“This book is meant to continue that conversation, but make it a bit more uncomfortable on liberals, whom I know well,” Meyers said. “If conservatives have confused faith with certainty, then liberals have put enormous trust in the power of knowledge and reason alone to redeem us.”
The book traces the loss of the church’s “anti-imperialism” over the centuries. Meyers, senior minister of Mayflower Congregational United Church of Christ, said he wonders what has happened to Christianity as a “subversive community.”
right Pastor Robin Meyers
Meyers said the earliest Christians were bound together not by theological assumptions, but a deliberate decision to follow Jesus.
“The gospel is behavior,” he said. “It is a self-conscious and radically alternative way of being in the world.”
Meyers, who will sign copies of the book Thursday at Full Circle Bookstore, offers a series of questions in “The Underground Church” that he hopes to answer. While some have been the subject of sermons over the centuries, his take doesn’t fit neatly into a specific movement.“If modern Christians were as anti-imperial and dangerous as those first followers, what would that look like?” he asked. “Why are we largely the defenders of the status quo now, when once we were fiercely opposed to it?” The old saw among preachers is that part of their task is “to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable,” and it’s a task Meyers has taken seriously.
Even so, “The Underground Church” intentionally goes after some of Meyers’ longtime liberal allies.
“I am proposing the religious equivalent of the ‘common good’ — that lost and essential covenant which gave birth to America, and must sustain us, lest we die from hyperpartisan and fact-free political rhetoric and gridlock,” he said. “Churches should lead the way in crossing over old barriers, lest we be guilty of the same nonsense that is bringing down the country.”