James Thwaites The Church Beyond the Congregation: The Strategic Role of the Church in the Postmodern Era (Calisle: Paternoster, 1999)
Reviewed by Darren Cronshaw
This Australian pastor wrote this book, when Director of the Biblical Studies Faculty of Hillsong, to describe his vision and passion for the church in postmodern times. He calls churches to move beyond their focus on congregations, meetings and programmes. A Hebrew worldview, he suggests, offers a framework to celebrate the role of Christians in all of areas of creation (marriage, family and work as well as congregations). He discusses philosophical and theological background, but also follows the dilemmas of overworked "George" and the disconnection of his church from his work and family life, and snippets of others who discover freedom and grace in a more holistic application of their faith to everyday life.
Originally appeared in Darren Cronshaw, `The Emerging Church: Introductory Reading Guide', Zadok Papers, S143 (Summer 2005).