on 17 January 2014
Anyone familiar with Tim Gorringe would expect some deep reflection on both theology and the Transition movement and a powerful challenge to one's thought and action. This book is a major disappointment. For a start, it's only 84 pages (not the advertised 128), and contains virtually nothing practical, despite the last three bullet points in the summary.
What you do get is a series of theological reflections on church and community with comments on how the Transition movement coheres or not with what a transformed community might look like from a Christian perspective. The first three are worth reading, but the quality and length of chapter drops off dramatically thereafter. Chapter 5, on the incarnation, only devotes the final page to its topic, the rest being on an apparently irrelevant discourse about the resurrection. Chapter 6, on the shalom, is too dependent on Walter Wink and standing against the current system and ignores the idea of the kingdom of God and what we might do instead. It also unfairly critiques Transition as being perfectionist, although this is contradicted by comments about Transition ignoring failure in Chapter 8.
The book ends with the key question of whether Christians should be involved in Transition, and answers it with an unconditional and urgent Yes, but gives no real reasons why it is superior to purely church-based alternatives, or how to cope with the radically anti-Christian spiritualities and views held by many in Transition movements (and the green movement generally).