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Customer Review

on 6 November 2013
This significant new book from Roger Standing, newly inducted as
Principal of Spurgeon's College, London, might cheekily be described in
footballing terms as a game of two halves. Following a brief introduction
and important scene-setting chapter on Missional Church, the main body
of the book consists of two contrasting but complementary sections which
unpack this theme. This is a book about mission that rightly returns the
local church to the heart of the conversation. Standing's Missional Church
chapter concludes with Lesslie Newbigin's famous comment that, `The
only hermeneutic of the gospel is a congregation of men and women who
believe it and live by it.'
This book will be useful for students of mission and ministry, and will no
doubt be on lots of college reading lists in the near future. But it is primarily
a book for local churches and for those women and men who seek to lead
and inspire them in mission. A number of chapters would work very well as
stand-alone reading projects for leadership teams to
explore together the essence and essentials of mission in the local church.
Some books inform, and some books inspire, but the best manage to
combine both information and inspiration in a meaningful and accessible
way. In my opinion, Roger Standing's As A Fire By Burning manages this
difficult balance, and while some chapters will date more quickly than
others (the perils of contextualisation...) I believe it will be used and useful
for years to come.
(This is an abbreviated version of my review published in Regent's Reviews 5.1 [...]
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