This conversation between David Fitch and Alan Roxburgh revolves around David’s recent book Faithful Presence and his life in a church plant near Chicago. David describes his book under three headings: The Presence of God at work in localities, discerned through Practices such as Eucharist, shared meals and reconciliation. We are located in Places where sometimes we will be gathered with other Christians and sometimes...
Ta-Nehisi Coates is a self-proclaimed atheist who rejects the Christian God, and yet his book, Between the World and Me, is what happens when God draws the curtains to unveil the evil of racism that prevails across the world. This book is a critical social commentary on life in the United States that should inform every conversation concerned with mission in places that live with racial and economic oppression.
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...
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.
Elaine Graham presents a high view of ‘public theology’ as studying and communicating the relevance of Christian thought and practice for public life and the common good. Public theology, she suggests, negotiates between the apparently immovable ‘rock’ of religious resurgence and the irresistible ‘hard place’ of secularism and institutional decline, or between faithfulness to Christian tradition and openness to diverse and critical conversation in the public domain. Graham’s portrayal of apologetics is refreshingly recast to include not primarily rational argument for the veracity of propositional claims, but an appeal to live well and act justly for the common good of society.
Review of Alan Roxburgh, Structured for Mission: Renewing the Culture of the Church (Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2015). Originally published in Englewood Review of Books, Vol 05, No. 03, Summer, 2015. It is reproduced here with permission. EnglewoodReview.org
Review of Lynne M Baab, The Power of Listening: Building Skills for Mission and Ministry (Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 2014)
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 Abundant Community, Awakening the Power of Families and Neighborhoods, by John McKnight and Peter Block.
If loving our neighbor is as related to loving our neighborhood as many in the church today believe it to be, then the 2010 book ‘The Abundant Community’ is a very important study. While you won’t find this book in...Read more