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Missional Church: A Vision for the Sending of the Church in North America (The Gospel and Our Culture Series (GOCS)) Paperback – February 9, 1998

4.4 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Academy of Parish ClergyTop Ten Books of the Year (1999)

Missiology
"This stimulating volume challenges its readers to re-examine two fundamental concepts: their understanding of the nature of the church and their understanding of mission. . . This book is a must-read not only for missiologists but also for pastors and anyone interested in the renewal and revitalization of the church as it enters a new millennium."

Interpretation
"This is a book worthy of study and consideration, especially for those who take seriously the changes that have impacted culture and church in North America. It is a provocative work that pleads for significant renewal of 'Communities of the Holy Spirit' in face of established institutions that have become accommodated to the American way of life."

From the Back Cover

What would a theology of the church look like that took seriously the fact that North America is now itself a mission field? This question lies at the foundation of this volume written by an ecumenical team of six noted missiologists - Lois Barrett, Inagrace T. Dietterich, Darrell L. Guder, George R. Hunsberger, Alan J. Roxburgh, and Craig Van Gelder. The result of a three-year research project undertaken by The Gospel and Our Culture Network, this book issues a firm challenge for the church to recover its missional call right here in North America. The authors examine today's secular culture and the church's loss of dominance in contemporary society. They then present a biblically based theology that takes seriously the church's missional vocation and draw out the consequences of this theology for the structure and institutions of the church.
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Product Details

  • Series: The Gospel and Our Culture Series (GOCS)
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Eerdmans; Reprint edition (February 9, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802843506
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802843500
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #104,301 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Victor McCracken on May 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is one of the better books currently available introducing church leaders, pastors and lay ministers to ecclesiology from a missional perspective. Guder and his fellow writers do a worthy job of synthesizing contemporary perspectives on church in post-Christian North America. Especially engaging is the way that the writers articulate the distinctive claims a Canadian culture (as opposed to an United States culture) will make on a missional church. There are valuable lessons here for pastors seeking to become more adept in cultural discernment. What is lacking in this book are concrete examples of what a missional church "looks like" in ways different than what one finds in Christendom. One hopes that this is an absence that will be addressed in the next four volumes. In short, check out this book as a synthesis of ecclesiology from a post-liberal perspective (a la Hauerwas, Yoder, Brueggemann). Also, a note for pastors: Chapter 7, "Missional Leadership: Equipping God's People for Mission," is worth the price of the book.
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A decent read. I read it for a class. Some of the information was decent but it is generally geared toward people that have no understanding of the postmodern worldview.
My biggest issue is that some chapters flow beautifully and some chapters are like trying to run through neck deep maple syrup. I believe this is due to the multiple authors and their distinct writing styles.
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Format: Paperback
This is one of the core books in the concept of the Missional Church. It was one a key source for my own writing and speaking on the concept of the Alternate Life, where a Christian understands themselves as living as a citizen of God's Kingdom while living at a postal address in this world.
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I am a pastor at a church in Hawaii this book is helping me understand my culture better. This quotation from the book is fantastic, "All too typical is the woman who, after attending worship and disliking the sermon, asked her visiting friend, “Now tell me, what did you get out of that worship service?” The woman was taken aback when the friend replied, “That’s not a question I ask myself. I ask myself, ‘Did this community of God’s people worship God today?’ ” (Kindle Locations 2043-2045). I would recommend this book to all people who want to help God use the church to help accomplish his mission in the world.
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Format: Paperback
"Missional Church" is a sound volume for someone new to the conversation on what it means to be missional. Its assessment of the current state of the North American church is fair and accurate and the history that got the church where it is is well summarized and to the point. The sections on the shaping and leading of the missional community were especially helpful as they give a general lesson on what the change that needs to be made looks like. The book is much heavier on theory than it is on practice but there are plenty of quality books that deal with the practice. For someone unfamiliar with idea of the church in North America being a "sent community," this book will set them well on an exciting journey.
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This book was written really well. We had to read it for school and I was surprised at how much I liked it. If you like this book I strongly encourage you to NOT read the missional church in perspective. The missional church in perspective, the review of this book however is a waste of time, and I will indicate that in the review.
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Format: Paperback
Guder does an outstanding job of editing this text.
The writers present a quality summary of today's American spiritual culture as well as justification for returning the church back to its apostolic (i.e. sent) roots. The mission of God is so well presented in this book that I'm going to use it as a required text in the evangelism/mission course that I'm teaching this fall at a Christian/Lutheran university.
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We used this book in our Sunday School Book Study group and it generated strong feelings and fiery discussion which is always welcome in any book study group.
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