The Church: Signs of the Spirit and Signs of the Times (Christian Story, a Pastoral Systematics)

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9780802833921: The Church: Signs of the Spirit and Signs of the Times (Christian Story, a Pastoral Systematics)
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The latest volume in Gabriel Fackre's "Christian Story" finds the dedicated ecumenist attempting to examine the connections, or lack thereof, between worldwide ecumenical progress and the character of local churches as he observes them in twenty-first-century America. Drawing from his own fifty-year experience in the church as pastor, teacher, and parishioner, Fackre breaks open the myth of the church experience and exposes the reality of modern worship on a local level.

"The Church" is rich in insight and fertile in its range of suggestions, most of them aimed at pastors and aspiring pastors -- the men and women who will carry the teachings of the church, its "kerygma," into the next generation and the ones that follow.

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This latest volume in Gabriel Fackres long-standing "Christian Story" finds the dedicated evangelical ecumenist attempting to examine the connections, or lack thereof, between worldwide ecumenical progress and the character of local church congregations in twenty-first-century America. Drawing from his own fifty-year experience in the church as pastor, teacher, and parishioner, Fackre offers a critique, a warning, and a constructive guide to the church.

Noting the high points of global ecumenical progress, Fackre carefully traces them back to events in local churches, training his gaze on the wrong turnings the church has taken and the actions and reactions of the liberal and conservative movements. In his consideration of evangelical megachurches -- in which he finds both hope and reason for concern -- Fackre emphasizes the importance of knowing, as much as possible, the whole breadth of Christian tradition and the churchs stewardship of the Holy Spirits gifts and graces. Fackre also digs into the meaning of church through four foundational signs -- "kerygma, leitourgia, diakonia," and "koinonia" -- the telling, celebrating, doing, and being of the gospel. He demonstrates how todays church needs to exhibit all four signs and advises that it is in need of healing if any of the four are missing.

All in all, Fackre's "The Church: Signs of the Spirit and Signs of the Times" is rich in insight and fertile in its range of suggestions, most of them aimed at pastors and aspiring pastors -- the men and women who will carry the teachings of the church, its "kerygma," into the next generation.

About the Author:

Gabriel Fackre is Abbott Professor Emeritus of Christian Theology at Andover Newton Theological School. His other books include Christology in Context and Christian Basics.

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