Every tradition has its surprising voices, its thinkers who look at things slightly differently than most. Evangelicalism is no exception. Many surprising evangelical voices end up being embarrassments of one sort or another: everyone can choose their favorite example of this phenomenon Rather than seeking to expose these sorts of negative surprises, this book explores the surprising voice of the late evangelical theologian A. J. Conyers. Conyers's political theology is a resource for a robust evangelical theopolitical imagination. By learning from Conyers, evangelicals can overcome common weaknesses and engage in a more thoroughly Christian, biblical, and evangelical approach to the modern world and its various institutions and challenges. Conyers speaks beyond evangelicalism as well. His vision of the modern world, including its development and major challenges, provides insight into contemporary political theology. His work on the nation-state, free-market capitalism, and the notions of toleration and vocation speaks into and advances important debates. Thus Conyers's evangelical political theology provides both the evangelical tradition itself, as well as political theology as a broader discipline, with a compelling and challenging vision. ""As someone who came to know and appreciate Chip Conyers in the late 1980s, I could not be more pleased that Jacob Shatzer is helping extend his legacy in this fine volume. Conyers was not only an erudite scholar, but a great friend to his colleagues and an exceedingly kind person. He lived out his own theopolitical vision. May this book help evangelicals and others cultivate a more robust, irenic, and hopeful political imagination."" --C. Ben Mitchell, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Graves Professor of Moral Philosophy, Union University ""Chip Conyers emerges from these pages as the man that he was--a Southern gentleman garbed in a prophet's mantle, an historian wrestling with the contemporary, a Baptist churchman transfigured into theologian-at-large."" --Mark Dubis, Professor of Biblical Studies, Union University ""Jacob Shatzer captures the intellectual vibrancy of Chip Conyers, helps us understand the faithful man he was, and challenges us to engage the call to vocation and the beauty of a spreading and abiding hope. I commend this meticulously researched work to anyone who understands that what we believe about God shapes how we order our life together in the world."" --Samuel W. ""Dub"" Oliver, President, Union University ""A Spreading and Abiding Hope opens up a salient and irenic discourse about how evangelical political theology might both broaden its reach and deepen its resources. Both timely and winsome, Shatzer's efforts toward a more reflective evangelical theopolitics not only provide immense support for renewed interest in vocation but also honor the generous spirit of A. J. Conyers's own lesser-known but tremendously significant legacy of careful Christian scholarship."" --Taylor Worley, Trinity International University Jacob Shatzer (PhD, Marquette University) is assistant professor of biblical and theological studies at Sterling College in Kansas.