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© Julie Drewes

The witness of sinners

Theologian Jennifer McBride on the nontriumphal church

Most Christians believe that churches are called to make a public witness to their faith, but they disagree sharply about what shape that witness should take. In her book The Church for the World: A Theology of Public Witness, Jennifer M. McBride evaluates the way Christians have engaged public life and offers an alternative vision grounded in the work of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. McBride, who teaches at Wartburg College in Iowa, is also coeditor of a collection of essays, Bonhoeffer and King: Their Legacies and Import for Christian Social Thought.

You say in The Church for the World that Christian public witness has gone awry in the United States. How so?


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