patreon.
I’m slowly making my way through Bavinck’s Reformed Dogmatics as well as Milbank’s Theology and Social Theory.
Side reading is Brent Waters’ Just Capitalism and Katongole’s Journey of Reconciliation. I’m hoping to have a guide to Katongole published at Mere O soonish.
One last thing: I’m doing a giveaway contest to coincide with the book launch. I’ll be announcing it on the personal blog over at Mere O tomorrow morning. So keep an eye out for that.
Thanks for reading! ~Jake