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Nurturing Faith
A Practical Theology for Educating Christians
Fred P. Edie and Mark A. Lamport
Foreword by Charles R. Foster

PAPERBACK; Published: 9/7/2021
ISBN: 978-0-8028-7556-3
Price: $ 44.99
534 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6 x 9
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DESCRIPTION

Faith left on rocky soil withers. But faith nurtured in the good soil of Christian teaching, formation, and mentorship grows to maturity and yields thriving community. Educational ministries are so often where this happens—where the desires of the human heart are shaped toward a love for God, a love for one’s neighbor, and a love for the world. 

In this comprehensive guide to educational ministries in the twenty-first century, Fred Edie and Mark Lamport explore how church leaders and others involved in Christian education can nurture a robust, cruciform faith within their communities. When discussing strategies and goals, Edie and Lamport consider a range of contexts and a variety of related fields that might give insight into educational ministry: theology, pedagogy, philosophy, social science, and more. Those working with any age group—children, adolescents, and adults—will find a relevant discussion of key underlying theological themes, a guide to concrete practices, and indispensable help in navigating shifting cultural dynamics. Exceedingly practical and consistent with the teachings of the gospel, the wisdom in this book will speak to all who long to foster discipleship in their church, school, or missional community. 

Key Features

  • A “Road Map” at the beginning of each chapter concisely introduces the chapter’s topic and essential themes.
  • Sidebars throughout the text provide deeper insight into particular important or nuanced concepts.
  • Discussion questions at the end of each chapter facilitate further reflection, especially in conversation with others.
  • Suggestions for further reading are provided at the end of each chapter for those interested in exploring the chapter’s ideas in greater depth.
  • Concluding the book is a series of afterwords from experts in the field of Christian educational ministries: Martyn Percy, Almeda Wright, Craig Dykstra, Kirsten Oh, Elizabeth DeGaynor, and Thomas Groome.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Charles R. Foster
Introduction
Part One: Cultural Dynamics for Nurturing Faith
     1. Leaving the Faith: Eulogies of Disenchantment, Lethargy, and Irrelevance
     2. Stories We Tell Ourselves: How Concepts of Modernism and Postmodernism Inform and Inhibit Nurturing Faith
     3. Fusing Belief and Practice: How Religious Nominalism Informs and Inhibits Nurturing Faith
     4. Keeping the Faith: Sketching a Practical Theology for Nurturing Faith
Part Two: Criteria for Nurturing Faith
     5. Revelation, Experience, and the Hope of Profound Transformation
     6. Humanity, Embodiment, and the Trust of Interdependent Kinship
     7. Jesus, Sin, and the Grace of Cruciform Resurrection
     8. Church, Reconciliation, and the Faith of a Countercultural Community
     9. Virtue, Character, and the Joy of Kingdom Practices
     10. Prophecy, Reflection, and the Freedom of Discerning Community
Section Three: Colleagues in Nurturing Faith
     11. Nurturing Atmospheric Faith in Children
     12. Nurturing Passionate Faith in Adolescents
     13. Nurturing Vocational Faith in Adults
Section Four: Contexts for Nurturing Faith
     14. Nurturing Intergenerational Faith through Congregations
     15. Nurturing Integrative Faith through Christian Schools
     16. Nurturing Intentional Faith through Theological Education
Section Five: Conversations in Nurturing Faith
     17. A Teaching Agenda for the Global Church in a Postmodern World
     18. A Conversation among Practical Theologians
          Response 1: Reflections on the Nature of Revelation and Religious Experience by Martyn Percy
          Response 2: Kinship and Difference: Relationships Aren’t Easy by Almeda M. Wright
          Response 3: Participation in the Means of Grace by Craig Dykstra
          Response 4: Redeeming Hope: An Alternative Kingdom Informing Culture by Kirsten Sonkyo Oh
          Response 5: Lived Faith in Communities of Charitable Critique by Elizabeth DeGaynor
          Response 6: Knowing for Living Faith by Thomas D. Groome
Rejoinder and Epilogue

REVIEWS
Nurturing Faith conveys a robust vision and is a compelling guide for pastors and lay leaders, Christian education faculty and students, curriculum producers, and denominational staff engaged in the nurture of a faith deeply rooted in Christian tradition with the constructive capacity to address challenges of living faithfully in our postmodern world. At a point in time when young adults are not just leaving, but often fleeing our various religious communities, Edie and Lamport offer a fresh and powerful alternative way of living into the practices of Christian education in nurturing faith in Jesus Christ.”
— Charles R. Foster
from the foreword
Nurturing Faith conveys a robust vision and is a compelling guide for pastors and lay leaders, Christian education faculty and students, curriculum producers, and denominational staff engaged in the nurture of a faith deeply rooted in Christian tradition with the constructive capacity to address challenges of living faithfully in our postmodern world. At a point in time when young adults are not just leaving, but often fleeing our various religious communities, Edie and Lamport offer a fresh and powerful alternative way of living into the practices of Christian education in nurturing faith in Jesus Christ.”
— Charles R. Foster
from the foreword
“This is the book we’ve needed to help us pastors form Christians for the challenges of the present age. Fred Edie and Mark Lamport integrate the insights of theology, psychology, human development, and the church’s liturgy to give us a lively call for the education, nurture, and formation of Christians who are equipped to live as if God matters. Here is the definitive book on Christian education for decades to come.”
— Will Willimon
author of Pastor: The Theology and Practice of Ordained Ministry
“A thought-provoking work on communicating and nurturing faith in people of all ages. All engaged in nurturing the Christian faith will surely find something here of relevance and value.”
— Justin Welby
Archbishop of Canterbury
Nurturing Faith is no ordinary introduction to religious education. Comprehensive in scope and deeply rooted in the Bible and Christian theology, the volume discusses the nurture of faith in children, adolescents, and adults in modern and postmodern contexts. It promotes religious education as the formation of character and virtue in the Christian community. I most strongly recommend this book for use in theological schools and seminaries and to pastors working in the field. Edie and Lamport have produced practical theology at its best.”
— Peter C. Phan
Georgetown University
“Honest, inquisitive, theological, practical, comprehensive, and collaborative, Nurturing Faith is an essential primer for all ‘God’s fellow workers’ who tend God’s garden where he gifts and grows faith.”
— Ahmi Lee
Fuller Theological Seminary
“This book is a remarkable achievement. It is fascinating and sensitive in terms of its inter-relation of pedagogical theory, philosophical reflection, theological presentation, ecclesial locatedness, pastoral awareness, multi-religious wisdom, biblical reflection, and historical contextualizing. The book is a ‘must’ for theological educators and education.”
— Tom Greggs
University of Aberdeen
“Join the dialogue. Live as disciples. Seek the realm of God. Through this important textbook, Edie and Lamport invite us into an amazing conversation about nurturing faith. It is at once fresh and comprehensive, culturally aware and theologically faithful. They guide us through challenges to educating in faith to offer gifts for nurturing faith. Through sidebars, a foreword, and six stimulating responses, they invite others to join us in the dialogue. How to nurture Christian disciples who make a difference serving God’s realm of hope and justice is the conversation they host. Indeed, I recommend you join with them in the dialogue.”
— Jack L. Seymour
Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
“This detailed overview of the field of Christian education, viewed from a broadly Protestant perspective, is grounded in biblical theology and Christian doctrine while maintaining a clear focus on the contemporary cultural influences that affect Christian learners in a variety of contexts and at different life stages. The authors’ light and engaging style, and their concern for both the practice of Christian formation and the importance of critical reflection within it, makes for an easy and illuminating read, despite the extent and depth of their reading and the weightiness of the topic.”
— Jeff Astley
Durham University
“This is a highly synthetic work, novel and unique in how it integrates so many different strands of issues and thought. It is irenic and inclusive, reflective of a lifetime (indeed, lifetimes—and not just as a coauthored piece since there are many more voices here in a kind of symphonic unity) of lived experience and practical wisdom.”
— Bryan T. Froehle
Palm Beach Atlantic University
“Edie and Lamport engage Christian education as a comprehensive process of human formation that nurtures faith through embodied, communal, contextual practices. Combining principles and proposals, the authors model their conviction that dialogue and discernment will help teachers of Christian faith cooperate with God’s grace in shaping people’s capacity to accept Christian beliefs and, most importantly, also to enflesh Christian behaviors as developing disciples. Current and aspiring teachers and faith leaders will find hope for the church’s future in these pages.”
— Anne McGowan
Catholic Theological Union
“In this time of crisis for the Christian church in America, Nurturing Faith provides a deeply biblical, faithful witness to the practices and thinking that can transform Christian discipleship and enliven the Christian community for a world that, more than ever, needs a faithful witness, deliberate discipleship, and faithful service to all in need. Get this book; it can and will transform your church.”
— James K. Wellman Jr.
University of Washington
“The education minister on a given church staff has become a relic of history, but so too has the church priority of educating believers. Lamport and Edie’s book cries loudly and unashamedly, in a wilderness of weak-kneed faith, for the church to do something about its theologically uneducated members. I highly recommend this exciting book!”
— Earl Waggoner
Colorado Christian University
“With ‘generous humility,’ Edie and Lamport skillfully navigate the contemporary terrain of multiculturalism, postmodernism, and Christian nominalism while guiding us toward a robust, embodied framework for learning, teaching, and ‘nurturing’ others of all ages in the faith. This is no ordinary textbook—it is thoroughly engaging, wrestling boldly with the interdependency of faith and practice for the global church. If you are looking for an up-to-date, nonsectarian, missionally focused, brilliantly presented theology of Christian education, this book is for you.”
— Ronald T. Michener
Evangelische Theologische Faculteit, Belgium
“Decades of decline in people identifying with the Christian faith in the Global North/Western world prompt a profound question for churches, faith leaders, and educators: What are ways to nurture faith in the twenty-first century? Fred Edie and Mark Lamport take on the task of identifying problematic cultural and theological dynamics in the nurturing of faith and propose a wide range of theological and educational perspectives to address these challenges. The result is an original and accessible textbook with a rich diversity of angles from which to approach the task of forming disciples.”
— A. L. van Ommen
University of Aberdeen

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