“Timely… Practical… Immensely Winsome” (Early Reviews of The Pietist Option)

The (early) reviews are in, and I’m encouraged to see that The Pietist Option has been well received by a distinguished roster of endorsers. You can read the current set of endorsements at the InterVarsity Press page for the book and I’ve already mentioned the blurbs by Dave Kersten and Brian McLaren in earlier posts. But here’s a sampler of what others had to say:

Gehrz & Pattie, The Pietist OptionIn an age in which the church is badly divided by politics and culture wars, The Pietist Option offers a better way. Chris Gehrz and Mark Pattie invite us to embark on a spiritual pilgrimage defined by loving our neighbors, living in hope, and listening to God. It is indeed time to reconsider the Pietist roots of American evangelicalism. (John Fea, Messiah College, author of Was America Founded as a Christian Nation?)

Warning! The cheeky title of this book is misleading. You’ll find no snark here, no polemics. If you’re looking for a pugnacious encounter, go elsewhere. What you will find here is an immensely winsome vision, drawing on the riches of the Pietist tradition but addressed to all who seek “to live as if Jesus Christ has actually conquered the grave.” (John Wilson, editor of Education & Culture)

The Pietist Option is historically faithful, biblically rooted, and encouraging. Christopher Gehrz and Mark Pattie III help us see how Christ-followers in past centuries faced challenging issues in ways that are relevant to current events…. The Pietist Option has wisdom for the church, the academy, and the neighborhood. I’m thankful for this resource. (Jay Barnes, president of Bethel University)

Mark and Chris love God, the church, and the world. Here they ponder, Does warmhearted Pietism have something to offer in a world of overheated debates? This book offers no certain paths forward, but it does remind us that Pietism, with its emphases on a living personal faith, deep commitment to wanting to be guided by Scripture, engaging in mission to the world, and generous fellowship, just might have something to offer. (Gary Walter, president of the Evangelical Covenant Church)

Olson and Collins Winn, Reclaiming Pietism…a clear-eyed vision of faithful practice fired by the hope of the gospel that animated the original ‘Pietist option,’ and they do so without slavishly repeating seventeenth-century proposals. What is offered here is a compelling and practical vision that is geared toward our own contemporary challenges and context. This is a timely and much-needed work that should be warmly embraced by Christians from across the spectrum. (Christian Collins Winn, Bethel University, co-author of Reclaiming Pietism)

…a timely historical reminder deserving careful attention from today’s church. So much emphasis is now given to getting words right, whether in doctrine or in divisive positions on social issues. It’s far more important to get the lives of believers right, with a faith that integrates body, mind, and spirit. The Pietists understood this. We should learn that a warm and spiritually vital faith in Christ doesn’t withdraw from the world in forms of spiritual escapism during times of political strife and social upheaval, but leads to creative engagement in society with the liberating love of God. Further, the Pietists saw the urgent need, in their turbulent time, for the unity of the church, not accomplished through arguments over doctrine but in the heartfelt bonds of shared faith. The church can be enriched by an informed reconsideration of the Pietist movement, which this book provides. (Wes Granberg-Michaelson, general secretary emeritus, Reformed Church in America; author of From Times Square to Timbuktu)