With Radiant Hope: Timely and Timeless Reflections from George W. Truett
By George W. Truett (Big Bear Books)
This little volume exhibits the pastoral heart of George W. Truett, perhaps most widely known as a Baptist statesman and proponent of religious liberty. In fact, With Radiant Hope is the combination of two out-of-print volumes of Truett’s 34 year-end messages to his congregation, First Baptist Church of Dallas—These Gracious Years (1910–1928) and Christmas Messages (1929–1943).
Todd Still, dean of Baylor University’s Truett Theological Seminary—named in honor of Texas Baptists’ George W. Truett—wrote the introduction, explaining the impetus for this new compilation. Scott Gibson, professor of preaching at Truett Seminary, raised the idea of bringing to a larger audience the annual tradition of reading one of Truett’s messages during the seminary’s Christmas banquet.
Still points to the historical backdrop of Truett’s pastorate, which included World War I, the Spanish flu pandemic, the Great Depression and World War II. Although many readers no longer know anything about cradle roll, Training Union, Baptist Young People’s Union, Women’s Auxiliary, Men’s Brotherhood and other bygone institutions of Southern Baptist church life Truett mentions in his messages, they will know something about the world-defining events he sometimes refers to more indirectly.
To help connect Truett’s past to the reader’s present, Still includes endnotes providing Scripture references, historical notes and quotation sources. Those unfamiliar with late 19th century syntax will not find similar help in the notes but may need to read more slowly, mindfully or repeatedly.
With Radiant Hope arose out of tradition and is itself a reservoir of Baptist tradition. Not only will this volume connect with the heart of longtime Texas Baptists, but younger generations can be helped to understand the heart of their forebears in the reading of it.
Eric Black, executive director, publisher, editor