cover image When Everything’s On Fire: Faith Forged from the Ashes

When Everything’s On Fire: Faith Forged from the Ashes

Brian Zahnd. IVP, $22 (192p) ISBN 978-1-5140-0333-6

Pastor Zahnd (Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God) offers a heartfelt Christian apologetic for postmodern times “when everything is on fire” and “the ethos of our age might be described as the felt absence of God.” Rooted in the development of his faith as well as his experiences on a sacred pilgrimage in Spain, Zahnd acknowledges and responds to the challenges of increasing cultural secularity. He speaks to how his own “theological house” has been renovated—that is, he has adjusted some of his beliefs based on reading and experience—without evicting the central Christian figure of Jesus. Zahnd distinguishes between Christ, the church, and Christianity in order to critique beliefs while remaining within the Christian tradition (“Recognizing that Christianity is a religion helps temper reckless all-or-nothing claims... religion is a human construct [and] tradition can and should be constantly reevaluated”). His fluid voice, both tempered and animated by a mystical streak, creates a deceptively accessible work, especially given its intellectual heft and range of sources (Nietzsche, Derrida, and Dostoyevsky, among others): faith and reason both find common ground in Zahnd’s writings. His followers will be glad to hear from him again, and Christian seekers new to his thinking will appreciate his passion and intellect. Agent: Andrea Heinecke, the Bindery. (Nov.)