File Size: 1563 KB
Print Length: 239 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0310277671
Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
Publisher: Zondervan; Reprint edition (February 24, 2015)
Publication Date: February 24, 2015
Sold by: Digital Services LLC
X-Ray: Not Enabled
Word Wise: Enabled
Lending: Not Enabled
Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
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"This idea, that Paul’s mission was a mixed assembly of differents, lies at the core of my beliefs about how the whole Bible works… Are we willing to embrace the diversity of the church as *the very thing God most wants*? (pp. 89, 91, italics in original)The need for the the Church to become more unified is, thankfully, receiving some long-overdue attention. This book is NT scholar Scot McKnight’s contribution to the topic.McKnight is widely-known in at least three ways: As a blogger, as an author of biblical commentaries, and as an author of popular-level books on the Christian life, the atonement, and Bible interpretation. This book falls into the third category: books written for the church rather than the academy. Prior to this book, I had only read McKnight via his other two categories: his blog and his commentaries.My impression of McKnight prior to this book was mixed, and so is my impression of this book. (I have enjoyed McKnights’s emphasis on the kingdom of God, some of his challenges to Calvinist thinking, and his emphasis on the social and ethical aspects of Christian transformation. I am less than happy with things like his adoption of gender role egalitarianism or his promotion of evolutionary creationism.)So, what do I think about A Fellowship of Differents?SOME THINGS I LIKE:* The emphasis that church life shapes our understanding of the the Christian life. Examples: Highly emotional revival meetings that call people to pray the Sinner’s Prayer might teach us to think of salvation as only a one-time event. Congregations where everyone looks the same (class, ethnicity) might lead us to overlook what the NT says about the radical social composition of Jesus’ Church.
Scot McKnight is a pretty popular author, although I've not read any of his other books. I've read blog posts and articles from time to time and I respect his suggestions greatly when it comes to biblical commentaries. He's a top-notch scholar and I was excited to read his new book, A Fellowship of Differents, a challenging look at how God calls Christians to live and worship together.The book follows largely the life and teachings of Paul in an attempt to re-orient the often confused nature and construction of modern congregations. At the same time, McKnight is gracious and uplifting in addressing these congregations and the value of a local worshiping body in the formation and continuation of the Christian faith.The book is difficult in places, a real challenge to what we've come to see as normal comfort in the American Church. In other places it reinfuses a love of those people who nurtured us in faith, even if we may now differ in perspective quite greatly. But overall, McKnight addresses the positive, essential attributes of what it means to live together in Christ. Chief among those is diversity, not just racially or culturally, but also theologically and politically and in every way imaginable. For him (and for Paul), the core of the gospel is making room for all people to live together in love.It's a loft goal and as the book is fleshed out, the many ways in which that can be difficult are addressed. In the Afterward, McKnight mentions the book was once much longer than its current 250 or so pages. That becomes pretty clear as he seems to be writing the bare minimum of his thoughts in some sections. He is careful to step forward and address some topics in detail. He addresses the unique issues of homosexuality in the modern Church with grace and calm.
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