Fresh Expressions of Church are one of the most important developments within the contemporary church. There has been - and continues to be - much learning about how to plant Fresh Expressions of church in contemporary culture and about theological resources to support this. Church for Every Context is the first textbook that reflects this learning.
Church for Every Context addresses the theology and methodology of Fresh Expressions/church planting. Topics include ecclesiology, Fresh Expressions in the New Testament, social forces behind Fresh Expressions today, theologies to underpin fresh expressions, how fresh expressions develop, the missional dynamics involved, discipleship, worship and how Fresh Expressions can be sustained and supported.
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.
'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.
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.
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.
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.
"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."
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.
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.
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.
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