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Testing the Spirits
How Theology Informs the Study of Congregations
POD; Published: 2/5/2009
ISBN: 978-0-8028-0740-3
Price: $ 25.50
215 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6 x 9
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In this volume seven scholars provide a helpful map for charting a number of the shifts at the intersection of theological education and congregational development, offering readers keen insights into how to navigate their complexities. Theological educators, seminary students, pastors, and denominational officials and staff will find in these pages substantive biblical and theological perspectives that help to frame specific approaches to moral deliberation and decision-making within congregations -- and through congregations for the sake of the world.

Contributors: Ronald W. Duty
Pat Taylor Ellison
David Fredrickson
Donald Juel
Patrick Keifert
Lois Malcolm
Gary Simpson
Allan Hugh Cole Jr., Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary
"This unique volume points to the essential relationship and shared mission of theological schools and local congregations. In complementary ways, these discerning authors recognize that attempts at theological education absent a clear focus on actual people in real churches can lack relevance, but also that congregational ministries absent deep biblical and theological reflection can lack fidelity to the gospel. Theological educators, judicatory leaders, clergy, and theological students alike should read this timely and challenging book."
Jackson W. Carroll, Duke Divinity School
"An interesting and provocative work. Rather than viewing congregations as mostly passive recipients of the largesse of seminaries where 'real' theology is done, Patrick Keifert and his colleagues view congregations as communities of faith-based moral deliberation and action that play a key role in generating theology. Doing so, they maintain, will return the congregation to the center of theological study."
George R. Hunsberger, Western Theological Seminary
"The fledgling field of congregational studies has needed this kind of rigorous attention to the theological dimensions of its task. What I like about this book is that it honors congregations as the agents of theologizing, it enriches the theological academy with deeper roots in the actual life of congregations, and it opens fresh imagination for the ways believing people may learn again to speak about God in public."