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Church for Every Context: An Introduction to Theology and Practice Paperback – 22 Apr 2013

4.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 514 pages
  • Publisher: SCM Press (22 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0334043697
  • ISBN-13: 978-0334043690
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 2.6 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 294,295 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

‘This is a brilliant work, and as invaluable as it is brilliant. A logical and mature continuation of the seminal Mission-Shaped Church report of 2004, Church for Every Context is the most insightful, informing, and instructive study I have seen to date on emergence ecclesiology and contextual church. It is, in sum, absolutely exhilarating both in its balanced, analytical content and in its vision for the future of the Church.’ Phyllis Tickle, author, The Great Emergence

Michael Moynagh offers both an analysis and an apology for new forms of church that is well grounded in the cultural realities of the 21st century, arguing that these emerging ecclesial communities are not only faithful to scripture and tradition, but are also characterized by a theologically grounded cultural engagement. Supported by comprehensive references and suggestions for further reflection, this book will inspire and inform newcomers to the conversation as well as those who are already a part of it. (John Drane)

Michael Moynagh has produced a remarkable book that looks set to become a standard text on the fresh expressions and emerging churches that are exploring new ways of engaging contextually with a changing culture. Comprehensive in its coverage, inter-disciplinary in its approach, painstakingly researched and clearly argued, practitioners and researchers alike will find this invaluable. (Stuart Murray Williams)

Church for Every Context is a big book in every sense: the fruit of mature reflection and wisdom on major new movements in Church and in God's mission. It has a global and a biblical perspective on these movements. The chapters are well rooted historically and full of stories and examples of good practice. I commend it very warmly indeed to beginners in this field and to those who are experts. (Steven Croft)

Mike Moynagh has rendered a service to us all. He covers so much that is at the heart of our debates about the Church, her nature, ministry and mission. We can all agree with the aims he sets out: discipleship, worship and community in sustainable churches. If the way to get there as the Church of England is disputed, then this book demonstrates that a theological discussion is well and truly under way. (Andrew Davison)

“Michael Moynagh is an experienced watcher of both church and culture, and this well-read, learned and thoughtful book provides an invaluable and comprehensive guide to contemporary debates over new forms of church.” (Graham Tomlin)

There is no such thing as theology, and that means that there is no such thing as ecclesiology. There is only contextual theology and contextual understandings and practices of church. This is the powerful insight behind what Michael Moynagh calls the "New Contextual Churches." A Church for All Contexts is a book that shows the significance of churches that seek to incarnate "fresh expressions" of Christian community as community in mission. Moynaugh and Harrold show clearly that these new ways of thinking about and doing church are not so much innovations but movements radically faithful to Christian Tradition, most especially because they are radically faithful to the present always-changing context of faithful discipleship of Jesus Christ. This is an exciting book. Its rootedness in Tradition make it revolutionary. If you want to be a member of the church today, this book should be required reading. (Stephen Bevans)

Michael Moynagh has provided an excellent understanding of the background of and rationale behind the Fresh Expressions movement, highlighting many of the issues the existing church is facing in relating to a rapidly changing culture. While highly prizing the value of the traditional forms of church, he wrestles with the extent of flexibility that out to be accorded new forms of the church, while not compromising the gospel. (Al Barth)

Moynagh has written an indispensable book on contextual church planting and renewal. We have needed a book like this for some time now -- a historical, theological, and sociological guide to new expressions of faith within Western culture. This is not a 'how-to' book on church renewal and planting techniques -- anything but. Moynagh does so much more than play with church forms and encourage consumer analysis. Moynagh's approach to new expressions of church is theologically rich and missiologically astute, revealing a systematic way to think about church in a post-Christendom context. I plan to use this book as a core reference text in my seminary church planting course this Fall. Highly recommended. (Dr. Ryan K. Bolger, PhD Fuller Theological Seminary)

About the Author

Michael Moynagh is a member of the Fresh Expressions Team with responsibility for drawing together learning about the theology and practice of new forms of church. He written or been lead author of more than ten books, including Changing World, Changing Church and Emerging Church.intro.

Philip Harrold is Associate Professor of Church History at the Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge, PA.


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Format: Paperback
This is a serious, weighty and long (500 pages) treatment of the theology and practice of fresh expressions and emerging churches by an influential British church leader and missiologist (who is a member of the national Fresh Expressions Team). As such, it will prove essential reading for all interested in contemporary UK mission theology and practice.

The book is divided into four clear parts. The first provides a broad introduction and some background to the `fresh expressions' movement, with an overview of mission in the New Testament, a series of historical snapshots, an outline of recent church planting strategies, and a survey of some of the relevant debates in sociology as they touch upon religion, spirituality and church life.

In the second part of the book, Moynagh undertakes a deeper theological exploration of the rationale for fresh expressions, with a reflection on the purpose and nature of the church, the primacy of mission and its corporate character, an argument in favour of contextualisation, and a discussion of the homogenous unit principle.

In the third section, there is a helpful and detailed overview of a number of important theoretical and practical issues involved in `birthing' contextual churches, drawing on a wide range of theorists (Christian and secular) to explore the practices of gathering a mission community, researching opportunities, encouraging partners, and developing action-based learning and team awareness.

In the fourth section of the book, discipleship, worship, community and sustainability are explored as marks of ecclesial maturity, and Moynagh discusses ways of assessing and encouraging the growth and fuller development of contemporary fresh expressions of church.
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Excellent book, stuffed full of theology yet simply explained. A must for any churches which want to base their mission on sound theological values.
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Much more wide-ranging (in a good way) than I expected - and more readable. I will recommend this as a core text for my theological students.
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Really great apologetic for fresh expressions within all different contexts with excellent, comprehensive theological support and some really useful explanations of how to support the growth of contextual churches reacting to what is there not following a prescribed, pre-determined course of action. Wonderful. Toolkit for pioneers and founders of FXs
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