Open: Unorthodox Thoughts on God and Community

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Product Details
$24.00  $22.32
Fortress Press
Publish Date
5.43 X 8.43 X 0.87 inches | 1.6 pounds

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About the Author

Brad R. Braxton is President and Professor of Public Theology at Chicago Theological Seminary. The Founding Senior Pastor of The Open Church in Baltimore, he also is Senior Program Advisor for Creative Encounters, a Smithsonian Institution initiative on religious diversity. Braxton holds a Ph.D. in religion from Emory University and was a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford.


"This book is an invitation to open oneself up for a journey of transformation. With unapologetic clarity, Braxton invokes the power of the Spirit, breath of God, and Nommo, the spoken word, to usher in a radical hermeneutic on Christian theopraxis. Leveling the playing field by intent and example, Braxton speaks to the diversity of our circumstances, callings, and commitments to a communion with God that charts a new course for ecumenical, interfaith, and human engagement. Praise for Open--'gonna trouble the water.'" --Rev. Dr. Iva E. Carruthers, general secretary, Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference

"Open is a compelling blend of memoir, penetrating biblical analysis, and pragmatic advice for scholars, seminarians, grassroots leaders, and ministers interested in social justice work within a transgressive theological model. Braxton dives into historical abuses and misuses of Scripture and uncovers the historical and cultural resources needed to build progressive interfaith organizations and theologically inclusive congregations." --Dr. Terrence Johnson, professor of African American religious studies, Harvard Divinity School

"In this intriguing collection of essays, Rev. Dr. Brad Braxton, biblical scholar, gospel preacher, and social justice advocate, explores the unorthodox orthodoxy of progressivism as an expansive vision of the Jesus story. Chapters explore classic Christian themes including justification, sanctification, sacraments, and community as entry points for a grace-filled openness inside and outside the church. It is a powerful study of and for our times." --Dr. Bill J. Leonard, professor of divinity emeritus, Wake Forest University

"This thrilling read is a compelling application of Christian thought rooted in theology, biblical analysis, and real-world experiences that serves as a firmly rooted and unapologetic foundation for progressive reflection and action. It's a call for critical engagement of religious, cultural, and academic institutions to boldly speak amid the deafening din of hurtful and stagnant doctrine." --Rev. Dr. Derrick McQueen, pastor, St. James Presbyterian Church, Harlem, New York, and assistant director, CARSS at Columbia University

"Like an open tomb that extends into an open future, Brad Braxton reveals the liberating and life-giving present and future of God as a capacious and gracious broad meadow. Rooted in the tradition of the unknown black bards, Braxton presses the church to be open like the enslaved singing seers and preach, 'There's room for many-a more.' If you are finished with the old fences of theology and yearn for a new promised land of humanity, this book is for you!" --Rev. Dr. Luke A. Powery, dean of Duke University Chapel and associate professor of homiletics at Duke Divinity School; author of Becoming Human: The Holy Spirit and the Rhetoric of Race

"Dr. Brad Braxton invites us to imagine and co-create a world in which religion nurtures the belonging of everyone, especially those who have traditionally found the doors of the church/mosque/synagogue barred and the windows latched. His invitation is audacious and unapologetic, but it is not undemanding. Dr. Braxton challenges us to look at our structures, our assumptions, and our narrow places with intellectual rigor and courage. Generously and lovingly, he offers his own life stories to accompany us as we do so." --Rabbi Elissa Sachs-Kohen, Baltimore Hebrew Congregation