The responsive church: Listening to Our World – Listening to God
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Most Christians think they know what makes people tick. But do they? If the truth be told, this is often more anecdotal than factual.
Consider the following:
Are the unchurched hostile, ill-informed or simply disengaged?
Is it God, Christianity, Christians or the church that puts people off?
Is it peoples own lives, their beliefs, attitudes and habits that prevent them from exploring Christianity?
The Responsive Church aims to find out the answers to these questions and more. Drawing upon research from London Institute of Contemporary Christianity, author Nick Spencer explores the landscape of twenty-first-century religions and spiritual beliefs. His findings are fascinating. But it doesn’t end there.
While listening closely and critically to what people are saying, Graham Tomlin listens to what God is saying throughout the Bible: Scripture is after all the touchstone by which we need to measure all things, the light in which we need to walk. Sometimes listening to critics of the church helps us to see things we have never noticed before. And if the voices from outside tell us where we are, we can expect Scripture to point us to where we need to go from here.
Our hope is that this exercise will enable Christians to become more attuned, both to the God who still speaks to his church and to those people whom he loves but who do not yet find church attractive, credible or satisfying, write the authors. Perhaps by listening to both, it can help bring the two together.
Nick Spencer is a researcher and writer for London Institute of Contemporary Christianity and The Jubilee Centre. He has authored a number of books, including ‘I’d Like to Believe, But…’ (IVP) with Michael Green.
Graham Tomlin is Principal of St Paul’s Theological Centre, based at Holy Trinity, Brompton in London. He has authored a number of books including ‘The Provocative Church’ (SPCK).
|Dimensions||212 × 138 × 12 mm|
Inter-Varsity Press (2005), 160 pages