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Summary

Declining church attendance. A growing feeling of betrayal. For Christians who have begun to feel set adrift and disillusioned by their churches, Where Goodness Still Grows grounds us in a new view of virtue deeply rooted in a return to Jesus Christ’s life and ministry.

The evangelical church in America has reached a crossroads. Social media and recent political events have exposed the fault lines that exist within our country and our spiritual communities. Millennials are leaving the church, citing hypocrisy, partisanship, and unkindness as reasons they can’t stay. In this book Amy Peterson explores the corruption and blind spots of the evangelical church and the departure of so many from the faith - but she refuses to give up hope, believing that rescue is on the way.

Where Goodness Still Grows:

  • Dissects the moral code of American evangelicalism
  • Reimagines virtue as a tool, not a weapon
  • Explores the Biblical meaning of specific virtues like kindness, purity, and modesty
  • Provides comfort, hope, and a path towards spiritual restoration

Amy writes as someone intimately familiar with, fond of, and deeply critical of the world of conservative evangelicalism. She writes as a woman and a mother, as someone invested in the future of humanity, and as someone who just needs to know how to teach her kids what it means to be good. Amy finds that if we listen harder and farther, we will find the places where goodness still grows.

Praise for Where Goodness Still Grows:

"In this poignant, honest book, Amy Peterson confronts her disappointment with the evangelical leaders who handed her The Book of Virtues then happily ignored them for the sake of political power. But instead of just walking away, Peterson rewrites the script, giving us an alternative book of virtues needed in this moment. And it’s no mistake that it ends with hope." (James K. A. Smith, author of You Are What You Love)

Narrator Charity Spencer brings an honest and thought-provoking audiobook to life. Weaving conviction and a constant thrum of energy into each sentence, she keeps listeners engaged throughout this short but powerful audiobook. Peterson challenges evangelical culture and the rationale behind many Christian traditions that have been held - often unquestioned - for centuries. Spencer ensures that the author's words are delivered at a steady pace and weighted with just the right amount of candor. Her pristine delivery offers a compelling listening experience.

©2020 Amy Peterson (P)2020 Thomas Nelson

Critic reviews

"If the church of your childhood has broken your heart - particularly, politically - if your faith foundations have been shaken by betrayal and complicity, it might seem quaint to turn toward virtues. And yet what are we yearning for but embodied goodness? Amy has given us a well-researched, beautifully written, strong book about the virtues necessary for the apocalypse. We need to lean in further to discernment, lament, love, and hospitality, not in a weak be nice sort of way but in the muscular, lean way that holds on to hope out of faith disguised as sheer stubbornness. This book is one part lament, one part hope, and entirely necessary for these days." (Sarah Bessey, author, Miracles and Other Reasonable Things and Jesus Feminist

"Readers will find [Peterson's] courageous exposure of American evangelicalism's watered-down version of Christianity eye-opening, convicting, refreshing, and inspiring." (Carolyn Custis James, author, Finding God in the Margins and Malestrom

"Amy Peterson's reflective, impassioned book is for anyone who, like me, both loves the evangelical Christian movement in which you were raised and also grieves its compromises and inconsistencies. It is one of the most genuinely hopeful books I've ever read: clear-eyed about Christian complicity in evil, resolute in its determination to recover the good in spite of the church's failures, and visionary in its attempt to imagine a better future." (Wesley Hill, author, Spiritual Friendship)

"In this poignant, honest book, Amy Peterson confronts her disappointment with the evangelical leaders who handed her The Book of Virtues then happily ignored them for the sake of political power. But instead of just walking away, Peterson rewrites the script, giving us an alternative book of virtues needed in this moment. And it's no mistake that it ends with hope." (James K. A. Smith, author, You Are What You Love, and editor in chief, Image Journal

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  • 16-01-21

Packs historical perspective and grace

While Amy has excellent things to say and some valuable points, she lacks historical perspective and grace for the church’s shortcomings. That’s not to say the church doesn’t need to change many of its cultural norms, but to say many of the things she claims as being solely a cultural norm of the American church is inaccurate. Likewise, she doesn’t provide a gracious response to those cultural norms, and lacks guidance on how we can help our Christian brothers and sisters turn a corner.