The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry
The Episcopal Church
New York City, NY
“Dr. King once warned that ‘we will either live together as brothers & sisters, or perish together as fools; the choice is ours, chaos or community.’ In this new work, which authors Rick Rouse and Paul Ingram describe as a ‘guidebook,’ they reveal a glimpse into the chaos that has been part of our nation's life, while offering an intentional way to make a difference and create a true community that is God's dream for us."
Bishop Dr. Munib A. Younan
Former President of the Lutheran World Federation
""I am pleased to heartily recommend this book from Rick Rouse and Paul Ingram. The many key problems they have identified for churches in the United States are experienced on a global scale. The spirits of white supremacy and extremism moving throughout the world, for instance, need prophetic challenge and correction. Rouse and Ingram have charted an important path.”
Brian D. McLaren
"We could wish that the uncommon wisdom found in The World Is About to Turn were already the common sense shared by millions in our nation and world. But that's the point of this powerful, insightful, and big-hearted book: if more of us are willing to reorient our minds and hearts, the world can indeed turn -- toward justice, kindness, and deep spiritual humility. Chapter Seven alone is worth twice the price of this book. Enthusiastically recommended!"
Rev. Dr. Ian T Price
"Congratulations on an outstanding work. You and Paul can be justifiably proud of the research, illustrations, clear depiction of the state of our world and churches and the answers you offer. I found myself saying ‘Yes!’ page after page. I, too, believe that the future of the human race depends on mutual respect shown to one another across all that divides. It is an honour to endorse such a worthy publication. It should set the agenda for all our denominations."
Rabbi Rachel Kort
Temple Beth Or
"In this time of increased antisemitism and hate of all kinds, it is important for faith leaders to consider how our teachings contribute to the perpetuation of supremacy. Rick Rouse and Paul O. Ingram offer a rich tool in this work. “The World is About to Turn” does not end at exploring history, it offers an authentic and relevant theology of inclusivity to support faith leaders in strengthening our communities and country with love and understanding."
Imam Jamal Rahman
Director, Seattle's Interfaith Community Sanctuary
Author of "Spiritual Gems of Islam: Insights & Practices from the Qur'an, Hadith, Rumi & Muslim Teaching Stories to Enlighten the Heart & Mind"
“ As a Muslim, I am deeply inspired and moved by the authors’ heartfelt compassion, profound moral courage and practical wisdom to take right action and do my part in creating beloved community.”
Kenneth Kenshin Tanaka
Jodo Shinshu Buddhist (priest and scholar)
"The divisive condition of our society yearns for this book with its message of love, equality and oneness. We Buddhists also wholeheartedly support this message as represented in our metaphor of the Indra’s Net of Jewels, wherein all the countless jewels on the net are interdependently connected and illuminating each other!"
Bishop Shelley Bryan Wee
Northwest Washington Synod
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
"The World is about to Turn is a guide for all of us who are passionate about interfaith reconciliation, true community, and a way forward from divisiveness. Through story and practical suggestions, Rick Rouse and Paul Ingram move from the brokenness that exists in this country to claiming the hope that is before us in this informative and user-friendly book. As Jesus says in John 15:12, ‘This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.’"
Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb
Founder and President of Dar al-Kalima University
"America and the world at large are at a turning point. Core values like International Law and Human Rights are eroding. Nationalism, racism, and religious exclusivism are on the rise. In such a context, it is easy to lose hope, heart, and direction. Rick Rouse and Paul Ingram provide a moral compass centered around justice, love of neighbor, and genuine dialogue; a much-needed guidebook for mending a nation’s broken faith."
Rev. Dr. Ian T Price
"Rick Rouse and Paul Ingram have produced a prophetic and decisive word that is a clarion call to Christians in the Western world to a way of righteousness, faithfulness and justice. Their analysis of all that besets the political and ecclesiastical domains is inspirationally insightful. The solutions they offer are a blueprint for the Christian movement. This is a comprehensive manifesto for a health-giving future for all, and especially the Church.
This is a must read for every preacher and Christian leader.
Bishop Susan B. Johnson
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
Winnipeg, MB, Canada
"In The World is About to Turn: A Vision for Mending a Nation, Rick Rouse and Paul Ingram ask the question “How did we come to understand religion as a weapon that could be used against those who are different?” and then offer a road map to reclaiming a way of living faith that is just, peaceful and loving. Although the authors primarily focus on the United States, readers from other parts of the world can easily see parallels into their own lived realities. Most helpful of all are the questions at the end of each chapter for either self-reflection or small group study.
The World is About to Turn has given me lots to reflect on and will serve as a resource for my writing and preaching."
Northwest African American Museum
"Rick Rouse and Paul Ingram have authored a book that is inspiring and beautifully written. The World is About to Turn offers both history and hope, both truth and a path to transformation. It challenges us to rise to our best selves, resisting bigotry and phobias with love, unity, and compassion. The authors bridge our shared history to our current reality to our better destiny, pushing us toward authentic interfaith dialogue. This book offers humanity a new way of being with one another that is inclusive and honors the dignity and integrity of all. By answering two key questions: how did we get here and where do we go from here, this book leads us into a paradigm shift, a necessary undoing, and a universal recommitment to a faith that mends."
Rev. Dr. Raymond Pickett
Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary
"In an environment of increasing division and hostility often fueled by wayward expressions of religious fervor, Rick Rouse and Paul Ingram have issued a clarion call for people of faith to become bridge builders working together with others to improve our common life. The World is About to Turn reckons with the social ills that plague us in a spirit of humility and offers specific practices and a path toward becoming a more compassionate and inclusive society characterized by mutual respect."
Rt. Rev. Megan Traquair
The Episcopal Diocese of Northern California
"Rick Rouse and Paul Ingram have created a remarkable tool of hope and insight. They offer a clear path to solid ground beyond our current quagmire of polarization. I appreciate the sound theological foundations upon which their thought is built. As a Bishop I particularly welcome the pairing of a nuanced history with deliberate stepping stones of hope and repentance in which any congregation or small group can engage.
The generative hub of their thinking and call to action is found here: “As we express the power of life in Christ, we do so in ways that honor our convictions that every human being is made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) and that all of creation is good (Genesis 1:31).” May we grasp that same hope and find our way forward together.
Also. Lent would be an excellent time for a congregation to dive in and then follow it through until you hit new life in word and deed."
Bishop Will Willimon
United Methodist Bishop (retired), Professor of the Practice of Christian Ministry, and author of "Who Lynched Willie Earle? Confronting Racism Through Preaching"
"There’s a lot of fear and brokenness abroad in our land and in our hearts. It’s a time when many wonder if the Christian faith has anything to say to our condition. Rick Rouse and Paul Ingram speak from a generous, benevolent, specifically Christian faith and give contemporary American Christians a word to say in the present moment. Here’s a rare gift – a strong, hopeful, Christian witness."
Bishop Elizabeth Eaton
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
"We live in an increasingly “either/or” culture that demands absolute allegiance to one’s position or cause and complete rejection of the other side. In The World Is About to Turn, Rick Rouse and Paul Ingram invite us to engage the reality of religious pluralism in America with humility and integrity. Humility lets us acknowledge that no human mind can comprehend the mind of God. Integrity calls us to bring our full selves, including our faith tradition, to the conversation. Rouse and Ingram give us a framework for genuine dialogue and fruitful cooperation."
Ruben L.F. Habito
Professor of World Religions and Spirituality
Director of Spiritual Formation
SMU Perkins School of Theology
"Religion is a powerful force that influences the attitudes and behavior of human beings. Regrettably, it has been used all too often in our human history as a weapon of exclusion, of division, and even of hatred and warfare. This book charts a way whereby adherents of different religions may find common core values in their respective traditions, and thus may be able to see through their differences, learn to respect one another in those differences, and find a way of mutual acceptance and cooperation. This book offers readers a way toward healing the wounded state of this nation and of our world, whereby we can all work together toward a peaceful and sustainable Earth community."
Bishop Richard Jaech
Southwestern Washington Synod
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
"With vivid detail and real-life examples, Rick Rouse and Paul Ingram investigate how our neighborhoods, churches, and nation have fragmented into competing factions and then provide specific community-building practices that generate healing and hope for the future. Drawing on teachings and images from many religious traditions, the reader is challenged to join with God in turning the world toward a more just and joyful path."
Dr. Rod Schofield
ELCA representative to the Lutheran educational institutions in the Holy Land
Life Coach for the Northwest Washington Synod of the ELCA
"The authors, Rick Rouse and Paul Ingram, have written an inspiring and very timely book that provides bridge building strategies that enable those of faith or no faith to confront injustice in our society and create a hope filled future. This valuable resource provides a basis for interfaith dialogue on some of the most important issues of our time and I highly recommend that it be shared and discussed widely among all who care about the direction of our country and its faith based institutions.”
Jamie A. Schillinger
Associate Professor of Religion; Director of Middle Eastern Studies; Department Chair of Religion
St. Olaf College
"In our era of acrimonious division, Ingram and Rouse issue both a stinging critique of religion's role in our social problems and practical suggestions for how interreligious resources and initiatives can be part of the solution. An excellent resource for congregations and people of faith that will generate important discussions and action."
Rev. Dr. Robin Steinke
St. Paul, MN
"This is a hope filled text for today. The authors engage in compelling analysis and truth telling about the fears which 'terrorists, politicians and religious leaders play…' These fears drive families, communities and nations apart, foster hate and result in endless violence. This book is a rich tapestry which weaves multiple religious traditions and wide-ranging resources into a coherent and compelling call to '...a life lived in response to the gracious acts of a loving God.' The clear prose, questions at the end of each chapter and the constructive proposal for '10 Ways forward' toward authentic dialogue across seemingly insurmountable differences offers a hope filled future. A future where we engage in courage, freedom and life rather than succumbing to fear, slavery and death. This clarion call to honest conversation, humble action and courageous engagement opens the way for the 'commonwealth of God' to flourish."
Gustavus Adolphus College
St. Peter, MN
"In the face of attacks on churches, synagogues, mosques, and other places of worship, this book is an eloquent plea for constructive inter-religious dialogue, for building bridges of understanding and cooperation...This timely book cites familiar current events to describe the unhealthy dynamics of our society. Then it draws on the Hebrew Bible and the tenets of other religions to recommend a way forward. The goal is a just, compassionate community. The path to that goal involves respectful and engaging inter-religious dialogue, which seeks understanding without erasing religious differences. This book offers a clearly written and compelling set of recommendations for bringing religiously diverse people together to work for the common good."
Mount Olivet Lutheran Church
"In this important work, Rouse and Ingram have “read the writing on the wall” of today’s current events in order to articulate a clear and compelling call for renewal both in and through the Church. Surveying the Church’s history, theology, and practices, they offer a realistic, and at times sobering, assessment of the Church’s complicity in too often adopting cultural prejudices. At the same time, they offer both rationale and resources for the Church to be the community of faith, healing, and hope that God desires and the world desperately needs. Reading this work will push you to examine your presuppositions about what the church is, challenge you to stretch your vision of what the church can be, equip you to assist in bringing about necessary change, and encourage your faith in the God who continues “to make all things new.”
John B. Cobb, Jr.
Faculty Co-Director Emeritus
The Center for Process Studies
"This book is written for American Lutherans, a group that represents the progressive, white, middle class at its best. The leaders of these believers genuinely want to free themselves and their followers from both conscious and non-conscious racism and the continuing arrogance of too many Christians toward other religious communities. For that reason the book has a good chance of actually being studied by congregations. Many open-minded Christians will learn much about their history of which they will genuinely try to repent. Rouse and Ingram cover, in a readable and comprehensive way, the information most relevant for their intended audience, much of it still too little known.
We can hope that their actual audience will be much larger than the one specifically addressed. There are many white, middle class, well-meaning Protestants in other denominations who will find themselves almost equally addressed. Let us hope that denominational territoriality will not discourage the use of the book by congregations in other denominations."
Vice President for Development
Wartburg Theological Seminary
"Congratulations on the success of the book. I hope many people are reading it this month especially in the midst of so many voices conducting a direct assault on our values and the core of our community. As a person who strives to be driven and shaped by my own core values, if found the chapter on the “way” of different world religions most nourishing to my soul."
Assistant to the Bishop of the Northwest Synod of Wisconsin-ELCA
Chippewa Falls, IA
"As a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s leadership team for its Life of Faith Initiative, it has become clear to me that the core issue our worshipping communities are struggling with is how to connect our faith with our daily lives.
Rick and Paul’s timely book takes this core issue head on. In their words “How does God intend for us to live well together in the common life.” I’ll give just one example out of many included in this excellent, readable book. Chapter 3 includes a reference to the work of Peter Marty, who notes that only once in all of the Hebrew Scriptures are we commanded to love our neighbors (Lev. 19:18). But we are commanded more than 35 times to love the stranger in our midst! Rick and Paul conclude that if we want to love and serve God than the path to have meaning in our lives is clear – love/show mercy/serve the stranger in our midst.
As a person shaped by the 60s, I was pleased to see that their final chapter was introduced by the world renowned theologian, Jimi Hendrix, who said, “When the power of love overcomes the love of power, we will know peace.”
May it be so.
Rick and Paul’s short book makes a large contribution to that goal. Buy it!"
© Richard W. Rouse 2019. All Rights Reserved.