A child of China missionary parents, Keith Clements looks back on a life rich in diverse experiences in many parts of the world as pastor, theologian, writer, and servant of the ecumenical movement. In so doing he finds hope ""for the creation of true community in the world, of people among themselves, with God, and with creation. That is what the gospel of Christ is all about, what the church is about, and indeed what God who lives and loves as three-in-one is all about."" He recalls instances of grace in which--even amid conflict and tragedy--people, churches, and communities discover the possibilities of new life together. It is both a very human story of personal faith, and an insider's account of ecumenical Christianity's quest for a more visibly united church and a world of peace and justice. Famous influences like Dietrich Bonhoeffer and present-day leaders such as Desmond Tutu figure prominently; but so do so-called ordinary people he has met over the years, whether in an English village, in communist East Germany, or in a South African squatter camp, who have shown by the way they live that another world--and another kind of church--is possible. ""One is struck time and again by the rare combination of intellectual depth, theological insight, and ecumenical passion that pervade [this book's] pages; echoing in so many ways the life of Clements' great hero, Dietrich Bonhoeffer. . . . This is theological biography of the highest quality and greatest wisdom."" --Sean Winter, Pilgrim Theological College ""Many who are deeply indebted to Keith for his enormous contribution to the life of the ecumenical church will feel equally indebted to him for this remarkably thoughtful account which confirms him as one of the most important ecumenical leaders and thinkers of our time."" --John de Gruchy, University of Cape Town ""This fascinating account of a lifetime of the author's ecumenical ministry, locally and in international affairs, celebrates signs of hope but is also clear about missed opportunities and failures of the churches to move together. The vision, with its passion for unity inseparable from a passion for justice and peace, is compelling."" --Dame Mary Tanner, Past President for Europe, World Council of Churches ""Clements's memoir combines intriguing eyewitness testimony to the inner workings of the ecumenical movement during the second half of the twentieth century, perceptive theological insight and commentary over a range of ecclesiastical and social topics, moving reminiscences of family and church life, and detailed travelogues that take us to remote locales which many of us will only visit vicariously through the author's keen eye."" --Barry Harvey, Baylor University Keith Clements, after ten years pastoring local congregations, was tutor at Bristol Baptist College and taught theology at Bristol University. From 1990 he worked full-time on the international ecumenical scene, and was general secretary of the Conference of European Churches, Geneva, 1997-2005. Writing on modern Christian life and thought, his special interests have included Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the ecumenical pioneer J. H. Oldham. He is a minister of the Baptist Union of Great Britain. n
Look Back in Hope was published by Resource Publications in July 2017. The ISBN for Look Back in Hope is 9781498244220.