A Missional Orthodoxy
The emerging and missional church movements have raised decisive questions about what it means to embody the Christian faith in a post-Christian and postmodern world. A common reactionary response denies the significance of the context and reasserts the supremacy of classical orthodoxy. An equally common position at the other end of the spectrum involves a rejection of orthodoxy as contextually insensitive and incapable of being inclusive and missional at all. The one asserts its orthodoxy at the expense of being missional and contextual; the other emphasizes generosity at the expense of its fidelity to "the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints" (Jude 1:3). The church today needs a theology that is both orthodox and missional--doing justice to both aspects.
Gary Tyra has written just such a book. In A Missional Orthodoxy he critically engages with the works of Brian McLaren and Marcus Borg for the sake of developing a comprehensive missional theology that retains what he calls the "four Christological verities" at the heart of Christian doctrine. Tyra discusses the methodological question of contextualization, offering an incarnational model of recontextualization that unites the postmodern insights of the culture with the truths of the biblical text.
On the basis of this missional foundation, he examines all the major Christian doctrines in order to overcome the false antithesis between a fighting fundamentalism and a too-accommodating liberalism. The result is a humble, modest, missionally faithful orthodoxy that provides a compelling witness within a world of competing extremes.
"The Christian life is one in which we are called to faithfully witness to the world, making disciples and expanding God's kingdom. In Missional Orthodoxy, Gary Tyra supplies believers with the tools necessary to understand their calling and engage their context. This book is a valuable resource for pastors and laypeople alike."
"A provocative effort to bridge the divide between the evangelical and emerging church worlds by drawing from a missional understanding of a missionary God who is active in the world. Tyra carefully grounds his proposal in a high Christology and then uses Borg and McLaren as conversation partners to work out a centered understanding of the Christian faith in relation to the classic systematic theological loci. The reader will appreciate this fresh approach to reengaging the riches of the Christian tradition."
"Gary Tyra forges a path for contemporary ministry and discipleship between extremes of neofundamentalism and a new liberalism—both of which are becoming popular and influential, especially among young evangelicals. A Missional Orthodoxy is a powerful explanation and endorsement of a both-and rather than either-or approach to issues facing evangelicals in today's postmodern and post-Christian culture. I cannot recommend it highly enough to evangelicals and others seeking a contextually sensitive faith that avoids overaccommodation to culture."
"Gary Tyra has set himself a daunting task, to develop a theology that is both missional and orthodox. On the whole, he makes an important contribution and enriches the discussion by bringing a Pentecostal perspective into it. He is an orthodox theologian who engages complementary traditions graciously and appreciatively and thus practices what some have called 'a more generous orthodoxy.'"
"Good missional theology is essential to funding transformative missional movements over the long term. Given the strident voices to the left and the right, we could use more compassionately orthodox guides in the conversation. Gary's new book goes a long way to filling the need."
"The question today is how the church can contextualize its message to engage the culture without watering down the gospel. In A Missional Orthodoxy, Gary Tyra calls the church to embrace a vision that is both thoroughly missional and deeply orthodox at the same time. It is a vision that allows the church to steer clear of the common mistakes of overcontextualization on the one hand and irrelevancy on the other. This is an exciting book, filled with thoughtful insights and helpful suggestions on how the church can be all that God has called it to be—a dynamic community of people living for the kingdom and impacting the world around them."
"[A Missional Orthodoxy] is an important read for pastors, professors, and students with an interest in missions and evangelism in the modern world."
"This book will also help the readers to explore the various views and to discern for themselves a well-balanced approach that is faithful to both biblical teachings and contextual challenges. For the traditional evangelicals, it will help them to rethink theological and ecclesiological transformation that can reach the unchurched generation of the postmodern and post-Christian context."
PART ONE: THE FOUNDATION OF A MISSIONAL ORTHODOXY
1 Needed: A Theology Both Missional and Orthodox
2 Our Current Ministry Context: Searching for the Right Response
Excursus: The Liberal/Emergent
Overcorrection and Realist Alternative to It
PART TWO: THE FORGING OF A MISSIONAL ORTHODOXY
3 Revelation and Preparation: Toward a Missionally Orthodox Doctrine of the Bible
4 Great and Good: Toward a Missionally Orthodox Doctrine of God
5 Lion and Lamb: Toward a Missionally Orthodox Doctrine of Christ
6 Evangelism, Edification and Equipping: Toward a Missionally Orthodox Doctrine of the Holy Spirit
7 The Need for a New Humanity: Toward a Missionally Orthodox Doctrine of Human Beings
8 Escape and Example: Toward a Missionally Orthodox Doctrine of Salvation
9 Nice and Necessary: Toward a Missionally Orthodox Doctrine of the Church
10 Now and Not Yet: Toward a Missionally Orthodox Doctrine of the Final Things
Name and Subject Index