Prodigal Christianity: 10 Signposts into the Missional Frontier
March 2013, Jossey-Bass
Prodigal Christianity offers a down-to-earth, accessible, and yet provocative understanding of God's mission of redemption in the world, and how followers of Christ can participate in this work. It speaks into the discontent of all those who have exhausted conservative, liberal, and even emergent ways of being Christian and are looking for a new way forward. It offers building blocks for missional theology and practice that moves Christians into a gospel-centered way of life for our culture and our times.
- Offers a compelling and creative vision for North American Christians
- Puts forth a theology and ten critical signposts that must be observed to follow a missional way of life: post-Christendom, missio Dei, incarnation, witness, scripture, gospel, church, sexuality, justice, pluralism
- Asks questions and points to issues that trouble many leaders in the post-modern, post-denominational, post-Christendom church
This book can fill the gap for the average Christian left discontented with the current options "after evangelicalism."
About the Jossey-Bass Leadership Network Series xi
Preface and Acknowledgments xiii
Introduction: Following Jesus into the Far Country—the Winter of Our Discontent xix
Signpost One: Post-Christendom 1
Into the Far Country: The Journey into Post-Christendom
Signpost Two: Missio Dei 16
With the Prodigal God: The Journey into God’s Mission
Signpost Three: Incarnation 31
On the Ground: The Journey into Everyday Life
Signpost Four: Witness 48
In the World: The Journey into the World
Signpost Five: Scripture 66
Living Our Story: Journeying by the Book
That Is More Than a Book
Signpost Six: Gospel 83
Making All Things Right: The Journey into Redemption
Signpost Seven: Church 96
In Kingdom Communities: The Journey as the Body of Christ into the World
Signpost Eight: Prodigal Relationships 114
With Our Brokenness: The Journey Toward Sexual Redemption
Signpost Nine: Prodigal Justice 131
Among Our Neighborhoods: The Journey Toward Local Justice
Signpost Ten: Prodigal Openness 148
For the Good News: The Journey into Diverse Worlds
Epilogue: The Prodigal Returns 163
About the Authors 183
David E. Fitch is a copastor and founder of Life on the Vine Christian Community and coaches church-planting for the Midwest District of the Christian and Missionary Alliance. He is the B.R. Lindner Chair of Evangelical Theology at Northern Seminary, Chicago, and is author of The Great Giveaway and The End of Evangelicalism?
Geoff Holsclaw is a copastor at Life on the Vine Christian Community and an adjunct professor of theology at Northern Seminary. He is the Mid-West regional coordinator for Ecclesia Network.
ABOUT LEADERSHIP NETWORK
The mission of Leadership Network identifies and connects innovative church leaders, providing them with resources in the form of new ideas, people, and tools. Contact Leadership Network at leadnet.org.
"When it comes to pastoral theology, the only voices I care to hear are those who are pastoring, and pastoring well. David Fitch and Geoff Holsclaw are such voices. Their book reflects a rare combination of faithful neighborhood witness, embodied church life, and theological rigor. The result is a compelling missional theology for today's missional Christian."
—Scot McKnight, professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary; author of numerous books including King Jesus Gospel
10 Signposts into the Missional Frontier
By David Fitch & Geoff Hosclaw
San Francisco, CA – Christians, especially post-evangelical twenty-somethings, are disconnected with the current state of the church. The Emergent and Neo-Reformed movements have failed to engage the issues of the new post-Christian culture of North America. This leaves many people of faith seeking a clear articulation of why neither position quite satisfies, and left to seek a path with substance that faithfully engages the current cultural and religious shifts.
In response, PRODIGAL CHRISTIANTIY (ISBN: 978-1-118-20326-2, Jossey-Bass, also available in ebook format) offers the building blocks needed to meet this challenge. It outlines a missional theology that connects with the issues that concern the new post-Christian culture of North America, such as alternative sexualities, religious pluralism, social justice and the gospel. It gives readers an accessible, yet provocative way of understanding God’s mission of redemption in the world, and how followers of Christ can participate.
The book provides readers with ten signposts that must be observed to follow a missional way of life: post-Christendom, missio Dei, incarnation, witness, scripture, gospel, church, sexuality, justice and pluralism. These signposts chart the journey that every Christian must take to break down the boundaries of the postmodern, post-Christian world and open up the pathway to move forward toward the missional frontier.
“We wrote this book to help people understand a Christian way of living that is determined by the prodigal nature of our God Jesus Christ by the Spirit. We believe a prodigal Christianity does not rely on pronouncements from a seat of authority, but a beginning to enter humbly and vulnerably to bring God’s hospitality to places of mission,” said Fitch.
PRODIGAL CHRISTIANITY takes readers beyond the liberal/conservative polarities and moves readers into Christianity's heart.