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Signs Amid the Rubble: The Purposes of God in Human History Paperback – February 1, 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 136 pages
  • Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. (February 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802809898
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802809896
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #701,753 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Andy Rowell on September 7, 2009
Format: Paperback
This collection of Newbigin's lectures demonstrate his ability to think theologically, logically, fairly and passionately about Christian engagement in the world. It is not surprising that many have found Newbigin to be a helpful guide through these difficult waters.

Signs Amid the Rubble contains three sets of lectures by Lesslie Newbigin (1909-1998) introduced by Duke University theologian Geoffrey Wainwright, author of Lesslie Newbigin: A Theological Life.

The first are a set of 4 lectures given in Bangalore, India in 1941 when Newbigin was 32 years old called "The Kingdom of God and the Idea of Progress" (pp. 1-55). Newbigin criticizes the prevailing view that the world is becoming better and better. He points out the evidence against this view and then makes the case that the concept of the Kingdom of God is far more useful as a framework for understanding reality. In particular he singles out C. H. Dodd for his over-realized eschatology. "The eschaton, the end, enters into our present experience by qualifying all present action: that is its significance. But the point is whether it does not lose that significance unless it be also a fact which is really going to happen" (33-34). Indeed, Newbigin goes on to emphasize that in fact he believes the eschaton is "really going to happen"--it is not just a symbol.

The second set of three lectures are The Henry Martyn Lectures delivered at the University of Cambridge in 1986 when Newbigin was 77 years old (57-109). These have the theme of "mission then and now" (97). Newbigin addresses some of the most difficult questions that missionaries face. Will all people be saved or only some (66-75)?
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By L. Seaman on March 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
What a beautiful gift - Newbigin was blessed by the Holy Spirit to share these teachings - deep insight into the broken reality in which we live, yet blossoming with hope for the even deeper whole and pure reality of God's eternal love and healing plan. Highly academic prose, but if that's something you appreciate, dig in, because it is rich in its message!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Many in Christianity will not like this... It takes all the facade off of faith and brings followers of Jesus back to their real mission.
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By Amazon Customer on December 5, 2014
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On time. as promised.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Merl Ledford III on April 26, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Newbigin was an early proponents of congregational worship fellowships as the true Body of Christ in opposition to the turf-protecting parochial, and primarily political denominations that came to prominence in support of world missions and, in the USA, in support of Midwestern colonization by anti-slavery forces prior to the US Civil War (efforts that were too costly to be meaningfully supported by individual fellowships). He did not throw the baby out with the bath water, working as he did within denominational Protestant church groups his whole life; but he always came back to the evangelistic model of small, independent fellowships with indigenous leaders as a worship ideal.

As our 19th/20th C. "Age of Reason" thought paradigm made Biblical scholarship increasingly the province of specialists, with graduate degrees conferred by Denomination-supported seminaries becoming roughly equivalent to ordination of literate scholars by Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic denominations during the "Age of Faith" - Newbiin saw the same kinds of faith-obstacles develop that lead to to profound changes during both the Protestant Reformation and reformation(s) within the Roman Catholic Church.

Fortunately, Newbigin's experience as a village evangelist, denomination-leader/politician, and thoughtful person of prayer, lead him to ask, "What's next?" If the Age of Faith transitioned to the Age of Reason during that period of incredible upheaval, creativity, and flux we call the Renaissance, what will our next epoch look like after our own 200 year "Renaissance" period or re-thinking?
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