Amid culture wars and church division, Michael W. Austin calls us back to the authentic Way—following Christ in humility and love.
American Christians have lost the Way. We chase power and comfort and coat our self-righteousness in a Christian veneer. We comfort ourselves that we follow the rules and go to church, so life will work out for us. But we have forgotten what it means to truly follow Christ.
Michael Austin brings us back to basics of the Christian life: humility and love. Drawing on Philippians and 1 Corinthians, Austin reminds us how Jesus, in love, poured himself out for others. This other-centeredness stands contrary to vainglorious affirmation in our lives, online and off—and it is the key to healing the deep divisions in our communities.
Austin guides the reader through spiritual disciplines to aid in the formation of this virtue, from praying the Psalms to building healthy communities. For Christians seeking transformative union with God, in their souls and society, Humility is the ideal companion.
Table of Contents
Foreword by David P. Gushee Acknowledgments 1. The Neglected Way 2. Rediscovering Christ’s Way 3. A People of the Way 4. Practices of the Way 5. Preparing the Way 6. Persevering on the Way Next Steps Notes Selected Bibliography Indexes
Michael W. Austin is professor of philosophy at Eastern Kentucky University and senior fellow of the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Institute. He has published twelve books, most recently QAnon, Chaos, and the Cross: Christianity and Conspiracy Theories and God and Guns in America.
“We live in a time when many have lost contact with the Way. Three cheers for Michael Austin’s effort to help American Christians meet Jesus again.” —from the foreword by David P. Gushee
“This book calls Christians back from cultural drift to the transformative practice of humility and love. Drawing from Bonhoeffer and a rich array of other voices, Michael W. Austin shows us how our life together and our political witness depend more than ever on these cornerstone virtues of Christian character.” —Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung, professor of philosophy at Calvin University and author of Vainglory and Glittering Vices
“Mike Austin’s Humility is about eternal things while very much in the present. Political polarization, social media fights, church hypocrisy—such current issues are tackled through recourse to ancient wisdom regarding humility and love. While humility and love are ‘often overlooked, undervalued, and even disregarded,’ Austin demonstrates their centrality to the Christian faith. They are cobelligerents in the up-and-down, rough-and-tumble process of becoming more Christ-like, Austin points out; Jesus showed us ‘the Way’ in his own life, death, and resurrection. Readers frustrated with our current cultural and political climate will find much to gain by reading Humility. It would also be an excellent choice for small groups and book clubs.” —Napp Nazworth, executive director of the American Values Coalition
“As one of the leading voices about character and virtue today, Michael W. Austin has written a profound and deeply needed exploration of humility and love as central to the Way of Jesus. I hope this book is widely read and its message helps to shape the hearts of all Christians.” —Christian B. Miller, A. C. Reid Professor of Philosophy at Wake Forest University and author of The Character Gap: How Good Are We?
“Akin to the writings of Dallas Willard, James K. A. Smith, and Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung, Michael Austin’s book is a welcome addition to the long and vibrant tradition of philosophical reflection on Christian spiritual formation. Austin draws out biblical and theological insights about learning from Jesus to become like him, and in so doing he develops a profound moral psychology of conformation to Christ. This is the kind of analysis that is needed for Jesus-followers who desire greater clarity and confidence that Jesus and his way of life reliably bring about change. I highly recommend this book.” —Steve L. Porter, executive director of the Martin Institute for Christianity and Culture, Westmont College
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