Fortress Press

Freedom and Imagination: Trusting Christ in an Age of Bad Faith

Freedom and Imagination

Trusting Christ in an Age of Bad Faith

S. D. Giere (Author)


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We suffer today from a crisis not of confidence, but of trust. With the constant barrage of lies, untruths, and alternative facts, all words are dubious, all deeds are debatable, and all motives are suspect. To tell the truth in such a world requires fortitude. To believe the truth demands even more. In Freedom and Imagination, S. D. Giere recovers the idea of faith as trust and of faith in Christ as trusting what God has done through him. Tending to faith is like tending to the heart and, thereby, the health of the whole. By trusting Christ, one is free to live without the fear of sin and death, free to live in love toward the friend, the neighbor, and even the enemy. Faith reveals the cosmos as it is: a world reconciled to the Triune God. Yet, that freedom frequently conflicts with experience. Only faith can bend the imagination towards seeing the world in and through Christ. Freedom and Imagination recovers faith as the theological heart of the human being's participation in the life of God, and imagination as faith's interpretive lens. Three areas of ministry and life are explored through the imagination of faith: biblical interpretation, proclamation, and Christian freedom.

  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9781506482354
  • eBook ISBN 9781506482361
  • Dimensions 5.5 x 8.5
  • Pages 149
  • Publication Date May 16, 2023


Very rarely does one encounter the intelligent combination of pastoral insight, cultural engagement, theological sharpness, and exegetical talent displayed in this fine book. It is wise, reflects years of teaching and pastoral experience, and will be a joy to read for pastors, teachers, and the more general culture.

Christopher Seitz, senior research professor of biblical interpretation, Wycliffe College in the University of Toronto

It has been said that the crisis of modernity is a failure of trust. In this lucid and stimulating study, Giere goes much deeper than this, showing that the root issue is the absence of the kind of trust God makes possible in Jesus.

Jeremy Begbie, professor of theology, Duke University

D. Giere teaches that the gospel of Jesus Christ is ontologically relevant and that our call as Christian preachers and teachers is to avoid rendering the gospel irrelevant. In this biblically grounded, honest, and holy exploration of what he describes as the freedom and imagination of faith, S. D. Giere illustrates just how relevant the gospel of Jesus Christ is to how we live and breathe today. I highly recommend this book to all faith leaders and explorers alike.

Rev. Leila M. Ortiz, bishop of the Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Synod of the ELCA

Freedom and Imagination offers a timely and wide-ranging study of the Christian life as trust in Jesus Christ, contrasting that life with trust in the false gods dominating the cultural and political landscape of our day, whether on the right or on the left. It tells the story of how the "bad faith" produced by our misdirected trust in "ideology" displaces Jesus Christ, the eternal and risen Lord, from the center of the gospel, replacing the gospel with "broken cisterns" (Jer 2:13) unequal to the task of reconciling the world to God in Christ. This book challenges the church of our day to embrace a cross-shaped and reconciled imagination that exists apart from our ideologies. While I was reading it, a lyric from Bruce Cockburn's "Child of the Wind" came to mind: "Little round planet in a big universe, sometimes it looks blessed, sometimes it looks cursed. Depends on what you look at, obviously. But even more it depends on the way that you see." Giere's book will reorient the way that you see (fair warning to potential readers!).

Don Collett, professor of Old Testament, Trinity Episcopal School of Ministry, and author of Figural Reading and the Old Testament: Theology and Practice