A splendidly written summons for us to remember and honor the past
We often dismiss history as dull or irrelevant, but our modern disengagement from the past puts us fundamentally out of step with the long witness of the Christian tradition. Yet, says Margaret Bendroth, the past tense is essential to our language of faith, and without it our conversation is limited and thin.
This accessible, beautifully written book presents a new argument for honoring the past. The Christian tradition gives us the powerful image of a vast communion of saints, all of God's people, both living and dead, in vital conversation with each other. This kind of connection with our ancestors in the faith, Bendroth maintains, will not happen by wishing or by accident. She argues that remembering must become a regular spiritual practice, part of the rhythm of our daily lives as we recognize our world to be, in many ways, a gift from others who have gone before.
-- Duke Divinity School
"Margaret Bendroth shows once again that she is an artist who happens to work with words rather than paint or clay; she is also a Christian and a historian. Bendroth makes a powerful case that the past is never totally past but remains a rich resource for the practice of our faith. The point is less the mastery of this or that 'dry' detail than to see that our spiritual parents often faced questions similar to ours yet gave answers different from ours -- answers more practical, more creative, and more faithful. It pays to pay attention. The book is at once learned, thought-filled, and wonderfully engaging."
Nancy S. Taylor
-- Old South Church in Boston
"Abounding in colorful anecdotes -- and laced with wry and sympathetic humor -- this memory book reads like a good diary, a page-turning adventure through sacred history. Bendroth argues that meaningful remembering requires imagination and determination but is well worth the effort, for it cannot but form us into better Christians and finer human beings."