Open: Unorthodox Thoughts on God and Community
by Brad R. Braxton
Publication Date: Apr 04, 2023
List Price: $24.00
Format: Paperback, 251 pages
Imprint: Fortress Press
Publisher: 1517 Media
Parent Company: Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
“This book is an invitation to open oneself up for a journey of transformation.” —Rev. Dr. Iva E. Carruthers, general secretary, Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference
In Open, Brad Braxton boldly articulates an open theology—progressive approaches that promote unorthodox theological reflection and the creation of inclusive communities. Despite attempts by many right-wing politicians and conservative Christians to curtail diverse religious and cultural expressions, an open embrace of pluralism enhances Christianity’s capacity to foster healing, hope, and restorative justice. Thus, Christian communities should be audaciously open about being open.
Attempts to box in God diminish us spiritually and render us prone to small-mindedness and mean-spiritedness. Certain Christians function as if God cannot withstand robust engagement with the complexities of a diverse world. God does not need to be protected by religious fence-building and cultural gatekeeping. To honor an open God who delights in diversity, we should create open communities committed to radically inclusive love.
This book engages serious, even controversial, topics including Jesus’s identity, reparations for slavery, LGBTQ equality, the Black Lives Matter movement, warfare and non-violence, environmental justice, and interreligious collaboration. Insisting that there is room for all, an open theology empowers us to create broad spaces where people from diverse backgrounds with divergent beliefs can peacefully probe their differences and celebrate their similarities for the sake of a better world.
If you are tired of closed-minded religion that sows division and hatred, open this book! If you are searching for compassionate spirituality that promotes inclusion and justice, open this book! Here you will find an open theology—creative thinking about God and courageous practices for building diverse communities through radically inclusive love.