Those Are Fightin’ Words!

Simply put, evangelical churches have forfeited the practices that constitute being the church either (a) by portioning them off to various concerns exterior to the church or (b) by compromising them so badly that they are no longer recognizable as being functions of the church.”… In fact, each chapter examines a significant function of the Church that evangelicals have given away — our definition of success, evangelism, leadership, worship, preaching, justice, spiritual formation and moral education.

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“The thesis of this book is that evangelicalism has ‘given away’ being the church in North America. Simply put, evangelical churches have forfeited the practices that constitute being the church either (a) by portioning them off to various concerns exterior to the church or (b) by compromising them so badly that they are no longer recognizable as being functions of the church.”

David Fitch, The Great Giveaway

These are the opening words in a new book I’m reading called, The Great Giveaway. Pretty strong words. They actually made me flinch when I read them.

Yet despite the “cringe-factor” of Fitch’s thesis, I’m actually very excited about this book. What excites me is not the deconstruction that Fitch will offer in this book. I’m sure he will provide tight arguments to support his thesis, one that I completely agree with. In fact, each chapter examines a significant function of the Church that evangelicals have given away — our definition of success, evangelism, leadership, worship, preaching, justice, spiritual formation and moral education.

However, I’m actually excited about the reconstruction that Fitch will offer. Back in January, Scot McKnight blogged a nine-part series about this book that begins here. The suggestions that McKnight states that Fitch offers in each area intrigue me. So, I’m looking forward to working through this book not for ammunition against the evangelical church, but for fresh ideas to continue to journey toward an alternative and authentic expression of personal and corporate faith in Christ.

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