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Be My Witness: The Church's Mission, Message, and Messengers [Paperback]

By Mr. Darrell L. Guder (Author)
Our Price $ 22.53  
Retail Value $ 26.50  
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Item Number 144373  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   252
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.57" Width: 5.56" Height: 0.65"
Weight:   0.7 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 19, 1985
Publisher   Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
ISBN  0802800513  
EAN  9780802800510  

Availability  77 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 24, 2016 12:18.
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Item Description...
A challenging and original work on missionary theology, examining the church's mission in the world, its message, and who is to proclaim it. Paper, Eerdmans.

Buy Be My Witness: The Church's Mission, Message, and Messengers by Mr. Darrell L. Guder from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9780802800510 & 0802800513

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More About Mr. Darrell L. Guder

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Darrell L. Guder is Henry Winters Luce Professor Emeritus of Missional and Ecumenical Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary. His other books include "Missional Church: A Vision for the Sending of the Church in North America" and "The Continuing Conversion of the Church."

Darrell L. Guder currently resides in Decatur, in the state of Georgia. Darrell L. Guder was born in 1939.

Darrell L. Guder has published or released items in the following series...
  1. American Society of Missiology
  2. Gospel & Our Culture
  3. Gospel and Our Culture Series (Gocs)
  4. Leadership Networks

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > General   [6817  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History   [2546  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Evangelism > Missions & Missionary Work   [3332  similar products]
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Ecclesiology   [1097  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
A Tour de Force and Agenda for Change  Jun 8, 2007
At the time of this writing, Darrell Guder was Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty at Whitworth College, Spokene, Washington, and had formerly been Director of the Institute of Younth Ministries Fuller Theological Seminary/Young Life, and Ministry Resources Director of Young Life. He came to these roles after notably extensive experience in both the Reformed and Lutheran contexts, in the United States and in Germany.

In this detailed and tightly organized exposition, Guder defines the mission of the church as incarnationally being, doing, and saying its witness to a gospel which is always before it--that is, always greater than and demanding of the church's understanding and life. This he does in twelve chapters distributed among four parts, respectively: Part One - Toward a Theology of the Church's Mission; Part Two - The Church's Mandate: Be My Witnesses; Part Three - Defining the Church's Mission Incarnationally; and Part Four, Becoming the Church of Incarnational Witness.

Chapter One situates the church's self-understanding as a continuation of the role of Israel, examining what will be a key theme throughout the book, the tension between a focus on benefits and on mission. In true Reformed fashion, he sees Christ as the apex of salvation, and the church as blessed (benefits) to be a blessing (mission).

Chapter Two draws distinctions of continuity and discontinuity, and how the church is simultaneously justified and sinful, requiring that the church be both faithful and humble in its missional service. Warts and all, the church is sent out into the world to bear witness not to itself, but to God's actions in Christ, and to how these actions impact the messengers themselves. Beginning Part Two, looking especially at the Book of Acts, Chapter Three discusses diakonia, koinonia, kerygma, and martys/martyria as key descriptions of the church whose proclamation must be an expression of a gospel which is always more than what she can describe or proclaim. In Chapter Four he reviews the inevitability and reality of corrupted, ineffective church performance and structures exacerbated by institutionalism. The church must therefore adopt a critical-realist approach to its own structures, none of which are sacrosanct, and continue mobilizing itself for being, doing, and saying the gospel.

Part Three begins, in chapter five with examining what the gospel is, and how its transcendent greatness obliges us to theological humility in all our definitional attempts. In attempting to define, or better, describe or report on the gospel, the church is called to a dynamic tentativeness, a faithfulness to traditions already given, an openness to God's future surprises, and a humble flexibility as an international and highly diverse communion. Chapter Six reminds us that the church must know and show who it is--a community redeemed for mission. Churches exist to equip God's people for this reality. Chapter Seven teaches that the church must avoid separating the inseparable and abstracting the gospel form relationships and real life. The church should see the Gospels as a guidebook or casebook for incarnational living. Such a gospel will lead Christians to right relationships among themselves and full-orbed service to the world, so helping to reorder the structures of society around the will and ways of God.

Chapter Eight warns that in all its being and doing, the church must not neglect the saying of the gospel. But this gospel is not formulaic, but the incarnated impact of Jesus and his work and authority in all aspects of life. Evangelization is effective insofar as it is understandable, obedient, and congruent. Effectiveness must not be measured by statistics, but by whether the message obediently presented makes God known and spreads reconciliation. Concerning the church's witness in the world, Chapter Nine argues for saying the gospel in the context of relational wholeness by a church that knows itself to be continually critiqued by the gospel it presents. He also discusses parachurch organizations, which he terms "paraparochial," and how they are better at mobilizing the laity and reaching the unchurched than is the church itself.

Part Four opens in Chapter Ten contrasting a monolithically conservative culturally co-opted ingrown church as a Temple with a prophetic model, the church as Tabernacle, mobile, out on the streets and engaged with the world. Chapter Eleven examines the distinctions and overlap between the roles of clergy and laity, helpfully and forcefully focusing on Ephesians 4:11-12, and how the church and its leaders exist to equip the saints for the work of service. Finally, Chapter Twelve recapitulates the various inseparables which the church must not separate.

This is an important book, notable for its tight organization, and frankly a cohesive visionary tour de force. It could and no doubt has served as a curriculum for an introduction to mission. Because of my own research interests, I find the book of special interest because of what it omits.

No one should be surprised to detect the supersessionist assumptions undergirding this work. For this reason, I find it lacking in insight concerning God's mission for the people of Israel and how the church might aid in its furtherance. In this, Guder's work is typical of the Christian and missional world. Despite his commendable efforts to speak well of the Israel the church has superseded, Guder mirrors the offense typical of so much Christian rhetoric in repeatedly referencing the Jews as examples of wrong responses to God and to the privilege of being his people. This is of course deplorable, but demonstrates the how supersessionist Christendom habitually compares itself favorably to Israel, or at least experiences no embarrassment at holding Israel up as an example of what not to do.

Guder shows himself to be theologically adept, widely experienced, prophetic, and highly competent. That he exhibits the blemishes typical of supersessionism does nothing to detract from this, but points the way for his, and the church's, further maturation.

I give the book five stars for its quality, despite my critique of the errors imbedded in the theological tradition it exemplifies.

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