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From Pandemic to Renewal

Practices for a World Shaken by Crisis

by Chris Rice

From Pandemic to Renewal
ebook
  • Published: May 23, 2023
  • Item Code: A0553
  • ISBN: 978-1-5140-0553-8

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The pandemic changed the world on a global scale. Not only was it devastating in terms of loss of life, it also revealed deep layers of anxiety and brokenness throughout society. Mental exhaustion, economic disparities, and escalating divisions now mark our times.

But award-winning author Chris Rice sees the challenges of our day as a historic opportunity for renewal and fresh growth. As he examines eight interrelated crises exposed by the pandemic era, he provides pathways for followers of Christ to bring transformation and healing to their lives and communities. Covering topics ranging from a burnout society and a dangerous bipolar world order to our own divided selves, Rice helps readers to understand this emerging world that will reshape our lives for decades to come.

Drawing from his work across divides domestically and around the world, and writing with vulnerability and honesty about his own failings, he sets forth transformative practices that can move us toward social healing and spiritual renewal.

"From Pandemic to Renewal is a timely and powerful book. Writing beautifully, persuasively, and vulnerably as he shares his own life experience, Chris Rice invites us into disciplines that help us learn to see and thus know the world in which we live. Only such seeing shaped by a lively spiritual and moral imagination can renew us, the church, and our world."

Emmanuel Katongole, priest, professor, and pilgrim

"'For the first time in the eight decades since World War II, the entire world has been affected by the same devastating crisis at the same time.' These words written by Chris Rice highlight the unique moment we have journeyed through. But this moment—in a culture that quickly and mindlessly moves on—requires sustained reflection on the ways the global pandemic has shaped and continues to shape our lives. With clarity of vision and actionable practices, Chris powerfully explores the ways we are globally connected as well as the opportunities for renewal that are before us. This is a book we all need, every single one of us."

Rich Villodas, lead pastor of New Life Fellowship and author of The Deeply Formed Life

"This is a book of honest, truth-seeking stories and practices emerging from and leading to a life of spiritual alertness. In a time when many of us are going numb, with consequences that can only be fatal on a massive scale, Chris Rice is throwing us a lifeline. Read this book slowly, in the company of others, to explore how the personal, relational, political, and structural dimensions of essential change connect for each one of us."

Ellen F. Davis, Amos Ragan Kearns Distinguished Professor of Bible and Practical Theology at Duke Divinity School

"In this time of heightened turbulence, we sense that the world has irrevocably changed. And perhaps we have changed too: we feel unsettled and uneasy. In From Pandemic to Renewal, Chris Rice charts a course to embrace the disruption. We can't evade or outrun the pain, but in making the choice to move closer to it, we may paradoxically find the key to rebuilding what's broken, navigating disagreements without demonization, and addressing our world's biggest challenges with love. Chris believes there's never been a better time to make meaningful progress and seek the healing of nations—and by the time you've finished this book, you'll believe it too."

Peter Greer, president and CEO of HOPE International and author of Mission Drift

"Chris Rice provides a way forward for those desiring to be a witness for Christ. He provides the mindset for those desiring to make their faith practical to the world around them. Do not read this alone; invite others to take the journey with you."

Alvin Sanders, president and CEO of World Impact and author of Uncommon Church

"Chris Rice offers deep wisdom drawn as a widely read, engaged minister of reconciliation with broad regional, national, and global experience to help leaders and readers move From Pandemic to Renewal. Rather than another recitation of statistics and struggles, this book illustrates how the global Covid-19 pandemic exposed existing fractures and accelerated fast-moving changes. While many have been lost in lament, Rice seeks to help us remember that Christians do not grieve as those who have no hope. His vulnerability invites readers to enter his story with our stories, and his vision inspires us to lean in faith toward where God is leading. The practices Rice proposes can help us to overcome the pressures of the pandemic, find rest in the risen Christ, and find the strength to serve well."

David Emmanuel Goatley, president of Fuller Seminary and professor of theology and ministry

"In the midst of crisis, the church finds an opportunity. My friend Chris Rice has written a text that shines the moral lens of our Christian faith on the complex social reality we find ourselves in as a church. Chris offers a compelling and hopeful vision of how spiritual practices can provide the power and opportunity for Christian witness. He offers the possibility of hope even in these challenging times."

Soong-Chan Rah, Robert Munger Professor of Evangelism at Fuller Theological Seminary and author of Prophetic Lament
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Read an Excerpt

CONTENTS

Introduction: Renewing a Shaken World
1. Bearing Joy for a World of Frantic Anxiety
2. Centering the Vulnerable for a World of Rising Disparity
3. Being Peacemakers for a World of Surging Polarization
4. Redeeming Power for a World of Political Mediocrity
5. Making Transnational Disciples for a World of American Blinders
6. Pursuing Private Integrity for a World of Public Validation
7. Cultivating Moral Imagination for a World of Unprecedented Dangers
8. Renewing the Church for a World Longing for Hope
Epilogue: Rest for Restless Hearts

Acknowledgments
Questions for Reflection and Discussion
Notes

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Chris Rice

Chris Rice (DMin, Duke University) is director of the United Nations Office of the Mennonite Central Committee, an international relief, development, and peace agency. He served as cofounding director of the Duke Divinity School Center for Reconciliation, and has worked through the academy, churches, and faith-based organizations to heal social conflicts in east Africa, Northeast Asia, and the American South. He is coauthor of Reconciling All Things and More Than Equals, which both won Christianity Today Book Awards. Chris and his wife, Donna, have three adult children and live in New York City.