United Church of Christ Resources


ISBN/Prod. Code: 978-0-8298-1847-5  Your uploaded image. 


Praise for Toward a Hopeful Future:

Brian D. McLaren, activist, author, and leader in the emerging church movement, enthusiastically recommends this book:  “A lot of us have been saying that a book like this one needed to be written. Snider and Bowen have given us just what we need – and more, because the book not only says what needs to be said, but does so in a delightful, intelligent, and encouraging way. Enthusiastically recommended – yes, for mainliners, but also for Evangelicals and Roman Catholics who also need a shot of hope about the future.”

Marcus J. Borg, best-selling author and Canon Theologian at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Portland, Oregan, recommends the work done by Snider and Bowen: “Convergence between streams of emergent and progressive Christianity is a striking and hopeful happening. This exciting book is very much needed now.”

Peter Rollins, founder of Ikon and best-selling author, praises: “This painstakingly researched, beautifully crafted work not only places the reader’s hand on the pulse of emerging theology but draws out how this contemporary movement relates to, and resonates with, the wider Christian heritage.”

Martha Grace Reese, president, GraceNet, Inc., and author of the Unbinding the Gospel Series, endorses“This book is a thoughtful and well-researched; it contains practical ways for typical churches to move into a faithful and effective ministry with a new generation.”

Snider and Bowen, co-pastors of Brentwood Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Springfield, Missouri, a formerly graying congregation, provide a much-needed emerging resource that will benefit both progressive mainliners who value inclusivity, diversity, and social justice as well as emergents seeking a point of entry into progressive mainline traditions.

The book grew from the authors’ successful progressive worship service—“The Awakening”—which has attracted a surge of young adults and young families to Brentwood. It offers connections among 1) prophetic biblical traditions; 2) progressive mainliners; 3) emergents; and 4) postmodern theory.  It provides progressive communities of faith worship reflections and resources that will help them connect with emerging generations.

Phil Snider is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). He holds an M.Div. from Phillips Theological Seminary and a D.Min. from Chicago Theological Seminary.

Emily Bowen earned her M.Div. from Phillips Theological Seminary. She is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

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