A Peculiar People
Christians feel increasingly useless, argues Rodney Clapp, not because we have nothing to offer a post-Christian society, but because we are trying to serve as "sponsoring chaplains" to a civilization that no longer sees Christianity as necessary to its existence. In our individualistic, technologically oriented, consumer-based culture, Christianity has become largely irrelevant.
The solution is not to sentimentally capitulate to the way things are. Nor is it to retrench in an effort to regain power and influence as the sponsor of Western civilization. What is needed is for Christians to reclaim our heritage as a peculiar people, as unapologetic followers of the Way. Within the larger pluralistic world, we need to become a sanctified, subversive culture that develops Christian community as a truly alternative way of life. Christians must learn to live the story and not just to restate it.
Writing inclusively with considerable verve, Clapp offers a keen analysis of the church and its ministry as we face a new millennium.
"Offers a fresh revisioning of the whole Christian enterprise . . . As the calendar makes its transition to the 21st century one senses a tremendous hunger in evangelicalism for a faith that can make the transition well. Rodney Clapp will be one of the most important North American voices participating in the conversation about how to make that transition."
"A wonderful, thoughtful, well-written call for the church to be the church. To read it is to be both challenged and encouraged."
Where I'm Writing From
1. The Church as Unchurch: How Christians Became Useless
2. The Church as Private Club: Irrelevant for Constantine's Sake
3. The Church as Nation-State: Why America Is Not the Issue
4. The Church as Type: Why Christians Should Thank God for the Culture Wars
5. The Church as Church: Practicing the Politics of Jesus.
6. The Church as Worshiping Community: Welcome to the (Real) World
7. The Church as Parade: The Politics of Liturgy
8. The Church as Listening Community: The Performance of Scripture
9. The Church as World: On the Faithfulness of Pagans
10. The Church as Mission Message: Evangelism After Constantine
11. The Church as a Way of Life: Liturgy After the Liturgy
12. The Church as a Community of Friends: About Beginning Where We Already Are