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The idea of British identity has been thrown into question by the debates around the EU Referendum, but now that Brexit is here, it's time to think positively and constructively about Britain's future. How might Britain as a multinational state understand its own defining moral and political commitments in relation to its European neighbours? And if, as many suggest, a resurgence of English nationhood has been the driving force behind Brexit, how might the Church of England, as the 'national Church', respond to this and the many other missional challenges it faces? Those of us still wondering what to make of Brexit - including thoughtful Christians, politicians, journalists, think-tanks and religious leaders - will find much to stimulate thought and discussion here. The contributors have a wealth of specialist knowledge of Brexit and the EU; they draw on this and the legacies of Anglican - and more broadly Christian - social and political theology to offer their rich and nuanced responses to a range of crucial questions.
William Sloane Coffin has fought for social justice and argued that faith must be at the heart of political and intellectual life. This is a collection of his most memorable words, spoken over a 40-year ministry. They are not sermons - the longest quotation is probably 300-400 words - but rather sentences and paragraphs that reflect the heart of his message. It is arecord of his remarkable public words on issues ranging from charity and justice, politics, economic issues, the environment and nuclear disarmament, to the meaning of faith, the church and a minister's responsibility.
Holiness and hedonism. Lonesomeness and community. Tradition and progress. Highly regarded commentator on Christianity and popular culture Rodney Clapp argues that these great tensions form the bedrock of American history and our current culture. Utilizing the life and music of Johnny Cash to illustrate these and other American contradictions, he probes these phenomena with sharp theological questions--seeking the language and knowledge that will enable us to reach across political and cultural divides and encourage a more graceful and constructive negotiation of current contradictions.
In 2020s Foresight, authors Tom Sine and Dwight Friesen seek to "wake up" Christian leaders and those whom they serve to the realities that leaders in other fields must deal with all the time. We are no longer simply living in changing times. We live in the reality that we are racing into a new world of accelerating change. The authors want to enable leaders in churches and Christian organizations to learn how to lead in this time of acceleration. They focus on three vital practices: foresight (analyzing the accelerating changes and anticipating new opportunities and strategies for addressing change); reflection (discerning biblical purposes for times like these); and creating innovative ways to engage new challenges so as to advance God's purposes in our lives, congregations, and organizations in the 2020s.The book is intended to equip Christian leaders to anticipate some of the new challenges in the 2020s; discover God's shalom purposes for our lives, the church, and God's world; and create innovative new possibilities for our lives, communities, and congregations that both engage new opportunities and advance God's purposes.
The church of Jesus Christ finds itself at a very unique moment in history. The average Christian living in the "economically advanced countries" enjoys a level of prosperity that has been unimaginable for most of human history. At the same time, over 2.5 billion people in the Majority World (Africa, Asia, and Latin America) live on less than $2 per day, with many of these people being Christians. Ironically, it is amongst the "least of these" in the Global South that the global church is experiencing the most rapid growth. All of this raises profound challenges to the global church. How can churches and missionaries in the Majority World effectively address the devastating poverty both inside their congregations and just outside their doors? How can churches in the economically advanced countries effectively partner with Global South churches in this process? The very integrity of the global church's testimony is at stake, for where God's people reside, there should be no poverty (Deuteronomy 15:4; Acts 4:34). For the past several decades, microfinance (MF) and microenterprise development (MED) have been the leading approaches to poverty alleviation. MF/MED is a set of interventions that allow households to better manage their finances and start small businesses. From remote churches in rural Africa to the short-term missions programs of mega-churches in the United States, churches and missionaries have taken the plunge into MF/MED, trying to emulate the apparent success of large-scale relief and development organizations. Unfortunately, most churches and missionaries find this to be far more difficult than they had imagined. Repayment rates on loans are low and churches typically end up with struggling programs that require ongoing financial subsidies. Everybody gets hurt in the process: donors, relief and development agencies, churches and missionaries, and--most importantly-the poor people themselves. This book explains the basic principles for successfully utilizing microfinance in ministry. Drawing on best practice research and their own pioneering work with the Chalmers Center, Brian Fikkert and Russell Mask chart a path for churches and missionaries to pursue, a path that minimizes the risks of harm, relies on local resources, and enables missionaries and churches to minister in powerful ways to the spiritual and economic needs of some of the poorest people on the planet. The insights of microfinance can play a tremendous role in helping to stabilize poor households, removing them from the brink of disaster and enabling them to make the changes that are conducive to long-term progress. Moreover, when combined with evangelism and discipleship, a church-centered microfinance program can be a powerful tool for holistic ministry-one that is empowering for the poor and devoid of the dependencies plaguing most relationships between churches in economically advanced countries and churches in poor nations.
"What can I do?" That was the question Diane Latiker asked of herself as she watched the teens in her Chicago neighborhood succumb at an alarming rate to gangs and gun violence. Her answer started small, inviting ten kids into her living room to talk about their struggles and dreams. But over the years it grew. With the help of God, her family, and many other people along the way, Diane's Kids Off the Block morphed from a personal crusade to do what she could into a nationally known program that has helped more than 3,000 at-risk Chicago teens. In this powerful, energizing book, she tells her incredible story to men and women who are sick of sitting behind their keyboards watching the world crumble and are ready to do something to make a difference. Through doubt, financial strain, and deep grief over lives lost, Diane has never lost her faith that God called her to this life-transforming work. In these pages she'll show you that God is calling you to do something too. Maybe something that feels small . . . definitely something that will change the world.
Does America, as George W. Bush has proclaimed, have a special mission, derived from God, to bring liberty and democracy to the world? How much influence does the Christian right have over U.S. foreign policy? And how should America deal with violent Islamist extremists? Traditionally, politicians have sought to downplay the impact of religious beliefs in international affairs. In this illuminating first-hand account, one of the most renowned figures in American politics argues that understanding the place and power of religion - and knowing how best to respond to it - is essential if America is to lead successfully around the world. Madeleine Albright examines religion and foreign affairs through the lens of American history as well as her own personal experiences in public office. She offers a sharp critique of U.S. policy, condemnation for those who exploit religious fervor for violent ends, and praise for political, cultural, and spiritual leaders who seek to harness the values of faith to bring people together. Often using new and telling examples from her own years in power, Albright has written a thought-provoking work that calls for bold leadership to rein in the many religious rivalries around the globe and lay the groundwork for a new moral consensus.
More than twenty-five years have passed since the publication in 1979 of "Brothers and Sisters to Us," the U.S. Bishops' statement against racism, and during this time white Catholic theologians have remained relatively silent on this topic. In this hard-hitting study, prominent Roman Catholic theologians address white priviletge and the way it contributes to racism. They maintain that systems of white privilege are a significant factor in maintaining evil systems of racism in our country and that most white theologians and ethicists remain ignorant of their negative impact.
One of the most powerful forces in the twenty-first century is the
increasing phenomenon of globalization. In nearly every realm of
human activity, traditional boundaries are disappearing and people
worldwide are more interconnected than ever. Christianity has also
become more aware of global realities and the important role of the
church in non-Western countries. Church leaders must grapple with
the implications for theology and ministry in an ever-shrinking
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