Friday, January 11, 2019

The Next Evangelicalism: Freeing the Church from Western Cultural Captivity

I review quite a few books on grandma's cookie jar; the vast majority of which are books for children. And, while many grandmas have young grandchildren for whom these books are great "fits", many also have grandchildren who are teens and young adults. It is important for us to build a firm foundation on the truth of God's Word while our grandchildren are young, but we must continue to build upon the truth as they grow older. 

InterVarsity Press has published some excellent books for us to read and share with our older grandchildren and I am delighted for the opportunity to let you know about a few of them over the coming week.

It is important for us as grandmas (and grandpas and even parents, too) to recognize the world in which we live has changed and is changing; and so have our churches. Many of our grandchildren are growing up and leaving the church in record numbers. If we educate ourselves and have important conversations with our grandchildren, maybe we will be able to see them stay in or return to the church - and even better, see our churches become healthy and what God wants them to be as well.

The book I'm sharing with you today is a book which will open your eyes and give you many excellent conversations with your older grandchildren.

The Next Evangelicalism: Freeing the Church from Western Cultural Captivity
Author - Soong-Chan Rah
Publisher - InterVarsity Press

Favorite Features - 
  • Opens our eyes to how racism has influenced and, in far too many cases, continues to influence the church.
  • Encourages us with the truth about how the church is growing in significant ways throughout Asia, Africa and South America while it is not growing in Europe and North America.
  • Challenges us to see how immigrants and people of diverse races love God and their churches are growing by leaps and bounds . . . and for "white" churches to learn from them.
Intervarsity Press says; "2010 Golden Canon  Leadership Book Award winner! The future is now. Philip Jenkins has chronicled how the next Christendom has shifted away from the Western church toward the global South and East. Likewise, changing demographics mean North American society will accelerate its diversity in terms of race, ethnicity and culture. But evangelicalism has long been held captive by its predominantly white cultural identity and history. In this book professor and pastor Soong-Chan Rah calls the North American church to escape its captivity to Western cultural trappings and to embrace a new evangelicalism which is diverse and multi-ethnic. Rah brings keen analysis to the limitations of American Christianity and shows how captivity to Western individualism and materialism has played itself out in megachurches and emergent churches alike. Many white churches are in crisis and ill-equipped to minister to new cultural realities, but immigrant, ethnic and multi-ethnic churches are succeeding and flourishing. This prophetic report casts a vision for a dynamic evangelicalism which fully embodies the cultural realities of the twenty-first century. Spiritual renewal is happening within the North American church, from corners and margins not always noticed by those in the center. Come, discover the vitality of the next evangelicalism."

I want my grandchildren to not only believe the old song sung by children about how Jesus loves all the children of the world, but to show by how they believe, and worship, they love everyone as well. 

If you have older grandchildren get The Next Evangelicalism: Freeing the Church from Western Cultural Captivity and read it with them - talk about what you read and expect to be challenged. If your grandchildren are still young, get it and read it anyway - what you learn will challenge you to turn your back on the false "teachings" of individualism and materialism and to live and worship God as He wants - in a way which shows His love to and for all.

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