Explores how the church has engaged—and should engage—the American context
What might faithful and meaningful Christian witness look like within our changing contemporary American context?
After analyzing contemporary challenges and developing a missiological approach for the US church, Craig Van Gelder and Dwight Zscheile reflect on the long, complex, and contested history of Christian mission in America. Five distinct historical periods from the beginning of the colonial era to the dawn of the third millennium are reviewed and critiqued.
They then bring the story forward to the present day, discussing current realities confronting the church, discerning possibilities of where and how the Spirit of God might be at work today, and imagining what participating in the triune God’s mission may look like in an uncertain tomorrow.
Craig Van Gelder is professor emeritus of congregational mission at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota, and a consultant with churches and other faith-based organizations.
Dwight J. Zscheile is associate professor of congregational mission and leadership at Luther Seminary and a consultant with churches and other faith-based organizations.
Religious Studies Review “While [Participating in God's Mission] is aimed specifically at the American context, much here would nonetheless be useful in considering missional engagement throughout the West in general.”
Stephen Bevans, SVD —Catholic Theological Union, Chicago “A real milestone for missiology and ecclesiology in the North American context. . . . This is a book for all Christians in all North American churches to read and be challenged by, but it is particularly important for church leaders to pay it close attention.”
Gregory Leffel — author of Faith Seeking Action: Mission, Social Movements, and the Church in Motion “How might American churches faithfully participate in God’s mission today? One way is by listening to Craig Van Gelder and Dwight Zscheile! They provide here a rich field guide to that complex faithfulness that marks Christian witness as participation in missio Dei. . . . This brilliant book is tender in its humane focus.”
Darrell Guder — Princeton Theological Seminary “The missional exploration of the implications of the end of Western Christendom has been helpfully guided by the growing consensus about the centrality of the theology of the mission of God. This book refines that consensus with its ‘missiological interpretation of the contemporary cultural environment.’ The parsing of the Christendom legacy provided here is a rich resource for further exploration of what it means, biblically and theologically, to be God’s witnessing people in the North Atlantic mission fields. This is a welcome and challenging expansion and deepening of the missional discourse.”
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