With Radiant Hope
Timely and Timeless Reflections from George W. Truett
119 pages, 5.00 x 8.00 in, 1 b&w illus
- Published: December 2020
With Radiant Hope is a collection of thirty-four messages that George W. Truett wrote at the close of each year to his congregation while serving as pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas. Truett’s famed ministry at the now well-known church extended from 1897 to 1944; the messages contained in this volume span the period from 1910 to 1944. The abiding value of these magnanimous missives, from beginning to end, is their pastoral tone, literary quality, biblical basis, and theologically robust character.
There is, of course, no single right way to read the messages that comprise this collection. Some will want to read them from beginning to end in swift succession, perhaps in a single sitting. Others will want to savor them, reading one a day, or a handful a day, over a stretch of time. Beginning during Advent and continuing through Christmastide holds promise for being an especially meaningful way to use this book. Although Truett’s letters are situated at year’s end, they are for all seasons and offer an edifying read time and time again.
Seasoned with the wisdom of decades of pastoral care and a broadening horizon of national and international leadership, Truett’s sermons reverberate with a prophetic encouragement to churches, pastors and leaders who remain faithfully attuned to loving and leading well in the midst of social disruption and global opportunities. They are a powerful reminder that the Kingdom of God is shaped less by giants in the faith and more by those who with steadfast commitment place their own humble backgrounds into the inviting hands of a resurrected savior who is redeeming the world. These timeless reflections will help refine your faith journey. It is a joy to commend this important collection to Baptists as well as to the broader Christian community.~Rev. Elijah M. Brown, PhD, General Secretary and CEO, Baptist World Alliance
Dr. Truett's able assistant for decades, Robert Coleman, affectionately called Truett ‘Mr. Great-Heart.’ Although a world Christian figure, Truett’s first love was for the people of his congregation in the heart of downtown Dallas. It was my privilege to meet hundreds who knew him as pastor and mentor. Their eyes moistened and their faces softened a half-century later when they remembered him. These annual messages nurtured his flock through the Great Depression and World War II. Loving in their tone and lofty in their rhetoric, you can hear his heartbeat in them.~Joel C. Gregory, Professor of Preaching and Holder of the George W. Truett Endowed Chair of Preaching and Evangelism, George W. Truett Theological Seminary, Baylor University
You can speak of Washington and I will speak of Lincoln. You can speak of Lombardi and I will speak of Landry. But when it comes to influential Christian leaders of the first half of the twentieth century, George W. Truett had no peer. It was my high privilege to preach from his own pulpit for several years as one of his pastoral successors at First Baptist Church in Dallas and to observe the deep love and respect that followed him decades after his death. The timely, hope-filled messages to his people in this volume are as fresh and applicable today as they were a century ago.~O. S. Hawkins PhD, Former Pastor, First Baptist Church in Dallas
George W. Truett was arguably the most significant Southern Baptist minister of the first half of the twentieth century. As such, his annual end-of-year messages to the congregation of First Baptist Church, Dallas, published here as a collection for the first time, reflect a profound pastoral sensitivity and love for people. In addition, Truett writes against the backdrop of significant world events, including his own service as a chaplain during the Great War and the economic uncertainties of the Great Depression, and he displays keen theological insights throughout each of the messages. I highly recommend this book, which will be of real interest to pastors, staff ministers, laypersons, as well as Baptist historians.~John M. Finley, Executive Director, Baptist History & Heritage Society
George W. Truett was one of the most prominent pastors of his generation. His year-end reflections to the members of his congregation were often written during some of the most turbulent times of the twentieth century, but these messages were always filled with encouragement and hope. Todd Still, through his edits and annotations, has made Truett's words both timely and comforting for today.~Alan Lefever, Director, Texas Baptist Historical Collection
Truett's loving and intimate Christmas and New Year greetings to his church family reveal not just his deep pastoral care, but his transparently beautiful soul as well. Immersed in superb literature and poetry, Truett's reflections are rich, weighty, vibrant, and timely. Perhaps the best of his greetings were written during WWI and WWII, when the horrors of war had brought the world to a crossroads. Here, his grasp of global events is displayed, the depth of his pathos speaks eloquently, and the magnificence of his lyrical language inspires comfort, calm, and courage. He grounds all of life in the nature and character of God. In our day, these are messages all of us still need to hear.~Karen O'Dell Bullock, Distinguished Professor of Christian Heritage, B. H. Carroll Theological Institute