Refounding the Church from the Underside

Refounding the Church from the Underside


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As the Christian church in the West moves further into the post-Christian era a dilemma rises for those thoughtful followers of Jesus Christ who find themselves in venerable, older church institutions that have become forgetful of their reason for being in the purpose of God. Such Christendom church institutions, as Henderson designates them, rather become somewhat idolatrous of their traditions, their sanctuaries, their ecclesiastical accoutrements, not to mention their dependence on a questionable category of persons called clergy. A younger generation, involved in many of these churches, is raising insistent questions about the integrity of so much of this—while at the same time being appreciative of so much that is good.

Henderson's long career as a teaching pastor and mentor to the younger generations help us walk through this dilemma with refreshing insights about purpose (teleology), Kingdom integrity, form, and the disciplines necessary to transform these communities from the underside. He employs the term refounding as indicating something much more profound than renewal—a reclaiming of its original intent in the heart and mind of God.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781608999637
Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Publication date: 12/03/2010
Pages: 136
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.29(d)

About the Author

Robert Thornton Henderson has had a long career as a teaching pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and as a missiologist. He is the author of a number of books including A Door of Hope and Enchanted Community: Journey into the Mystery of the Church both from Wipf & Stock.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Bob Henderson understands the enormous challenge that is plaguing most North American congregations. Rather than bemoaning the symptoms, he articulates the solution. This book is a call to radical discipleship, both individually and corporately. Only those people who are serious about following Jesus in or in-spite of their local congregation should bother to read it!"

—Paul Detterman

Executive Director

Presbyterians for Renewal, Louisville, Kentucky

"With equal parts wit and humor, coupled with a pastor's penetrating insight, Henderson asks the tough questions about the church's relevance today. Readers will find his humility in the face of the church's self-absorbed nature refreshingly honest for a career pastor and missiologist and his steps for refounding the church both practical and compelling. As a self-confessed 'church cynic' and someone torn between my identity as a beloved of God and a millennial in a decidedly post-Christian age, I found Henderson's book both dangerously subversive and altogether captivating.

—Erik Vincent

M.Sc. (Oxon)

"Henderson offers three gifts to God's people. He provides a much-needed ecclesiology, one rooted in the good news of the Kingdom, for an Ekklesia estranged from her true mission and identity. He insists that renewal requires humility, the antidote to our proclivity to view the Church as a problem to be solved, rather than a Bride to submit to. Lastly, he reaches the young and dissatisfied, knowing that the Church's future is theirs to embody."

—Craig Wong

Executive Director

Grace Urban Ministries

"If Robert Henderson never writes again he has given the church a splendid capstone to his years of service in its behalf . . . This is his call to move forward by going back to the core of Christ's teaching about the way God works in the world through chosen disciples. These are they who pledge to obey Christ's teachings and embrace his kingdom mandates. This is a bracing manifesto from a dedicated servant of the Lord who loves Christ's kingdom too much to allow it to be trivialized by churches more interested in being contemporary than being faithful. Tough stuff!"

—William Pannell

Professor Emeritus

Fuller Theological Seminary

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