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Beyond Sectarianism: Re-Imagining Church and World (Christian Mission and Modern Culture) [Paperback]

By Philip D. Kenneson (Author)
Our Price $ 21.21  
Retail Value $ 24.95  
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Item Number 254983  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   124
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.2" Width: 4.7" Height: 0.4"
Weight:   0.35 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 1, 1999
Publisher   Trinity Press International
ISBN  1563382784  
EAN  9781563382789  


Availability  0 units.


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Item Description...
Overview
Philip Kenneson suggests that the church's role in contemporary society is to serve as a "constant -society." In this model, the church is animated by a different spirit than "the world," ane the "contrast-society" model has tremendous missional promise in that its embodied life in the world is its witness to the world.

Publishers Description
The church in our post-Christendom era needs different models for conceptualizing its own identity and its relationship to the rest of society. Philip Kenneson sets forth a model that suggests that the church's role in contemporary society is to serve as a "contrast-society." In this model, the church is animated by a different spirit than that which animates "the world." Moreover, the "contrast-society" model has tremendous missional promise in that its embodied life in the world is its witness to the world. Kenneson acknowledges that this model is sometimes rejected by both Christians and non-Christians because it appears to be too "sectarian." He therefore asks, What are we claiming about a particular group when we call it sectarian? He argues that critics who regard a "contrast-society" church as sectarian often operate with untenable understandings of rationality, culture, politics, religion, and critique. In a concluding chapter, Kenneson offers reflections on how moving "beyond sectarianism" allows us to see afresh some of the missional promise of the church-as-contrast-society model. Philip D. Kenneson is Assistant Professor of Theology and Philosophy at Milligan College and author of Selling Out the Church: The Dangers of Church Marketing.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Informative... but kinda pointless.  May 11, 2004
I am a big fan of Kenneson, and cannot recommend enough his other books "Selling out the Church" and "Life on the Vine." However, after reading this book, I'm still scratching my head wondering, "what was the point of this book." This brief yet difficult read is full of some very informative ideas, and is written very well.

However, it seems like a waste to write a book which only serves to show us that it can indeed be a good thing to be labeled a "sect" by contemporary theologians, as well as in the circles of sociologists, political scientists, and in general, the world. Indeed, people ought not to simply dismiss something simply because it is labeled a "sect" or "cult." However, did a book really need to be written on this subject?

If a community of individuals are truly embodying the narrative of the Scriptures, as Kenneson so hopes people will do, then should they not expect to have slanderous words hurled at them, and to be misunderstood? Kenneson states: "any attempt to put forward a constructive and positive sense of sectarianism will have to overcome the pejorative connotations that have accrued to the term over the years and that continue to accrue to it in its various contexts. Given this complicated and confused situation, perhaps Christians and non-Christians alike might eschew the language of sectarianism altogether, choosing instead to find other ways of describing what they find commendable or objectionable." (p 33)

The above quote nicely summarizes what Kenneson tries to do in this book, and he formulates his argument very nicely. But there does seem to be a blind spot in it. Christ said those who would faithfully embody the gospel would indeed suffer persecution. So, why is Kenneson so shocked that Christian communities are dismissed for simply being the contrast-society Christ called them to be? Why write a book that essentially asks the world in essence to, 'pick other words to label us with'?

 
Sends "The Sectarian Temptation" to the Dumpster!  Oct 26, 1999
Phil Kenneson has done a marvellous job presenting a sorely needed argument against the 'sectarian' caricature of Christians seeking a distinctively *Christian* social witness. The mesmerising abstractions used to dismiss those persuaded or influenced by postliberal theology are thoroughly dealt with by Kenneson. He shows the genealogy of the 'sectarian' pejorative as well as the inconsistencies and 'performative contradictions' of those who hurl it - typically the more respectable 'sectarians' of secular modernity - but, in their own terms, 'sectarians' nonetheless! His book also provides a useful primer to the church as 'alternative community' or 'contrast society' argument. The bibliography contains helpful references to follow up. A great addition to a brilliant series - check out also, Barry Harvey's ANOTHER CITY and Jonathan Wilson's LIVING FAITHFULLY IN A FRAGMENTED WORLD in that series.
 

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