We are living in angry times. No matter where we go, what we watch, or how we communicate, our culture is rife with conflict. Unfortunately, Christians appear to be caught up in the same animosity as the culture at large. We are perceived as angry, judgmental, and defensive, fighting among ourselves in various media while the world looks on. How have we failed to be a people of reconciliation and renewal in the face of such tumult?
Claiming that the church has lost itself in the grip of an antagonistic culture, David Fitch takes a close look at what drives the vitriol in our congregations. He traces the enemy-making patterns in church history and diagnoses the divisiveness that marks the contemporary evangelical church. Fitch shows a way for the church to be true to itself, unwinding the antagonisms of our day and making space for Christ's reconciling presence in our day-to-day lives. He offers new patterns and practices that move the church beyond making enemies to being the presence of Christ in the world, helping us free ourselves from a faith that feeds on division.
|Publisher:||Baker Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
David E. Fitch (PhD, Northwestern University) is the B. R. Lindner Chair of Evangelical Theology at Northern Seminary and the cofounder of Missio Alliance. He is the founding pastor of Life on the Vine Christian Community, a missional church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, and is currently on the pastoral staff at Peace of Christ Church in Westmont, Illinois. Fitch writes and speaks extensively about issues facing the church. He has written for Christianity Today, Outreach, and Catalyst and is the author of numerous books, including Faithful Presence and The Great Giveaway.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Beyond Enemies?
1. The Strife among Us
2. The Enemy-Making Machine
3. Are You Biblical?
4. God's Grand Drama: The Bible as the Space beyond Enemies
5. Have You Made a Decision?
6. Participating in His Reign: Conversion as the Space beyond Enemies
7. Let's Make America Christian Again?
8. The Local Church Is My Politics: Church as the Space beyond Enemies
9. Beyond the Church of Us vs. Them
Appendix: The Fullness of Him Who Fills All in All: Rudiments of a Political Theology of Presence
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is no “Let’s all just get along” book. Fitch's call to move beyond enemy-making into opening up space for God to work requires sacrifice, he says, and a reimagining of how we interact with Scripture, of what conversion fully entails, of how to be the church in the world. The book requires an attention to the process Fitch is laying out. I think, for me at least, the book will require an immediate second reading to fully grasp how my thinking and posture need to change. The book explains how slogans and banners are vital to the enemy-making machine. “It extracts the enemy from relationship and makes them into an object around which we gather fear and loathing.” And so slogans and banners must be laid down at the cross of Jesus. Instead, can we move out into the world, listening, being present in another’s pain, suffering, and guilt and, as Fitch says, “when the time is right, … proclaim ‘I believe God is working in you to ______________. Can you see this too?'” This sounds like a more hopeful way forward. And provides the footpath.