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Perimeters of Light Paperback – Bargain Price, August 1, 2004

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Editorial Reviews


Illuminating, fascinating, provocative!  Towns and Stetzer help identify the challenges of postmodernism and its impact on global Christianity.
-Ed Hinson, Assistant to the Chancellor, Liberty University, Lynchburg, Virginia

Whether you are a Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist, charismatic or independent, this book will help you and help your church answer the difficult questions about how to biblically interact with culture.  A solid read for college and seminary students.  A must read for pastors and pew dwellers.
-Howard A. Eyrich, President, Birmingham Theological Seminary

A great tool for helping churches that want to reach out in a contemporary culture make sure they stay "e;. . . in the world, but not of the world."e;
-Charles Arn, President, Church Growth Inc., Monrovia, California

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

ELMER TOWNS (Northwestern College; Southern Methodist University; Dallas Theological Seminary; Garrett Theological Seminary; Fuller Theological Seminary) is a Vice President and Dean of the School of Religion at Liberty University, which he co-founded with Jerry Falwell in 1971. He is the editor of two encyclopedias and author of more than 50 popular and scholarly works, including the 1995 Gold Medallion winner and Book of the Year, The Names of the Holy Spirit. He and his wife of over 50 years, Ruth, have three children and ten grandchildren and live in Forest, Virginia.

ED STETZER holds two masters degrees and two doctorates and is currently the Director of Lifeway Research and Lifeway's Missiologist in Residence. He previously directed the Nehemiah Project of the North American Mission Board. He has trained pastors and church planters on five continents and has planted churches in New York and Pennsylvania. He also served as a professor at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he received his second doctorate, as well as at 10 other seminaries. He is the author of a number of books including Planting New Churches in a Postmodern Age and co-author of Perimeters of Light: Biblical Boundaries for the Emerging Church. Stetzer lives in Cumming, Georgia, with his wife, Donna, and two daughters.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Moody Publishers (August 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802415008
  • ASIN: B002PJ4NUW
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,168,979 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr. Elmer Towns is a college and seminary professor, an author of popular and scholarly works (the editor of two encyclopedias), a popular seminar lecturer, and dedicated worker in Sunday school, and has developed over 20 resource packets for leadership education. He began teaching at Midwest Bible College, St. Louis, Missouri, for three years and was not satisfied with his textbooks so he began writing his own (he has published over 100 books listed in the Library of Congress, 7 listed in the Christian Booksellers Best Selling List; several becoming accepted as college textbooks. He is also the 1995 recipient of the coveted Gold Medallion Award awarded by the Christian Booksellers Association for writing the Book of the Year, i.e., The Names of the Holy Spirit.

He was President of Winnipeg Bible College for five years, leading it to receive American Accreditation and Provincial authority to offer degrees (1960-1965). He taught at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, in greater Chicago, Illinois, in the field of Religious Education and Evangelism (1965-1971).

He is co-founder of Liberty University, with Jerry Falwell, in 1971, and was the only full-time teacher in the first year of Liberty's existence. Today, the University has over 11,400 students on campus with 39,000 in the Distance Learning Program (now Liberty University Online), and he is the Dean of the School of Religion.

Dr. Towns has given theological lectures and taught intensive seminars at over 50 theological seminaries in America and abroad. He holds visiting professorship rank in five seminaries. He has written over 2,000 reference and/or popular articles and received six honorary doctoral degrees. Four doctoral dissertations have analyzed his contribution to religious education and evangelism.

His personal education includes a B.S. from Northwestern College in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a M.A. from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, a Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary also in Dallas, a MRE from Garrett Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois, and a D.Min. from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Tim Challies TOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
Every person knows the difference between pure light and pure darkness. But what is harder to discern is where the light ends and the darkness begins. Where is the point where the light has ended and dark has overtaken? To take this question to a spiritual realm, when has a Christian left the edge of the light of truth and entered the darkness of error? It is this daunting question that Ed Stetzer and Elmer Towns seek to explore in Perimeters of Light: Biblical Boundaries for the Emerging Church.

Before I proceed I would like to point out that throughout this book, "emerging church" is not capitalized. Hence the authors are referring to the evangelical church as it struggles to find its identity in our newly postmodern society (as it emerges from modernism into postmodernism), and are not referring to the subset of this, popularly known as the Emerging (or Emergent) Church. This book contains no references to Brian McLaren, Dan Kimball, Leonard Sweet, or any of the other leaders of the Emergent conversation. Having said all of that, this book is still relevant to that discussion, as the authors seek to define biblical boundaries for what is and what is not Christian. They try to define just how much the church can change and adapt before it is no longer the church.

Woven throughout the text is a parable of two missionaries, which describes two men who are trying to reach an isolated tribe in Papua New Guinea. Their trek through the jungle emphasizes the importance of keeping a light flickering in the darkness, and their struggles in presenting the gospel to the tribesmen describes many of the issues we face in presenting the gospel to our postmodern family, friends and neighbors.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Pastor Chris on October 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
In the opening pages of "Perimeters of Light" is found a parable of two missionaries spending the night in the jungle. As they sleep, they are safe from danger so long as they stay within the perimeter of the light cast from the fire. Elmer Towns and Ed Stetzer expound on this theme as they examine the biblical boundaries of the practice of "doing church" in the modern context.

This book is written by two men with very different backgrounds of church practice who have together to present a balanced treatment of the biblical principals associated with church practice in the modern context.

The author's apparent purpose is to challenge the reader to come face to face with their ideas regarding what is truth and what is preference in regard to the Christian faith. Many believers are under the impression that whatever methodology they employ in their church service is the right one. They are under the impression that everything that happens in a church service is more than a matter of preference and some will even defend their particular way of worshiping God as though it were the only correct way.

Towns and Stetzer set out to suggest a new way of thinking about church methodology. They suggest that it is appropriate to be creative in taking the unchanging light of the gospel into the ever changing world in which we live. This book does not suggest or assert how specifically that should be done, rather, it merely puts forth ways of helping the church think biblically about the issues. They do not present all of the answers to the questions facing churches, but they do encourage Christians everywhere to think biblically about these things.
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By E. Crews on August 8, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent book! Towns & Stetzer hit another home run w/ this one...The balance they bring concerning foundational doctrines of the church are terrific. Buy the book you will not be disappointed!
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