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Where Goodness Still Grows: Reclaiming Virtue in an Age of Hypocrisy
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Where Goodness Still Grows: Reclaiming Virtue in an Age of Hypocrisy

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4.39  ·  Rating details ·  266 ratings  ·  70 reviews
Where Goodness Still Grows challenges evangelical culture and rediscovers a faith 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, cit
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Hardcover, 197 pages
Published January 21st 2020 by Thomas Nelson
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Erin
Feb 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If you are a conservative Christian who can't understand how any Christian could support Democrats, this book may be for you.

If you are a progressive Christian who can't understand how can any Christian could support Trump, this book may be for you.

Amy Peterson, who self-identifies as an evangelical Christian and a Democrat, set out to understand how Christians could wholeheartedly support Trump despite his anger, his sometimes subtle, sometimes overt racist asides, his anger, his name-calling
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Justin Lonas
Apr 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
I wanted it to be just a little bit longer, to dig just a little bit deeper...at times, it feels more like a collection of essays than a book. But there is some gold here, a cri de coeur for reveling in the complex love of God against the reductionist worldviews of American mass culture and evangelicalism-as-identity.

In the interests of full disclosure, I, as a survivor of 90s youth group, am the target audience.
Bethany
Apr 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. There's been so much "deconstruction" of the evangelical heritage handed down to many of us (and for good reason), but many deconstructionists leave you in the wreckage of your faith with no blueprint for how to rebuild it, or how to recognize the foundation that's still standing once the dust settles. Amy's book is a breath of fresh air, because she gracefully models divesting what is wrong and clinging to what is right. If you've felt disillusioned by the American evangelica ...more
Katherine Pershey
Jun 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a phenomenal book. I was originally supposed to have done a formal review of it but that fell through, and then I managed to lose my copy for more than a month even though I literally hadn’t left the house in all that time. But now that I’ve devoured it - whoosh. It is at once a book for the ages and a book for the moment. I love that Peterson doesn’t mince words about the Trump administration. It reminded me a little of Anne Lamott’s anti Bush baby book. I am really frustrated with some ...more
Charlotte Donlon
Jan 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a fantastic book. I love Peterson’s beautiful and thoughtful prose, her integration of truth and hope, and her balance of self and other.
Katie Crosby
May 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I didn’t always agree with Amy’s theological conclusions but that isn’t why I picked up this book. I needed a trusted companion — someone to tell me I wasn’t alone in my heartache over the last few years. I found that with Amy. I was not there with her in the chapel auditorium as much as she was not with me as I wept at the news. We travelled separately and yet we were also along the same road. That gave me profound comfort. I needed a voice to echo what I couldn’t find in myself to express and ...more
Marvin Foster
Jul 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I started this book when it came out and it got lost in the shuffle - If I believed in such things, it would be because now is when I was supposed to read it.

In the meantime I read Amy’s first book that helped me understand where this book came from.

There are a lot of seeds here for reconstruction- most days I am not sure I am looking for reconstruction - but deep down I know it’s time to put the sledgehammer away and start throwing some seeds around.
Leslie
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If you grew up in the evangelical subculture during the 1990s or even the 2000s like author Amy Peterson did or if you worked with youth during this time period like I did, there are certain virtues and values that were an important part of life. This was the era of purity culture where modesty and good character was emphasized, learning to logically defend your faith was encouraged, and The Book of Virtues was bedtime reading. As this generation is in the midst of parenting their own children a ...more
Porter Sprigg
Mar 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Peterson is an eloquent writer who is convicted and compassionate in her defense of Christian virtues against their assault from within.

I don’t agree with everything she says, but the beautiful point she’s making is that we can and should learn from the other! And so I’ve tried to do so while reading this. The most thought-provoking chapter is her one on discernment.

By comparing truth to taste, she argues compelling hey that we need to expand our palate. “We will be healthier, and so will our c
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Travis
Aug 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
To those of us who feel adrift and without a Church, this book helps to ground us a new view of virtue and practical theology. If this is what post-evangelicalism looks like, sign me up. While some of the chapters are meatier than others, Peterson carefully illustrates mistakes the American evangelical church has made, on how to address these mistakes in our own personal walks with Christ.

Recommended for: Christians who have grown increasingly ashamed of their church, those seeking what faith in
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Stina
Jan 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In a recent interview, author Amy Peterson wrote "I deeply love the evangelicals who raised me, and I deeply love the post-evangelicals among whom I often find myself now — and these groups seem to speak past each other so much of the time." This is a wonderful book on truth and beauty that bridges this divide in profound and moving ways. ...more
Sara Hillegass
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
When I heard the title of this book, I was instantly intrigued. The hypocrisy in our world, particularly relating to the evangelical zealous support of Trump, has been disorienting and more than troubling. The author addresses this at the beginning of the book, but she doesn't dwell on that singular point, which was in part the impetus to write the book. I'm so grateful she wrote this for folks like me, who are hungry for hope and a return to the roots of virtues. I am confident that the reader' ...more
Laura
Jan 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Amy & I grew up in the same conservative evangelical American subculture - in fact, the very same church & high school. So when she writes about her dismay & grief at the current witness from that world, it cuts close to the bone.

How have the virtues we were taught, that shaped who we are today, also shaped things that horrify us? "There was goodness there, but something must have been missing, or flawed..." She digs in, honest & sharp.

Lament. Kindness. Hospitality. Purity. Modesty. Authenticity
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Emily Simmons
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“Practicing hope means seeking justice, caring for the earth, making and celebrating beauty, awakening others to curiosity about their lives, and proclaiming through these actions that God is God, that death and corruption don’t win, that despite all evidence to the contrary, every part of this world is precious, and rescue is on the way.” // In the fall, I had the privilege of reading this book along with a group of thoughtful, empathetic new friends in Durham. We talked about lament & kinship, ...more
Kate
Mar 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religious, protestant
This is the voice of a generation of evangelicals who were betrayed by their faith tradition. Peterson finds the balance between deconstruction and hope and offers a lot of interpretations that helped me articulate my own tradition to myself. The chapters on purity and modesty were particularly strong. This wasn't a perfect book (the chapter on hope was a weak ending to a strong book), but it was absolutely timely and an important addition to post-evangelical evangelicalism. ...more
Cara
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A favorite for me this year. So thought-provoking.
Carrie Surbaugh
This is the reimagining of Christian virtue we desperately need. Aside from the careful theological work done here, the writing is gorgeous and full of wonder.
Leigh Thomas
I resonated with so much of this, and found a lot of comfort in words that captured so much of what I've felt as I have tried to untangle the roots of my faith from all the baggage and damage done by the American evangelical church. It is necessary to call out the specific harm caused by people in power (or those who believe themselves to be empowered by their faith) against individuals and groups of people deemed as other. There is a heap of hypocrisy in the church that must be addressed, from ...more
Benjamin Shurance
Peterson pulls no punches in addressing the ethical flaws of evangelicalism, especially as exposed in this age of Trump. But she's not cynical (or even super "liberal"); with lots of good insights into unspoken powers, the book has enough Truth to challenge anyone who's reading it seriously and prayerfully. Her look into purity as a virtue was particularly helpful, and the chapter on love as mothering is especially powerful. I would recommend it to Gen-Xers and millennials who grew up in the eva ...more
Heather
Finished this today and am reflecting on her subtitle: "Reclaiming Virtue in an Age of Hypocrisy". True that. I found myself challenged, sometimes a bit squirmy and utterly intrigued. I found myself nodding "yes" and thinking "I have thought that too" but felt wrong for even thinking such things. Which doesn't mean I am in complete agreement with all she put forth, but that's ok-complete agreement is not and should not be the goal. I am challenged and I am refreshed having read this book and I w ...more
Josiah Hatfield
Oct 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Cathartic and thoughtful, challenging and encouraging, author Amy Peterson reimagines the life of a Christian, extrapolating on various virtues for today’s world. I should confess some bias towards this book in that I feel I’ve traveled on a similar trajectory from rigid evangelicalism towards a more gracious understanding of faith and we have a loose Indiana college/church connection. Regardless, Peterson writes beautifully, sharing personal stories, cultural commentary, and effortlessly weavin ...more
Sarah
Aug 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I found myself nodding my head in agreement almost the entire time I read this wonderful book. If you grew up evangelical in America and found yourself stunned and shocked by evangelical support of Donald Trump and an overemphasis on ethical issues and politics (like me), this book is for you. Peterson weaves scriptural truth and interpretation into this text as she examines virtues and what Jesus says about them. In a time when hope is hard to come by, this book brings it. Highly recommend.
Katie Karnehm-Esh
Mar 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
I give five stars for the chicken chapters alone. Beautiful and thoughtful. The chapter on purity should be required reading.
Breanna Randall
Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
If you’re struggling to make peace with the contemporary church and the ugliness that has unfolded from it over the past few years, this book may be a balm for you. The author takes us through traditional Western Christian virtues and re-examines them, raising questions about the status quo and offering fresh perspectives for different ways to consider Christian virtue.

I loved how Peterson discussed the traditional north American Christian ideals of purity and offered readers a refreshing, inter
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Cara
Mar 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is the book I've needed ever since November 2016. The disconnect between the professed values of the church I love and its rationalized support for a leader who displayed none of them broke my heart and left me disillusioned. Peterson shares her own story of wrestling with this hypocrisy.

Her lament named my hurt and longing. Her reflections offered hope. I especially loved her chapter on authenticity. Instead of assuming that this virtue requires spontaneity and emotional expression, she e
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Conrade Yap
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The American evangelical image is going through an ugly patch right now. Believers are divided. Unbelievers are disgusted. The silent majority are shaking their heads. American evangelicalism is broken. It has split believers into more ways than one. More often than not, political allegiances dominate personal integrity. Standing up for values becomes more important than character of the person. The ends justify the means. Power trumps truth. Many people have used at least five things to demoniz ...more
Daniel
Feb 05, 2020 rated it liked it
I have many of the same qualms with evangelicalism and it's mixing with conservatism. The moral right has many issues and it's blindness to Trump has been a thorn that pricks at my side for the last three and a half years. It is good to see Amy Peterson write on this topic, and I think it really does deserve to be heard. I wonder though, by how many conservative believers will this book be read? Will it remain within its own echo chamber?

I think Amy has some excellent things to say, and I really
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Rebecca  Cal
Oct 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
While I don’t agree with all of her views and conclusions she draws (how many times do you actually agree with all that someone says??), I appreciated her thought processes. She challenges the status quo, but in a thoughtful way that helps you understand where people who may draw different conclusions than yourself are coming from. I need to read it again to digest it better.
Michelle Nelson
There were so many Aha moments & a great deal of validation in my deconstruction journey in this book. Also points I will need to unpack further & some I disagreed with. But what I love about this book is the honest take & reflection on growing up in the evangelical community, seeing behind the curtain and yet remaining in the faith.

Here are the highlights:

“Something has gone terribly wrong in the culture that taught me about virtue. I learned how to find truth in Scripture and orient my life a
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Joe
Apr 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Amy Peterson's Dangerous Territory was one of the best books I read last year (and helped me reconsider some common "missionary myths" I'd inadvertently accepted without questioning, and her follow-up Where Goodness Still Grows is just as good. If you've been shocked and dismayed by the hypocrisy flowing from the evangelical church in recent years, this book is a must-read.

Peterson takes nine common virtues (lament, modesty, purity, kindness, hospitality, love, hope, authenticity, and discernmen
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