Tag Archives: ecclesiology

Faithful Presence: Hunter, Fitch and Being Church

In his significant, ironically entitled work, To Change the World, James Davison Hunter offers the following diagnosis of the current cultural moment in which the church finds itself in the United States:

“The problem for Christians—to restate the broader issue once more—is not that their faith is weak or inadequate.  In contemporary America, Christians have faith in God and, by and large, they believe and hold fast to the central truths of the Christian tradition.  But while they have faith, they have also been formed by the larger post-Christian culture, a culture whose habits of life less and less resemble anything like the vision of human flourishing provided by the life of Christ and witness of scripture.  The problem, in other words, is that Christians have not been formed ‘in all wisdom’ that they might rise to the demands of faithfulness in such a time as ours, ‘bearing fruit in every good work.’”1 Continue reading Faithful Presence: Hunter, Fitch and Being Church

  1. James Davison Hunter, To Change the World: The Irony, Tragedy, & Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), 227.

More Audio from Book Launch Celebration

The audio from Robyn Elliott’s engagement with the third chapter of my book, For the Life of the World: Jesus Christ and the Church in the Theologies of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Stanley Hauerwas, at the Book Launch Celebration held on July 6, 2016 has now been posted on the Book Launch Celebration page. Robyn was the valedictorian of the graduating class of Tyndale Seminary in 2014 and surely is one of the most gifted communicators to have come out of Tyndale in recent years. Continue reading More Audio from Book Launch Celebration

“Can These Bones Live?”: The Question Before the Church

I hope to return in the very near future to posting audio from my book launch celebration, as well as to pick up where I left off in my series on Lesslie Newbigin’s “marks of the missional church.”  In the meantime, here is a penetrating assessment of the challenge placed before the contemporary church in North America by the “Catholic Baptist” theologian Barry Harvey: Continue reading “Can These Bones Live?”: The Question Before the Church

Series: Newbigin on “The Call to the Church” – 2. A Christian Doctrine of Freedom

Having considered in the previous post Newbigin’s insistence that the church must recover its eschatological imagination, we now turn to the second of what could be called his seven marks of the missional church — a true Christian doctrine of freedom.  Two sets of concerns fall under this heading for Newbigin.  The first set deals with matters that pertain to the relationship between church and state, while the second touches upon issues related to anthropology.1 Continue reading Series: Newbigin on “The Call to the Church” – 2. A Christian Doctrine of Freedom

  1. Lesslie Newbigin, Foolishness to the Greeks: The Gospel and Western Culture (Grand Rapids: W.B. Eerdmans, 1986), 137-141.

Series: Newbigin on “The Call to the Church” – 1. Eschatology

The previous post set the stage for a series of posts on Lesslie Newbigin’s understanding, as presented in Foolishness to the Greeks, of the seven essential conditions that must be recovered if there is to be a genuine missionary encounter between the church and the modern West.  The first of these essential conditions, Newbigin asserts, “must be the recovery and firm grasp of a true doctrine of the last things, of eschatology.”1  Continue reading Series: Newbigin on “The Call to the Church” – 1. Eschatology

  1. Lesslie Newbigin, Foolishness to the Greeks: The Gospel and Western Culture (Grand Rapids: W.B. Eerdmans, 1986), 134.

Series: Newbigin on “The Call to the Church” – Introduction

This past week marked the start of a course I am teaching at Tyndale Seminary called “Integrative Seminar II.”  Don’t let the nondescript title fool you; this course may very well be the most enthralling course that I’ve had the privilege to be involved with at Tyndale.  There’s a variety of reasons for this, including the fact that the course occurs near the end of the MDiv In-Ministry program and provides an opportunity for the students to bring together what they have learned and the skills they have developed over the course of the entire program.  Probably the biggest factor, though, is the compelling character of the subject matter itself.  “Integrative Seminar II” is shaped around exploring the life and thought of six twentieth century Christian pastor-leader-theologians: Lesslie Newbigin, John Perkins, Vinay Samuel, Dorothy Day, Desmond Tutu, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Continue reading Series: Newbigin on “The Call to the Church” – Introduction