Monday, February 15, 2010

The Fabric of Faithfulness

I haven't read the book, The Fabric of Faithfulness: weaving together belief and behaviour, by Steve Gerber, but based on the double review by Byron Borger, in which he classes it (in its reprint edition) as the book of the decade, I'm certainly going to check it out.

Borger notes: The Fabric of Faithfulness is a splendid resource even if one doesn't work with young adults or new Christians. It is well worth reading for the sheer joy of walking through a near barrage of contemporary Christian authors (from the prophetic social critique of Jacques Ellul to the Christian educational theory of Craig Dykstra), wise novelists and writers (from Dostoevsky to Milan Kundera and Walker Percy) and classic theologians (Augustine, Lewis). But the sources are wider still; one is often surprised with an excerpt from a Mike Royko column or a Calvin & Hobbes cartoon.

And in another place he writes: In the middle of the ... book The Fabric of Faithfulness, Steve Garber tells the story of a meeting with one of his students, a student who "asked wonderful questions about important ideas." As one experienced in mentoring college students, Garber saw that the student seemed not to take his intellectual search all that seriously. Our author found himself doubting that the fellow "really understood the difference of truth and the difference it makes." In a move which seems uncharacteristic for the gentle teacher, Garber issued an ultimatum: he would talk no further with this student until he watched all of the films of Woody Allen, from Annie Hall on. It should be a clue as to who might enjoy this book, as well as who ought to.

I wrote 'double review' above because Borger first reviewed the book on its original published date back in 1996, and then wrote about it again just last year - the book was reissued in 2007. His (now) very long post on the Hearts and Minds site is well worth reading for its enthusiasm for the book, if for nothing else.

You can also read a piece by Garber called Learning to Love what God Loves on the Leadership U site.

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