Author Archives: Alan Roxburgh
The Wages of Rebellion is shaped initially by an analysis of Western revolutionary theory from the 19th century forward. Revolutions, Hedges proposes, are not fermented by ideas promulgated by elites. They occur when intolerable gaps develop between ordinary people and the reigning narratives of the state, its economics and its elites.
Alan Roxburgh reviews this book and introduces a number of other books on a similar theme.
In the last issue the journal proposed that we 'change the conversation' from its preoccupation with church into a readiness to participate with God's activity within neighbourhoods. In the current issue we wrestle with some implications of this journey. There is an invitation to seek the common good of neighbourhood communities: 'Seek the welfare of the city to which I am sending you' (Jeremiah 29:7). We will explore what seeking the common good might mean, why it is so important in terms of Christian life and how it intersects with such things as mission and evangelism.
Church planter Dan White has an appreciation for the ways in which Euro-tribal, evangelical churches and their leaders remain deeply enmeshed in rationalisms, techniques, notions of success and power that so deeply infect Christian life on this continent. In the early chapters he dives into these issues. He travels a road many of us have taken by pointing out these captivities in order to show their inadequacy. The hope is that readers will see this and, in so doing, want to travel with him...
An understanding that all of creation is God’s shapes Scripture. There is a deep, fundamental covenant that human beings hold the creation as a gift for all and ensure that every human being is cared for with dignity and honor. This is about the common good. As stated in the Jeremiah passage, it is part of the vocation of God’s people to seek the welfare of the city in which we abide. Connected to this basic framing of Christian vocation is the critical question of how it can be practiced. At one level the challenges confronting Western societies are immense...
Reading An Other Kingdom takes me back to Augustine’s task. In its pages we read an important attempt to name the maladies of our time when faced with the ending of a certain Western narrative and the desperate need for an alternative imagination. In this sense it is an important book written with urgency. Like a tract it deconstructs the malaise of our time and offers an imagination for the reconstitution of social and cultural life in the West. It is to be applauded. Its proposals are important; they need to be taken seriously by any Christian desiring to faithfully live out the Gospel in these times; however, it misses the essential imagination that framed Augustine’s project and directed his desires.
Review of Larry Siedentop, Inventing the Individual: The Origins of Western Liberalism (Milton Keynes; UK: Penguin Random House, 2015)
First published in 2014 this is a must read for anyone committed to addressing Newbigin’s question about a missionary engagement with the late, modern West, especially its North Atlantic form. True confession - this book reads like a good thriller...
Book Review: The Vanishing Neighbor – The Transformation of American Community Culture by Marc J. Dunkelman
Wherever I speak, or people ask about my writing,  about the call of churches to join with the God who is out ahead of us in our neighborhoods and communities the same basic question is inevitably asked: Why bother with neighborhoods these...Read more
Terry Eagleton’s Culture and the Death of God is a dense tour-de-force that launches one through the ways modernity, in its multiple forms, has sought to frame all of life without reference to God. More than a decade ago the...Read more
Alan begins his keynote by affirming God’s creative engagement in our world of destructive social patterns, brokenness and oppression...