Title: By The Rivers of Babylon: A Blueprint For The Church In Exile
Author: Robert P. Hoch
Date Started: July 12, 2014 Date Finished: July 16, 2014
Number of Pages: 160 Total for 2014: 12,464
What It’s About: In the (American Mainline or Evangelical) Church, we say a lot about exile. Often, however, we are discussing a historical event or a spiritual state. Rarely does the Church talk about the actual exile that is experienced in the world today and even more rarely does the Church exist intentionally in exile alongside those who are experiencing it. In this book, the author tells the stories of the places he visited to be with those in exile and to ask questions about the Church, her worship and those who are living beyond the margins. What if we were able to identify with the poor, rather than offering charity to the poor? What if we built our churches and took peacemaking walks and interacted with our neighbors in areas where violence, drugs and prostitution are common? What would happen if we took the words and the example of Jesus seriously and intentionally lived a life that rejected the things that he rejected and embraced the things he embraced? What if rather than requiring others to worship in ways and places we find worthy or comfortable, we looked for ways to join the chorus already being raised beyond our suburban borders? The author pushes us to consider these questions and others in this challenging text.
Why I Read It: This is one of the required books for one of my August classes at UDTS (Foundations for Christian Worship). The author is my professor. I decided to read it first so I would know more about him.