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Missional Church in Perspective, The: Mapping Trends and Shaping the Conversation (The Missional Network) Paperback


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Missional Church in Perspective, The: Mapping Trends and Shaping the Conversation (The Missional Network) + Missional: Joining God in the Neighborhood (Allelon Missional Series) + Introducing the Missional Church: What It Is, Why It Matters, How to Become One (Allelon Missional Series)
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Product Details

  • Series: The Missional Network
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Academic (May 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801039134
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801039133
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #287,124 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Extending the Missional Church Conversation

"The term 'missional' has been adopted by a wide variety of traditions and attached to many add-on programs. This book brings much-needed clarity to a confused picture. It is no rehash of familiar material but rather breaks new ground and leaves the reader with an appetite for more!"--Eddie Gibbs, Fuller Theological Seminary"

This book is the most precise, informed, and uncompromising parsing to date of the history of the concept of 'missional' both as a sensibility and as a form of praxis. Like all good historical analyses, it provides not only a basis for understanding where we have been but also a well-honed tool for considering where we may need and want to go next."--Phyllis Tickle, author, The Great Emergence

"Concertgoers are familiar with the cacophonous roar that precedes great orchestral performances as musicians tune their instruments. When the conductor takes the stand, however, these same instruments--now focused on a musical score--produce music. The Missional Church in Perspective provides sheet music for all those who want to participate in the missional symphony. The book's scholarship and synthesis qualify it to be a common score for us all."--Reggie McNeal, Leadership Network"

This book is a veritable morphology of the term 'missional.' As such it provides both conceptual tools with which to assess the impact of missional ideas on the Western church and a map that helps us chart possible future trajectories of what is clearly one of the most important movements in our times."--Alan Hirsch, Forge Mission Training Network

"A helpful and well-researched work that traces and evaluates streams within the missional church conversation, showing a wide awareness from evangelical, mainline, and historical sources. I have found a new required textbook for my missional church class."--Ed Stetzer, LifeWay Research; missiologist

"It is a rare book that can clearly and cogently describe a highly complex field while also setting a bold course for the future. The Missional Church in Perspective does precisely this. I have little doubt that it will serve as a centerpiece for the missional conversation for the next decade and beyond."--Jack Reese, Abilene Christian University

About the Author

Craig Van Gelder (Ph.D., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and University of Texas at Arlington) is professor of congregational mission at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. He is the author or editor of a number of books, including The Essence of the Church, The Ministry of the Missional Church, A Field Guide for the Missional Congregation, and The Church between Gospel and Culture. Dwight J. Zscheile (Ph.D., Luther Seminary) is assistant professor of congregational mission and leadership at Luther Seminary and serves as associate rector at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in St. Paul, Minnesota.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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It is a must read for anyone who uses the term or regularly reads authors who do so.
Greg Smith (aka sowhatfaith)
Very insightful book on the conversation of the ministry of the Missio Dei in the context of a missional church.
William Pritchard
The book gives a detailed historical description of the missiology leading up to the missional church movement.
Jami B

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bradley J. Brisco VINE VOICE on May 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
The Missional Church in Perspective is the most comprehensive and clear analysis of the missional conversation to date. Van Gelder and Zscheile provide a helpful historical perspective of the movement, as well as needed clarity to the current use of missional language as they interact with an extensive collection of missional literature. All of which is carried out with great wisdom and grace. Moreover, the authors offer several important theological categories to help strengthen and extend the missional conversation into the future. Anyone who is serious about better understanding and engaging the missional conversation will find this latest contribution to be invaluable.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Greg Smith (aka sowhatfaith) on February 28, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Missional Church in Perspective is the first and only book that explores the development of the term missional by noting the broad historical and theological contributing factors and thoroughly exploring the recent literature. It is a must read for anyone who uses the term or regularly reads authors who do so. While the co-authors work as a team throughout the text, Van Gelder takes the lead for the first part (chapters 1-3) allowing Zscheile to do so for the latter part (chapters 4-6).

"Part 1: The History and Development of the Missional Conversation" serves as the book's greatest contribution to the understanding of the term mission. Van Gelder is uniquely qualified to explore the varied usage of the term, since it was popularized as the result of a book he contributed to: Missional Church: A Vision for the Sending of the Church in North America (1988). In addition to exploring and critiquing the 1998 text, Van Gelder charts the recent literature as a part of a missional tree. In that illustration, the 1998 book serves as the trunk; church and missions/mission Trinitarian missiology, missio Dei, reign (kingdom) of God, church's missionary nature, and missional hermeneutics serve as the roots; and the recent literature are grouped by theme to serve as the branches: discovering, utilizing, engaging, and extending. Each branch and its associated subbranches are explored in relation to the "biblical and theological themes" that inform them and in relation to recent literature that is representative of it (p.69).

"Part 2: Perspectives That Extend the Missional Conversation" seeks to apply the wealth of information in the first part to the contemporary church through chapters focusing on theological frameworks, engaging culture, and church life and leadership.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By David M. Gustafson on July 11, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book provides a map of the missional church conversation in light of foundational ideas set forth in The Missional Church edited by Darrell Guder. It is most helpful in offering various categories of voices in print and on the web in the missional church conversation. While I found the categories heuristic, the rubrics of discovering, utilizing, engaging, and extending were not helpful. Perhaps more descriptive titles would be: adopting missional language, deepening the missional conversation, engaging in missional praxis, and broadening the missional conversation. For someone wanting to understand the wider missional church movement, however, this book provides a map of the robust, nuanced, and theologically imaginative missional conversation.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By David W. Jones on October 14, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a sequel of sorts to the seminal work, Missional Church: A Vision for the Sending of the Church in North America (Gospel & Our Culture), which was written in 1998 by members of the Gospel and Our Culture Network (GOCN). The original volume wrestled with the question of how the church relates to the world in a post-Christendom, postmodern culture. Its authors did not see mission as something the church does, but rather as central to its very identity: what the church is. The Triune God is a missionary God who sends the church to participate in his mission to the world--the missio Dei. Thus, to be a Christian is to be a missionary. Missional Church sold quite well for an academic book that intentionally avoided pragmatics, techniques and strategies. It popularized the term "missional," which has since become a buzzword.

The current volume seeks both to clarify the past conversation, especially the way it has morphed and splintered in the intervening years, as well as to shape future conversation. Van Gelder, who authored the first three chapters, was a contributor to the original volume; Zscheile, who wrote chapters four through six, is his colleague at Luther Seminary.

The authors achieve their purposes for the book. They identify the historical and theological origins of the missional conversation, filling some gaps that existed in Missional Church. They demonstrate how some of the divergence of thought that exists today among various missional authors can be traced back to theological tensions that existed between the authors of the previous book.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jami B on May 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book is a great resource for those interested in learning more about the missional church movement. The book gives a detailed historical description of the missiology leading up to the missional church movement. It offers praise and critique for the seminal book Missional Church edited by Darrell Guder, as well as categorizing other books claiming to be a part of the missional movement. It gives a overview of some of the theological and biblical foundations of the missional church and then provides a vision of where this movement could go. I would definitely recommend this book!
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