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Teaching the Faith, Forming the Faithful: A Biblical Vision for Education in the Church Paperback – November 16, 2009

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Editorial Reviews


"Teaching the Faith, Forming the Faithful provides an integrated approach to contemporary educational ministry im the church. This book is a must-read for scholars, pastors, and laypeople serious about disciple-making." (Mark H. Heinemann, Journel of Evangelical Homiletics Society, March 2011)

"Instead of arguling that a church can either feed their members minds or feed their hearts, Parrett and Kang believe that a church should be doing both. And in this volume they lay out a plan for how to make that happen. They offer theory and theology; but they also offer a sample curriculum and questions for thinking through the church;s corporate worship." (Leadership Journal, (www.leadershipjournal.net), Spring 2010)

"In a well-researched and comprehensive work, Kang and Parrett provide a rich and nuanced introduction to Christian education well worth reading by all those committed to faithful teaching and formation in the third millennium. The biblical and theological connections provide a rich tapestry for thought and practice. I enthusiastically recommend this work for scholars and practitioners alike." (Robert W. Pazmiño, Valeria Stone Professor of Christian Education, Andover Newton Theological School)

"This is the kind of book on the teaching ministry of the church that we have needed for some time! Parrett and Kang provide a solid biblical grounding for the purpose and practices of educational ministry, connecting it with the broader life and ministry of the church. Their 'take and bake' approach makes this a thought-provoking read, challenging church leaders to look more deeply into the nature of the church, its calling in the world, and the ways educational ministry can better strengthen the faith and faithfulness of God's people. This is a must-read for everyone in vocational ministry who desires to see the church grow into a more faithful image of Christ in this world." (Dr. Kevin E. Lawson, director, Ph.D. and Ed.D. programs in educational studies, and editor, Christian Education Journal, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University)

"Somewhere along the way, our ministries have become more concerned with implementing methodologies than with teaching meat. The sad outcome has been a church filled with people who have little or no idea how God's story speaks to them, or how they are to enthusiastically live out their place in God's story in the midst of a watching world. We are nurturing generations of children, youth and adults who have little or nothing stored in the well of their faith. Gary Parrett and Steve Kang remind us that our calling is to fill wells with an understanding of God's story that yields a church filled with stories that bring glory to God in every nook and cranny of life. Teaching the Faith, Forming the Faithful has the potential to transform our ministries, the people we minister to, the church and the world. Their diagnosis is accurate. Their practical prescriptive responses call readers to return to biblical roots that have long been forgotten. I will be recommending this book to youth workers, pastors, parents and educators." (Dr. Walt Mueller, president, The Center for Parent/Youth Understanding, and author of Engaging the Soul of Youth Culture)

"Teaching the Faith, Forming the Faithful is a fairly comprehensive orientation and guidebook for pastors and church leaders regarding the essential educational ministry of the church. The overall organization of the book is clear (aims, essential content of the gospel, participants, and processes and practices) and the last two chapters offer a macroframework for conceptualizing and guiding overall educational ministry practice. The authors' 'pastoral insider' perspective yields useful lists and suggestions that can easily be contextualized in any local church, especially those with a liturgical tradition. The book is biblically grounded throughout and offers a wide range of notes and resources from church history, making it a rich resource for the seminary classroom and on the pastor's shelf." (Klaus Issler, Ph.D., professor of Christian education and theology, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, and author of Wasting Time with God)

"Although Parrett and Kang seem to misread my priorities in my first book on worship, still I heartily recommend their work! In this book's massive thoroughness, they skillfully explore all the major questions for a congregation's educational ministry. This volume's comprehensive view of spiritual formation is critically necessary―and intensively beneficial!―reading for everyone who serves to teach the faith, from the preschool Sunday school teacher to the senior pastor!" (Marva J. Dawn, teaching fellow in spiritual theology, Regent College, Vancouver, British Columbia, and author of Keeping the Sabbath Wholly, Is It a Lost Cause? and In the Beginning, GOD)

"This book moves almost seamlessly between Bible, theology and education to provide foundational insights into how the church must educate its members toward Christian maturity. In a time when serious education of believers has been neglected, this work offers an important and helpful corrective by using sound theology and the best of educational theory to guide the practice of the church." (Perry G. Downs, professor of educational ministries, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School)

"After reading Teaching the Faith, Forming the Faithful I concluded, 'This text is perfect for my Foundations for Educational Ministry course.' Grounded in Scripture, conversant with theory, spanning the globe and the centuries of Christian tradition, Parrett and Kang have produced a comprehensive study of the church's teaching ministry. It will ignite passion in its readers and equip them with a clear, compelling vision for educational ministry." (Robert Drovdahl, professor of educational ministry, Seattle Pacific University)

"A clarion call to the church to teach the Scriptures, learn what they teach and practice their truth. This is a challenge we need to heed today. Ours is a time when authentic faith is often overwhelmed by the triviality of our culture, by fascination with technique in our churches and by confusion as to what it means to be God's people in our own time. I therefore welcome this study!" (David F. Wells, Distinguished Research Professor, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary)

"Well-grounded in Scripture, committed to the church and the gospel of Christ, Teaching the Faith, Forming the Faithful describes and explains the essential elements for a teaching that truly aims to form the believer and the church community unto a more faithful living of the gospel. This is a book well worth reading by those who teach and share the goal of promoting a lifestyle that daily lives the story of the good news of Jesus Christ. I look forward to engaging my students with this well-rounded text on teaching as they too seek to learn to teach and form the faithful in the way of the gospel." (Jackie L. Smallbones, Th.D., professor of religion and Christian education, Northwestern College, Iowa, and author of Keeping Company with Jesus)

"It seems that every decade or so, the institutional form of the church reinvents itself. It is no wonder if members of congregations weary of proposals to adopt the next 'new' approach to congregational life and ministry. This is not a how-to-have-a-successful-church manual. The authors set the church in a biblical context, reminding us that it might be the past that is the key to its future. The church's rationale is the gospel; its character is derived from the historic practices of the Christian church and the clear descriptions of what God expects of the people of God. The authors' specializations include theology, multiculturalism, the nature of learning and spirituality. As a result, this book reflects a wholistic perspective and practicality that is not always evident in books about the church." (Linda Cannell, dean of academic life, North Park Theological Seminary)

"Parrett and Kang lay out in detail, with good judgment, firm grasp and many lively proposals, the authentic elements of what is needed. Much wisdom that has been broached in bits and pieces in recent years is brought together here. Rich in its pastoral discernment, this is emphatically a book for our times, and I commend it with enthusiasm." (from the foreword by J. I. Packer)

About the Author

Gary A. Parrett (Ed.D., Columbia) is professor of educational ministries and worship and chair of the Division of Ministry of the Church at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He is a co-author of A Many Colored Kingdom (Baker, 2004).

S. Steve Kang (Ph.D., Northwestern University/Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary) is professor of educational ministries and director of Christian education at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He has also taught at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. He is the author of Unveiling the Socioculturally Constructed Multivoiced Self (University Press of America, 2002), A Many Colored Kingdom (Baker, 2004) and is co-editor of Growing Healthy Asian American Churches (IVP, 2005).

J.I. Packer is regarded as one of the most influential evangelicals in North America. He is Board of Governors' Professor of Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia and his writings include books such as Knowing God, A Quest for Godliness, Growing in Christ (Crossway) and Rediscovering Holiness. He has preached and lectured widely in Great Britain and North America and served as General Editor of the English Standard Version of the Bible published in 2001, and Theological Editor of the Study Bible version. In 2014, Packer was named Author of the Year by the Association of Logos Bookstores. He is a frequent contributor to and an executive editor of Christianity Today and has written numerous articles published in journals such as Churchman, SouthWestern Journal, Reformation & Revival Journal and Touchstone. He received a BA, MA and PhD from Oxford University.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 461 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Academic (November 16, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830825878
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830825875
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,807 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By D. Gredler on May 26, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a wonderful source of information about using the complete gospel as the basis for evangelism, discipleship and spiritual formation. I am involved in a church plant as the minister of education/spiritual formation and so have a great opportunity to build from the ground up. This book has given me so many ideas about what, how and when to implement various aspects of discipleship. I have been interested in incorporating historical aspects of the church into the discipleship piece and this book has given clear guidance for doing this. If you find yourself dealing with an existing educational ministry you won't have the freedom to use anywhere near all of the ideas presented in this book but it will definitely give you food for thought as to how to tweak or make changes where you are. You will also find challenging thinking about worship, children and youth ministries. This is a large book, 400+ pages, but definitely worth the investment of time and money.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Myoung Cheon Ko on November 25, 2012
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It is one of required book at doctoral seminar at seminary. This book is for all Christian school teacher, parents, and sunday school teachers. Thank you all authors and publishers.
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Teaching the Faith, Forming the Faithful: along with the companion volume of Grounded in the Gospel: Building Believers the Old-Fashioned Way, are both very timely resource, needed in the Christian Church today. I look forward to rereading both books again and again. These resources, bring to light the missing pieces I have been studying about for the better part of 20 years, in an attempt to be a faithful servant to my God, my Lord, and my Friend. These books really require is that you keep an open mind, and carefully study the passages in light of what is being passed on here, and carefully consider their suggestions, and prayfully seek the masters guidance in incorporating these suggestions into your discipleship program. I either have in my library, or have access to many of the resources which they recommend. If you can, locate them, it is well worth the hunt, as they tend to greatly enhance this work overall.

I thank God for their hard work, and dedication to putting the church back on the right path, and thank you Gary A Parrett and Steven S Kang for all your contributions to the church. I pray you continue with more work along these lines.

Eric Miller,
Evangelist, Teacher, and Discipler
New Life Fellowship
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