The Offensive Church
Crises around race have put the church in a defensive posture, always reacting to racial conflicts in society. But Jesus wants more. He wants Christians to play offense by discipling people into a new humanity, where we push beyond mere diversity and into a biblical vision for ethnic unity.
Bryan Loritts calls Christians to proactively and intentionally live out the embodied reality of a people at one with one another. We play offense by practicing a robust gospel, preparing reliable leadership, and providing relational environments so that the church becomes the aroma of Christ to our culture and gains ground against the demonic foothold of racism in all its forms.
"If the church in North America does not discover the New Testament ethos of multiethnic community, the church in North America will fail in accomplishing its mission. I know of no better voice to show us the way than my friend Bryan Loritts. In his new book The Offensive Church, Bryan shows us the way forward rooted in a gospel-centered missiology of making disciples in community. This is a must-read for anyone serious about joining in God's activity in North America and the nations!"
"One of the many radical things Jesus taught was that his followers must learn to love across the lines of difference, or what some call enemy lines. In Christ there is now no longer any Jew or Gentile, male or female, slave or free, for we are all one in Christ Jesus. In tearing down these and other dividing walls of hostility through his death on the cross, Jesus provided not only an example of what it means to love one's enemies but also the resources that empower us to do so ourselves. In a world filled with racial tension and discord, my friend Bryan Loritts does a tremendous job helping us unlock those resources and showing us how to love in the power of Christ."
"Bryan Loritts's vision for discipleship is an urgent word for the American church. His plea to 'play a redemptive offense modeled after the words and example of Jesus' should be heard widely because Christians today need boldness and deep faith to become all we're called to be together. This book skillfully readies us to pursue the challenge of real reconciliation that God desires for his people."
"Since becoming the codirector of the Winsome Conviction Project, I've attempted to facilitate civil conversations between Christians. Simply put, race is in its own category. At the mere mention of race, people immediately voice anger, confusion, hurt, and defensiveness. Like no other topic, it shuts down communication and erects walls. What is most needed today is a trusted guide who doesn't shy away from the complexity of race but offers hope and a plan to open lines of communication. I can think of no one better qualified than Bryan Loritts to be our guide."
"The racial and political upheaval of our day is causing Christians to abandon the pursuit of beautiful community, the ministry of reconciliation in Jesus' name. In The Offensive Church, Bryan Loritts raises his voice, 'Not so fast!' With winsome grace he calls us out of contentment in ecclesial ghettos to embrace the reconciling power of our Savior, proclaiming and practicing a robust gospel in our divided world."
Introduction: What's Going On?
1. Playing Offense
2. Seeing Through the Fog
3. Communal Identity and Ethnic Unity
4. The Practices of Ethnic Unity
5. Beware of a New Vision with an Old Culture
6. Proclaiming a Robust Gospel
7. Practicing a Robust Gospel
8. Reliable Leadership
9. Relational Environments