- Hardcover: 224 pages
- Publisher: Zondervan; Complete Numbers Starting with 1, 1st Ed edition (March 17, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 031032114X
- ISBN-13: 978-0310321149
- Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.8 x 8.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 40 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,787,381 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Your Church Is Too Small: Why Unity in Christ's Mission Is Vital to the Future of the Church Hardcover – March 17, 2010
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“If the late Lesslie Newbigin could offer today’s Church an exhortation---a reminder from the past, an assessment of the present, and encouragement for the future---what would the old Bishop say? In what he terms “missional ecumenism,” John Armstrong proposes an answer that confronts readers with the universal shape of Christian identity.” -- Chris Castaldo
“The Apostle Paul wrote that 'maintaining the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace' among the followers of Jesus Christ is 'hard work' (Eph. 4:3). Few people know that better than John Armstrong. In a day when everything about the contemporary Church militates against oneness, John Armstrong is struggling to break down the walls we've built up so that the world can see Jesus in all His variegated richness, in the fullness of the one Body of Christ. Your Church is Too Small provides the blueprints and marching orders for a new generation of Church-builders (capital C) from among those who are building local churches in all the communions of the Body of Christ.” -- T.M. Moore
“This book maps out the painful yet liberating trek from sectarian isolation to the spirit of orthodox unity. In opening oneself to fellow believers, there is no escaping the tension between purity and embrace. No one can sort out that puzzle this side of the Second Coming. But Armstrong's book gives courage and strength for the journey. Read this book, take heart, and go forth.” -- David Neff
“Dr. Armstrong’s irenic approach should make it easy for Christians, whether Catholic, Orthodox or Protestant, to engage the challenging thesis of the book, while recognizing that there remain points of doctrine between them which will require further clarification. Anyone concerned about either evangelism or Christian unity should read this book, and take seriously its call for both mission and ecumenism.” -- Fr. Thomas A. Baima
“John Armstrong is one of those Evangelical theologians---may their tribe increase and the valley abound with their tents---who know that full obedience to Christ embraces the historical transmission through which we know Him. This book refuses to scale down the bearer of that tradition---the historical church, that is---or reduce the authority of its voice.” -- Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon
“A growing appreciation for Catholicism---the whole church, spread across the whole world---is one of the most hopeful signs emerging within recent evangelicalism. John Armstrong’s astute, heartfelt book provides excellent guidance for the 21st-century evangelical rediscovery of the classical church and its rich tradition.” -- Rodney Clapp
“Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox Christians who call Jesus Lord are obligated to fulfill His Great Commission and His New Commandment to love one another. Our lack of visible unity and ecumenical charity hinders our mission. John Armstrong’s Your Church Is Too Small is a humble, honest, and open-hearted summons to “re-size” our churches (and our hearts) by taking seriously the prayer Jesus prayed for us on the eve of His Crucifixion. May this encouraging, provocative, and practical book not only be read widely, but also be acted upon out of love for the One who saves us all.” -- James M. Kushiner
“With attention to his own pilgrimage and growth in ecclesial awareness, John Armstrong explores here the evangelical heart and ecumenical breadth of churchly Christianity. I am encouraged by his explorations and commend this study to all believers who pray and labor for the unity for which our Savior prayed.” -- Timothy George
From the Back Cover
Your Church Is Too Small gives voice to a gnawing sense many believers share: the contentious nature of differences among Christians cannot be pleasing to God. Jesus' prayer in John 17, May they be one as we are one, seems like a dream possible only occasionally at best. Minister and teacher John Armstrong tells the story of how his own passion for Christian unity was ignited, shares his vision of individuals and churches united in the mission of God, and gives direction for how this vision can become a reality for God's people.
However, such unity will not happen by sheer willpower or denying the real differences among believing communities. Armstrong encourages Christians to rely on God--Father, Son, and Spirit--to build the worldwide church. Such reliance entails both a deeper experience in the triune life of God and a connection to the church's past. More specifically, the history, belief, and practice of early Christians form the roots that today's church requires to chart a unified path for the future.
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As a theological newbie, I’m still processing just what “missional-ecumenism” really means. The book clearly emphasizes this topic, and it is near and dear to John’s heart. I can’t do justice to the term, but in short missional-ecumenism is a global view of the Bride of Christ combined with a calling to promote relational unity through love and good-will among all followers of Christ without building walls of sectarianism or elitism. It seems to me to be the essence of Jesus’ prayer that “they may be one”, a bridge-building effort that supercedes our small litmus tests of orthodoxy and spans all believers everywhere in all generations, without falling into the universalist trap, which John is careful to avoid. It seems to be a call to one Lord, one faith, one hope and one baptism, as the Holy Scriptures testify.
In short, this book is a good first step into discovering what Christianity is all about. Most of the answers given by Christian preachers, leaders and authors in our generation seem to fall short of making sense of our present, divided realities. Armstrong makes much clear.
DAVID BRYANT, [...].