Top critical review
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on September 22, 2002
Prof. Alister McGrath is a moderately conservative theologian and an ordained minister of the Church of England. He has written a large number of works, some of which are quite technical and others which are more introductory in nature.
This book is part of Blackwell's "Manifesto" series. As Prof. McGrath tells us, the purpose of this series is to encourage "discussion of important issues." The topic is the future of Christianity, and Prof. McGrath takes a wide swath, dealing with Protestantism, Orthodoxy and Catholicism (although he spends a fair amount of time on the current situation of Anglicanism.)
I've long been impressed with Dr. McGrath's ability to churn out books, but I'm starting to wonder whether he is trying to write too many books. This work is interesting and contains many interesting facts and vignettes, but it reads like a number of short articles pasted together. The book jumps from subject to subject, hitting theology, sociology, history and other topics. For example, on pages 135-140, there is a section entitled "The Longing for Spiritual Authenticity," which seems somewhat out of place. Much of this is taken from McGrath's 1999 work, CHRISTIAN SPIRITUALITY (pages 26-28), also published by Blackwell. The work lacks the focus that one would expect when dealing with this subject.
Like all of Dr. McGrath's works, this is worth reading. However, I think Philip Jenkins' work, THE NEXT CHRISTENDOM, is a more thoughtful reflection on the future of Christianity.