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Minding the Good Ground

A Theology for Church Renewal

Jason E. Vickers

Publication Year: 2011

Declining memberships. Pastoral scandals. A fear of secularism and the New Atheism. Christians are worried about the church's future. Despite such despair, Jason Vickers believes the church also sits upon the cusp of renewal. Some emerging voices promise to lead the church out of decay but focus only upon its structure, while others encourage the Spirit's work to the exclusion of all else. Minding the Good Ground organizes the multitude of voices and proposes a new way forward—rooting these renewal movements in a robust historical theology. Moving beyond quick-fix solutions, this new theological vision grounds renewal in the good and life-giving work of the Holy Spirit.

Published by: Baylor University Press

Title Page

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Table of Contents

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p. vii


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pp. ix-x

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pp. 1-17

In 1963 E. R. Dodds, an Ulsterman from County Down, poet and personal friend of T. S. Eliot, and the Regius Professor of Greek at Oxford, gave a brilliant series of lectures at Queen’s University Belfast in Ireland. In his lectures, Dodds described the world of early Christianity as “an age of anxiety.”1 Dodds’ brilliance, however, lay not in...

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1--The Nature of the Church

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pp. 19-46

If we are going to develop a theological framework within which we can think about and assess proposals for church renewal, then the most natural place to begin is with the theological discipline known as ecclesiology.1 Having said this, we will not be constructing a full-blown ecclesiology, as such a task would require us to think critically...

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2--The Mission of the Church

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pp. 47-72

We began thinking theologically about church renewal by inquiring after the nature of the church. After identifying the marks of the church in the Nicene Creed and Protestant confessions, as well as some of the metaphors for the church in the New Testament, we grounded our vision of the nature of the church in the events that transpired at Pentecost, which is to say, in pneumatology and eschatology. ...

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3--The Sacramental Life of the Church

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pp. 73-99

We have been thinking theologically about church renewal by reflecting on the nature and mission of the church. In chapter 1, we developed an account of the nature of the church that was grounded in the origins of the church at Pentecost and therefore in pneumatology and eschatology. In chapter 2, we developed an account of the mission of...

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pp. 101-107

Many proposals for church renewal begin by asking the question, “What is wrong with the church?” We deliberately avoided this strategy, beginning instead with the question, “What is the nature of the church?” We then proceeded to inquire about the mission of the church and the sacramental life of the church. In doing so, our goal...


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pp. 109-127


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pp. 129-136


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pp. 137-141

E-ISBN-13: 9781602583900
E-ISBN-10: 1602583900
Print-ISBN-13: 9781602583603
Print-ISBN-10: 1602583609

Page Count: 151
Publication Year: 2011

Edition: 1st

OCLC Number: 769189750
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Minding the Good Ground