My Review of 'Innovating For Love' by Kenda Creasy Dean
This may not qualify as an actual review. It's more of a recommendation.
Innovating for Love: Joining God's Expedition Through Christian Social Innovation by Kenda Creasy Dean
"Innovation" is a word that has yet to be wrested from the baggage of modernity, neoliberalism, and developmentalism. It is a product of an epistemic landscape of dynamic stabilization that cannot sit still. It is a pining for the "new" at the expense of the present moment. Its logic is distracted and it misdiagnoses the problem of human experience as a problem of scarcity, "not enough," so it advances the modern project of "more" and "better" as its solution. It's message is "you are not enough," and thus, is paradigmatically in opposition with what I understand to be a theological vision of human vocation and Christian discipleship which begins and ends with the bold gospel assertion that, by the grace of God, we ARE enough already.
But.... that being said.... I trust this stuff in the hands of Kenda Dean. If there is someone in the world that is going to inspire the creativity of the church without allowing it to get swallowed by its own ambitions, it's Kenda. If you're a critic, like me, of the whole "innovation" trend in America, or if you are going to make the mistake of innovation no matter what I say about it, you need to read this book. It will help you.
In this book, Kenda applies her unique and impressive skills as a theologian (a giant in the field of practical theology) to the questions and problems of the church's apparent need to find new ways to be a witness in the world. She is a prophet within what has become a growing movement in Christianity and if innovators will heed her warnings and theological insight, there may be some hope that this might actually be a good thing.
I truly loved this book!