Last night, I spent an interesting evening with some friends who are thinking through what it means to be a community of Jesus followers in our culture. This prompted me to put together a series of links to things that various people have written on this subject. I’ve linked to much of this before…
The Current Situation:
We are living through a period of huge change in world Christianity. No one has quite caught the implications of what is going on than Andrew Walls and this short paper gives a good overview of important historical trends, the implications of which we are living with now.
One factor that the church in the UK needs to get to grips with is the end of Christendom – the end of the political power and influence of the church. Stuart Murray Williams has written two excellent books on this question: Church After Christendom and Post-Christendom: Church and Mission in a Strange New World .
I’d also suggest looking at this recent post by me: Religion is Harmful.
Understanding the culture you are working in is one of the fundamentals of cross-cultural missionary work. Unfortunately, the culture in the UK is changing rapidly, but many churches and individuals are not taking this into account as they think about mission and evangelism.
What Church Could Be Like:
For me, one of the key papers on this is Hamo’s article Incarnational V Attractional Mission. The group have already read the Shaping of Things To Come, so no need to recommend that, but Mike Frost’s book Exiles: Living Missionally in a Post-Christian Culture is one I think they’d find helpful. Mike Frost also has some interesting talks that you can listen to here. There is a fascinating discussion on how missiology, Christology and ecclesiology should relate on Radical Congruency that is well worth a read too.
An important part of the life of Christians is teaching the Scriptures. I think Bryan Russell has amongst the most important things to say on this matter. Unfortunately, it can be very hard to find things on his blog. But this link turns up most of his good stuff. I reckon that Christopher Wright’s magnum opus on Mission should be read by anyone teaching Christians today, but realistically, it’s a big expensive book (see our Amazon store) and many won’t read it. But there can be no excuse for not reading his shorter booklet Truth with a Mission: Reading Scripture Missiologically.
I’d be interested to see what other resources people would add to this list.