Dec. 11 – Amy Peterson – Where Goodness Still Grows [Advent Calendar]

The Englewood Review of Books
Best Books of 2020
Advent Calendar
December 11

 

Where Goodness Still GrowsWhere Goodness Still Grows:
Reclaiming Virtue in an Age of Hypocrisy

Amy Peterson

Hardback: Thomas Nelson, 2020
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Peterson wisely teases apart the definition of the word “apocalypse” which she uses in her introduction title, that it does not mean the end of the world as described in The Late, Great, Planet Earth written by Hal Lindsey in the 1970s, or throughout popular culture like “The Hunger Games” films or in dystopian novels written by Margaret Atwood. Rather, apocalypse means “an uncovering, a disclosure of something that had been hidden, a revelation.” (xxiv) For Peterson, much has been uncovered in the broader culture and particularly in evangelicalism. But what has been uncovered can be healed—converted—into God’s kin-dom.

And Peterson begins to lament—lament as a holy complaint; the way to proclaim this is what’s wrong and this is what needs to change. She describes lament as the “seedbed of hope.” From her laments then she re-imagines virtues as tools for “cultivating wisdom, not a weapon to wield against enemies; as wild, not tame; as embodied, not just written; as multifarious, not singular; as relationally negotiated, not legislated.” (xxv)
After she laments, she begins to construct the virtues which she believes are grounded in God’s kin-dom, on earth as in heaven: kindness, hospitality, purity, modesty, authenticity, love, and discernment.
She concludes her book focusing on hope and how she practices hope:
Practicing hope means seeking justice, caring for the earth, making and celebrating beauty, awakening others to curiosity about their lives, and proclaiming through these actions that God is God, that death and corruption don’t’ win, that despite all evidence to the contrary, every part of this world is precious, and rescue is on the way. ( 163)

 

LISTEN to our recent podcast conversation with the author

 



 

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