"Christians feel useless because the church feels useless," writes Rodney
Clapp in A Peculiar People. While the Church struggles to determine
its place in a society that is primarily post-Christian, individual Christians
face similar struggles, the author contends. For individuals, some struggles
What is my place in the world?
Should I talk about what I believe?
Do I have the right to try to convince people to believe what I believe?
The Church as Jesus defined it, the author contends, should be about more
than just trying to change our society's politics and trying to restore those
elusive family values. The people of God have a deeper responsibility--living
out Jesus' plan to reach people with the news that there is something better
for those who follow Christ. Clapp examines the condition of the Church
throughout history from Constantine to the present and outlines a plan to bring
Christians back around to the true purposes of Christ.
Rather than trying to pick fights in the "culture wars," Christians need to
spend more time getting involved in the lives of those around them, taking time
to listen more than speak sometimes. The key to reaching the culture is the
rebuilding of a Christian community, a place where new Christians' faith can be
nurtured and they can have their needs met and help meet the needs of
"The church largely recognizes evangelism as a crucial, if often neglected,
undertaking," Clapp writes. He contends that many Christians who do practice it
do so with faulty assumptions about the kind of world they live in. We need to
grasp the concept that "evangelism be understood not simply as declaring a
message but as an invitation into the world-changing kingdom of God--genuinely
proposing the faith usually entails an ongoing relationship, and continuing
conversation with those now outside the faith. It definitely entails dialogue
rather than monologue."
To order, call IVP at 603-887-2500.
A Southern Baptist Convention entity supported by the Cooperative Program and theAnnie Armstrong Easter Offering® ©Copyright 2013 North American Mission Board, SBC