Transforming Conversion: Rethinking the Language and Contours of Christian Initiation

Transforming Conversion: Rethinking the Language and Contours of Christian Initiation

by Gordon T. Smith
Transforming Conversion: Rethinking the Language and Contours of Christian Initiation

Transforming Conversion: Rethinking the Language and Contours of Christian Initiation

by Gordon T. Smith

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Overview

This volume offers much-needed theological reflection on the phenomenon of conversion and transformation. Gordon Smith provides a robust evaluation that covers the broad range of thinking about conversion across Christian traditions and addresses global contexts. Smith contends that both in the church and in discussions about contemporary mission, the language of conversion inherited from revivalism is inadequate in helping to navigate the questions that shape how we do church, how we approach faith formation, how evangelism is integrated into congregational life, and how we witness to the faith in non-Christian environments. We must rethink the nature of the church in light of how people actually come to faith in Christ. After drawing on ancient and pre-revivalist wisdom on conversion, Smith delineates the contours of conversion and Christian initiation for today's church. He concludes by discussing the art of spiritual autobiography and what it means to be a congregation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780801032479
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/01/2010
Pages: 218
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Gordon T. Smith (PhD, Loyola School of Theology, Ateneo de Manila University) is president of Ambrose University in Calgary, Alberta, and professor of systematic and spiritual theology. He has also taught at Regent College, Vancouver, and is the author of many books, including Beginning Well and A Holy Meal.

Table of Contents

Introduction ix

1 The Language of Conversion: Revivalism and the Evangelical Experience 1

2 Conversion and the Redemptive Purposes of God 21

3 Chapters in the History of an Idea: Part 1 43

4 Chapters in the History of an Idea: Part 2 63

5 To Be a Saint: Conversion and Spiritual Maturity 87

6 The Contours of a Christian Conversion 111

7 The Penitential Dimension of Conversion 127

8 The Sacramental Dimension of Conversion 139

9 Spiritual Autobiography and Conversion Narrative 157

10 What Then Does It Mean to Be a Congregation? 179

Index 205

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