Christianity must be understood not as a religion of private salvation, but as a gospel movement of universal compassion, which transforms the world in the power of God’s truth. Amid several major global crises, including the rise of terrorism and religious fundamentalism and a sudden resurgence of political extremism, Christians must now face up fearlessly to the challenges of living in a “post-truth” age in which deceitful politicians present their media-spun fabrications as “alternative facts.” This book is an attempt to enact a transformative theology for these changing times that will equip the global Christian community to take a stand for the gospel in an age of cultural despair and moral fragmentation. The emerging post-Christendom era calls for a new vision of Christianity that has come of age and connects with the spiritual crisis of our times. In helping to make this vision a reality, Searle insists that theology is not merely an academic discipline, but a transformative enterprise that changes the world. Theology is to be experienced not just behind a desk, in an armchair, or in a church, but also in hospitals, in foodbanks, in workplaces, and on the streets. Theology is to be lived as well as read
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Against the prevailing Western models, influenced by the values and principles of international commerce, presented here are five “signs of life,” showcased by a network of movements best known by many as “new friars.”
· Jose Penate-Aceves, Darren Prince and John B. Hayes of InnerCHANGE
· Phileena Heuertz, David Chronic and Christopher Heuertz of Word Made Flesh
· Derek Engdahl and Jean-Luc Krieg of Servant Partners
· Craig and Nayhouy Greenfield of Servants to Asia’s Urban Poor
· Ash Barker of Urban Neighbours of Hope.
God’s kingdom in the hands of the people of God, the contributors show us, is first and foremost incarnational, which leads necessarily to gospel witness that is devotional, communal, missional and marginal. With a survey of the history of new friar movements and commentary by forerunner Viv Grigg, this seminal book paints a picture of mission that is new only because it has been neglected for so long, a mission that is truly good news to the people in its path.
The Mystic Way of Evangelism is honest, reflective, intelligent, and rooted in Scripture and tradition. It offers a hopeful vision that Heath has modelled for us through her work of helping others shape communities of faith that are vibrantly living into the future. This book is a must-read for anyone who cares about the current state of Christianity in the West and longs for a healthy way forward.
Jonny Sears, director, Academy for Spiritual Formation and Emerging Ministries, The Upper Room