Hope for American Evangelicals: A Missionary Perspective on Restoring Our Broken House

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B&H Books
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5.7 X 8.1 X 0.9 inches | 0.5 pounds

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About the Author

Matthew Bennett (PhD, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) is assistant professor of missions and theology at Cedarville University. He joined the faculty at Cedarville in 2017 after serving as a missionary in North Africa and the Middle East for six years. He is passionate about missions and theology, and loves being able to ground missions in Scripture and sound doctrine.


"We all struggle to see ourselves and our own culture with clear, objective eyes, and so it is a gift to have someone like Matt Bennett thoughtfully help us see ourselves with fresh eye. This book is searching, wise, and, above all, hopeful. We'd all do well to reflect on it."

--Sam Allberry
Pastor and author of Is God Anti-Gay? and Why Bother With Church?

"It's strange how few people apply a missionary lens to Western culture. A most important exception is Lesslie Newbigin. Yet, how might the American church draw from his insights? Fortunately, Matthew Bennett offers Hope for American Evangelicals. It is an accessible, balanced, and practical resource that equips churches to reflect thoughtfully on the most pressing issues of our day. We're called to be the church for a place. I recommend you get this book, start a reading group, and begin thinking how to apply Newbigin's wisdom in your community."

--Jackson Wu
Author of The Cross in Context and Reading Romans in Eastern Eyes

"It's easy as American evangelicals to understand ourselves and our churches only from within our limited cultural context. But the church and the believers who are part of it live, worship, struggle, and serve, across the globe. Our brothers and sisters around the world have much to teach us about how the truths of God's word and the joys of salvation are for all people in all places and all times. Offering practical examples, on the ground experience, and biblical application that transcends cultural barriers, Hope for American Evangelicals brings much needed perspective to what is too often a myopic view of ourselves, the church, and the Christian life."

-- Karen Swallow Prior
Research Professor of English and Christianity & Culture at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and author of On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life through Great Books

"If you want to read a book that assists the church in dealing with difficult problems, read this. Matthew Bennett employs Newbigin as a springboard and provides thoughtful examination and helpful considerations and directions for the Church. He deals with onerous topics pastorally and asks thought-provoking questions as he trains the reader to contextualize their answers to the place they serve. Bennett does so while explicitly pointing and adhering to the Gospel message. His words are sobering, and his intentional investment will grow you."

-- Kevin M. Jones, Sr.
Dean, School of Education at Cedarville University and Managing Editor of The Gospel Project with Lifeway Christian Resources

"Hope for American Evangelicals takes seriously the cultural and social challenges that call us to a missionary encounter in our own backyard. Matthew Bennett takes the reader on a journey through his childhood neighborhood. He uses this story to remind us of our missionary identity and to equip us to be missionaries in our communities. Bennett appreciates that this journey is a profoundly personal one, and will no doubt invoke some dissonance in the reader. So he uses his own journey of going back home as a transparent and relatable example to help us see the challenges inherent to engaging one's own context in a missionary encounter. Every Christian has a missionary calling because we belong to the church--a missionary community--and because the God who called us is a missionary God. Taking up this missionary charge is where --Bennett reminds us--the Hope for American Evangelicals is found."

-- Keith S. Whitfield
Provost and Associate Professor of Theology, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

"Leveraging a wealth of cross-cultural experience, combined with a treasury of insight from Lesslie Newbigin, Hope for American Evangelicals leads a tour through issues in the American church which is charitable, engaging, and practical. Coming from the pen of a man who embodies what he espouses, this book will give you fresh perspective as you and your church engage in mission for God's glory."

-- Jeff Kelly
Teaching Pastor at First Baptist Church of Boynton Beach, Florida

"Paul exhorts Christians in a number of places to be watchful--most notably, though, in 1 Timothy 4:16, he reminds his protege and those under Timothy's care to watch their life and doctrine closely. That same message is a timely one for us today as evangelicals. Matthew Bennett in his book Hope for American Evangelicals walks us through 'our house' to reveal areas that we need to reflect on and respond accordingly. We must recognize, as believers, that we are ambassadors for Christ, carrying this message in jars of clay, so as to reflect God's power and glory at work through us as we declare and demonstrate the gospel. Bennett reminds readers that our lives as sojourners and strangers in this world should be marked by the new self, and one that reflects a 'sent' nature. This means Christ's Word must dwell in us richly and transform our lives in how we display hospitality within and outside the church, how we proclaim the gospel in the face of the cultural winds, in what we prize most in our lives, and in how we live in light of eternity. Hope for American Evangelicals calls Christians to live as one marked off by Christ, in every area of life, as we contend for the faith and carry the gospel to our neighbors and throughout the nations."

-- Ryan Martin
Director of Missions and Operations at Lightbearers Ministries and author of Holding the Rope: How the Local Church Can Care for Its Sent Ones

"Matthew Bennett has a clear passion for seeing the church in America participating in the mission of God. In this book Matthew desires to 'encourage us to inspect the evangelical house with an eye to inviting others in and with the intention of staying.' He accomplishes that and so much more. Matthew offers a cross-cultural assessment of the condition of our house through soul-searching questions, pastoral testimony, and the keen insights of Lesslie Newbigin. As someone who is presently living cross-culturally for the sake of the gospel, I can see his insights are on the mark. I am grateful for this brother and this book."

-- Thomas West, PhD
Pastor, Redeemer Queen's Park (London)