Where Goodness Still Grows by Amy Peterson is an insightful book exploring the nature of goodness and how it can be nurtured and cultivated in everyday life. When I saw this book with endorsements from James K. Smith, Wesley Hill, and Lauren Winner – I knew it would be thought-provoking!
The book is structured around personal essays exploring different aspects of goodness, from hospitality and forgiveness to curiosity and vulnerability. Through her own experiences and reflections, Peterson offers readers a glimpse into how we can all work to embody these qualities in our own lives and communities.
Where Goodness Still Grows:
Dissects the moral code of American evangelicalism
Reimagines virtue as a tool, not a weapon
Explores the Biblical meaning of virtues like kindness, purity, and modesty. I love the chapter on purity and modesty because it gives us the proper context and purpose of a word often used in church.
Provides comfort, hope, and a path toward spiritual restoration
One of the strengths of this book is Peterson’s willingness to grapple with the complexities of goodness. She acknowledges that it is not always easy to be kind or generous and that forces within ourselves and society often work against our efforts to be good. But rather than giving in to cynicism or despair, Peterson offers a hopeful vision of what is possible when we commit ourselves to the pursuit of goodness.
Another notable aspect of this book is its emphasis on the importance of community. Peterson recognizes that we cannot cultivate goodness on our own and that it is only through our relationships with others that we can truly make a difference in the world. She offers practical suggestions for building and sustaining meaningful connections with others. She reminds us that even small acts of kindness and generosity can have a ripple effect that extends far beyond our immediate circle.
Another point I strongly agree with in her book is how we view evangelism. In a changing world, we have to understand that evangelism is walking alongside people (loving them and inching them closer to Jesus vs. the transactional sales pitch we give to others)
Overall, Where Goodness Still Grows is a beautifully written and inspiring book that will resonate with readers seeking to live more fully and authentically. It is a testament to the power of goodness and a call to action for all of us to embrace our capacity to make a positive difference in the world.
You can get the book here: