- Paperback: 238 pages
- Publisher: Cascade Books (26 Aug. 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1498232108
- ISBN-13: 978-1498232104
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.5 x 22.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,274,035 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Being the Body of Christ in the Age of Management (Veritas) Paperback – 26 Aug 2016
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About the Author
Lyndon Shakespeare is an Episcopal Priest and chair of the Society of Scholar-Priests.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
As for an audience, this book would be particularly helpful to academics, seminarians, lay leaders, MBA students, and really, anyone who has or is planning to serve on a vestry. For "Business" types involved in church leadership, this book is an absolute must read.
The first portion of the book critiques management theory or "managerialism. Shakespeare poses an uncomfortable question: what if we look beyond bureaucratic rationality, efficiency and technique-based approaches to ecclesiology and instead focus on the material body of Christ - as the church? In so doing, he exposes the delta between management theory and orthodox ecclesiology.
Next, Shakespeare discusses St. Thomas Aquinas's anthropology and ecclesiology. For those less schooled in theology, this section might be challenging, but I encourage readers to stick with this portion of the book. It's one of the clearest distillations of Aquinas you're likely to find.
In the last portion of the book, Shakespeare lays out where the rubber meets the road. Essentially, he shows what happens when the church rejects the paper back management gurus and live out, practically, Aquinas's theology. In short, it's a vision that has less to do with niche-based ministry programs competing in the marketplace of souls.
What I particularly like about Shakespeare's book is that he takes the issue of [mainline] church decline seriously. But unlike most "congregational studies," he is not tempted by the management gurus who promise "butts in the pews" if only we implement program x, y, and z, and optimize accordingly.