Metropolitan Manifesto by Richard Bledsoe (Brief Book Review)
by Harley Voogd
Sometimes when I finish a book I think: “If that book was a hundred pages shorter it would have been a lot better.” But the opposite is true with this one. I think it should have been at least a hundred pages longer.
There are lots of interesting ideas here, and I underlined a lot and stopped to think a lot. Some of the book is theological, some is philosophical, and some is political. It is really a bunch of different topics put together (while yet all pointing to the theology of the city), and I think many readers will not like that. Most of the ideas can greatly be expanded on, and that’s why I say the book could be longer, or be expanded into two or three more books. This is especially true for the chapter about how western history has progressed through the Bible in reverse. That idea comes from “Out of Revolution” by Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy. Huessy’s book is nearly 800 pages long, so there is a lot there. (I have not read “Out of Revolution” yet, but recently received a copy.) I don’t think most readers of Bledsoe’s book will have read “Out of Revolution”, so it would have been helpful if he had expanded on that idea more. I have read many of Bledsoe’s articles online and have listened to some of his lectures too, so that helped me to follow his thinking in this book a lot more. Here is a link to some of his lectures which go along with the book:
A good book to read along with this one is “Crisis, Opportunity, and the Christian Future” by James B. Jordan. That 63 page essay deals with the different stages of human history which Bledsoe refers to in his book.
I will come back to this book again and again, as it is filled with many interesting (and sometimes strange — but strange is good) ideas. Also, after reading this book I am looking forward to reading that copy of “Out of Revolution” I received.