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The Church Between Gospel and Culture (Gospel & Our Culture) [Paperback]

Our Price $ 31.03  
Retail Value $ 36.50  
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Item Number 143583  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   390
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.18" Width: 5.73" Height: 1"
Weight:   1.26 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 5, 1997
Publisher   Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
ISBN  0802841090  
EAN  9780802841094  

Availability  139 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 20, 2016 05:46.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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Gospel & Our Culture - Full Series Preview
Image Title Price Stock Qty Add To Cart
  Bearing the Witness of the Spirit: Lesslie Newbigin's Theology of Cultural Plurality (Our Gospel and 0ur Culture)   $ 28.48   In Stock  
  Confident Witness-Changing World: Rediscovering the Gospel in North America (Gospel and Our Culture Series)   $ 25.93   In Stock  
  Missional Church: A Vision for the Sending of the Church in North America (The Gospel and Our Culture Series)   $ 24.65   In Stock  
  StormFront: The Good News of God (Gospel and Our Culture)   $ 17.60   In Stock  
  The Church Between Gospel and Culture (Gospel & Our Culture)   $ 31.03   In Stock  
  The Continuing Conversion of the Church (The Gospel & Our Culture Series)   $ 22.10   In Stock  
  Treasure in Clay Jars: Patterns in Missional Faithfulness (The Gospel and Our Culture Series)   $ 18.70   In Stock  

Item Description...
This excellent collections of essays, written by a diverse group of Christian leaders working on the frontier of mission within the present North American context, lays the groundwork for the newly emerging missionary encounter fo teh gospel with North American culture. Demonstrating that the missionary identity of the church is to be found at the intersection fo culture-gospel-church, these essays outlive the missionary agenda now before the church as it confronts North American assumptions, perspectives, preferences, and practices.

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More About George R. Hunsberger

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Hunsberger is professor of missiology at Western Theological Seminary, Holland, Michigan, and coordinator of the Gospel and Our Culture Network.

George Hunsberger currently resides in Holland, in the state of Michigan.

George Hunsberger has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Gospel & Our Culture

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Evangelism > General   [2161  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Evangelism > Missions & Missionary Work   [3332  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General   [8607  similar products]
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology   [1535  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
They Could Have Done Better  Feb 18, 2006
This book represents a compilation of sixteen authors. Its focus is Emerging Church missiology in North America, and it is written against the backdrop of declining membership in mainline Churches. Having read it from cover to cover, I consider that it has several startling shortcomings:

1. It assumes a problem in the Church, yet fails to reveal it. For example, editors George R. Hunsberger and Craig van Gelder kick off by referring to "deep uncertainty, malaise, and despair in the Churches . . . a certain dis-ease in our congregations". What is missing, they suggest, is a certain "something more". Being a non-American myself, I wondered how I, or even an American, should understand what this and many similar comments might mean.

2. It would seem to shift the blame from the Church to society. While the book does suggest that the Church might be at fault for its malaise, the emphasis is undoubtedly on its outward circumstances. For instance, Craig van Gelder puts the trouble down to a "crisis of paradigms", out there in "the world that we encounter". The book leaves one with the uneasy sense that it might be turning a blind eye to the specifics of its internal malaise.

3. It fails to define crucial terms. The following is a short selection of terms deposited without definition: kingdom categories, forces that bring death, God's coming shalom, eschatological imperative, universal salvific purpose. I would defy any theologian (let alone reader) to proffer concise definitions for these terms. With theological terms being as "loaded" as they are, definitions should be regarded as crucial.

4. The authors in large part support their missiological framework with Lesslie Newbigin -- a missionary who took over, virtually in toto, the epistemology (theory of knowledge) of Michael Polanyi. Polanyi himself, however, suggested that if a missiologist should ever try this, there would be "absurdly remote chances" for the enterprise to succeed (Personal Knowledge, 1962, pg. 318). No matter, Newbigin attempted the absurd, and editor George R. Hunsberger introduces the book by "applying Newbigin's thesis to North America".

5. The authors completely avoid the H-words. Missiologists of the past would frequently use the H-words with reference to missiology -- that is, the "eternal dwelling places" of humankind -- and Jesus was not too shy of them Himself. Considering that this is a substantial book on missiology, the authors accomplished quite a feat in excluding them completely.

6. The authors are strikingly vague about the solutions throughout. For example, Charles C. West, in his concluding paragraphs, considers that "now we must create new models that are both novel and practical. What form should they take? . . . The church has no pat answer." And finally, editor George R. Hunsberger considers that "the mental crisis we are facing is . . . a theological crisis, one of great magnitude and consequence."

I understand that this is hardly an impartial or dispassionate review, and the reader would rightly suspect that this book does have its strengths. For those who wonder what it is really all about, its main thrust is that the Church finds itself today in "a new social location", and therefore needs to view its own culture as a mission field.
This is a consequential book.  Jul 29, 2000
There was a time when a mouse was just a rodent, only spiders had Web sites, surfing took place at the beach and the church was the key force for shaping culture. Those days are gone. A new era is upon us and Christendom must 1) face reality; 2) develop a plan of action and 3)reengage our culture.

The reality we must face, for Hunsberger and Van Gelder, is this: the church has capitulated to the forces of Enlightenment (forces of the scientific world view) and has given up its key role as a cultural change agent. Wilbert Shenk summed it up by saying "Christendom is spent as a cultural force"; but, and this is a big BUT, Hunsberger and Van Gelder are hopeful that the church can redefine its mission and launch an new era of relevancy in the century ahead.

The Church between Gospel and Culture rings out a wake up call, heralding the arrival of a new era. 14 authors; all thinkers, theologians, anthropologist and culturist, are the harbingers for the new world to come. George Hunsberger and Craig Van Gelder (both professors of missiology) have collected and edited these significant and erudite voices. The Church between Gospel and Culture is arduous reading (due the novelty of concepts, the multiplicity of scholarly writers) and days, not just hours, need to be set aside to ponder and reflect on the significance of what these authors have to say about our culture, our era and the massive change that is upon the Christian Church. I was persuaded to rethink my role and mission as a healing missionary. The call of Christ not to be "in the world, but not of the world" was made anew to me. The Church between Gospel and Culture is worth the effort.

When Christianity was a cult (before Constantine 325AD) the people of "the Way" (Acts 24:14) were willing to be counter-cultural. They were mission to their culture, thus they challenged the "principalities and powers" of their society. "The Way" cult could do this because it was not "of the world, just in it". Atlas, in our world today the hope for those in Christendom that want to be real and relevant by their faith may find the only way is by apostasy; leaving a dying religious system and creating a new cult group that refuses to drink the cup of modernity and domestication.

When it comes to the future of the Western church I am not an optimist. In the words of Don Marquis the late U.S. humorist/journalist "an optimist is a guy who has never had much experience". To be optimistic about the future of Christianity is to be one who has not endured much of Christendom. I am closer to the thinking of both Stanley Hauerwas and William Willimon who brand the contemporary Western Church as a church that accommodates the world, seeking to market "church" programs, clawing for a position in and among the other many agents of society.

This is a consequential book.

A great addition to any postmodern library  Jun 1, 2000
This is a book for the technician. If you are looking for how to build a postmodern church in four easy steps, this book will disapoint you. If you are looking for a book that will challenge your worldview and help equip you with some of the questions and answers that we need to hear, then you will be interested in reading this "heady" theological look at the church and culture.

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