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Trackless Wastes
and Stars to Steer By
Christian Identity in a Homeless Age
Michael A. King


Comment: “I love this book! I've been recommending it as a personal yet thoughtful entree into the postmodern conversation. I'm amazed King was grappling with these issues before 1990. His insight about a needed postmodern convergence of ‘liberal’ and ’conservative’ came years earlier than I have known anyone else to write about it. I have long felt Anabaptists were going to bring something special to the postmodern world because of their special posture toward the modern world. Michael’s book reassures me that this will be the case.” More. . . .
—Brian D. McLaren, pastor, Cedar Ridge Community Church and author, The Church on the Other Side: Ministry in the Postmodern Matrix

Trackless Wastes was recommended to me by my eighty-four year old father and by a seminary colleague who uses it as a textbook. I can see why it has broad appeal. King wrestles honestly and helpfully with human experience in the light of faith. His ability to shine a light on what is common in the human condition by opening the pages of his own life is this book’s gift.” More. . . .
—Mary Schertz, Professor of New Testament, Associated Mennonite Biblical, Seminary, and Director, Institute of Mennonite Studies

“Reading this book feels like entering a fugue state (traveling away from home without knowing where), then returning with more clarity than ever before. The clash of paradigms King so poignantly addresses beckons us toward integrating disparate parts of ‘self’ and ‘other.’ And in this Internet age we desperately need the bridges to the Jesus story envisioned here. King helps us visualize ways to build bridges back to a home where those who have been hurt or lack faith can experience biblical truth.” More. . . .
—Donald E. Kraybill, clinical psychologist

“Out of trackless wastes, Michael King leads us forth, wisely steering a course set by stars which do not deceive. If you have given up on the church because it is too critically closes or too uncritically open, if you have lost your direction on that perilous path called discipleship, if your house of faith is beginning to crumble or else you haven’t even begun to build that house, read this book.”

“I began to read Trackless Wastes and Stars to Steer By while I was on a cross-country speaking tour, pondering its pages in a succession of forgettable motel rooms far from my home. How well it described our predicament as modern believers. How clearly it named our situation. How simply and straightforwardly it charted an exciting new path for contemporary disciples.

“I finished this book on a cold January night in Nebraska. Full of fresh insights, I put it aside and stepped out of my room into the cold, dark night. I was still far from home, yet the stars shone bright and clear.”
—William H. Willimon, Dean, Duke University Chapel, in the

Summary: In these times, now often called "postmodern," many of us live in a homeless age as exiles lost between the traditional religious homes that once sheltered us and whatever homes will replace them. Some separatist Christians respond to this sense of exile by emphasizing efforts to be separate from the world. But they cling to a Christianity clear enough and passionate enough to challenge the world's broken ways. Meanwhile translationist believers risk being entirely in the world and losing their Christianity. But they make exciting, meaningful connections between faith and world as they go on adventurous journeys of faith.

King welds these two approaches into a third way, offering a new faith home, whose members can challenge the bad and love the good of God's world. Such bicultural Christians take the world into the Bible and connect Bible and world.

Shelving:: Theology—Anabaptist, Mennonite. BISAC: Religion, Social Sciences, Philosophy. RTM: 690 Religion/Ethics.

Market: Seekers or Christians ready to rethink yet affirm faith.

The Author: Michael A. King, Telford, Pennsylvania, is pastor, Spring Mount Mennonite Church and publisher, Pandora Press U.S. He is author (with Ronald J. Sider) of Preaching about Life in a Threatening World (Westminster, 1987) , of Fractured Dance: Gadamer and Mennonite Conversations On Homosexuality (a forthcoming volume in the C. Henry Smith series to be published by Pandora Press U.S.), and of many articles published in a wide range of magazines, including Christian Century and Christian Ministry.

Publisher: Herald Press 1990
Distributor: Pandora Press U.S. 2001
Pages: 180
Price: $14.95 ($21.95 in Canada)
Format: 5 3/8 x 8 1/4 trade paper
ISBN: 0-8361-3513-X

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Copyright 2001 by Pandora Press U.S.