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Renewing the Center, 2nd edition
Baker / 2006 / Paperback
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Renewing the Center has been an influential catalyst for many in the emerging church. With a new foreword by Brian McLaren and a new afterword from John Franke, the second edition updates the book for the contemporary church scene and shows how Stanley Grenz's theological insights continue to shape postmodern church movements.
In this book, Grenz challenges evangelical Christians to take stock of their faith and its relationship to the world around them. According to the author, "The postmodern condition calls Christians to move beyond a polarity that knows only the categories of 'liberal' and 'conservative' and thus pits so-called conservatives against loosely-defined liberals. The way forward is for evangelicals to take the lead in renewing a theological 'center' that can meet the challenges of the postmodern---and in some sense post-theological---situation in which the church now finds itself."
Grenz begins with a historical survey, considering the influence of two major strands within evangelicalism. He goes on to sketch a creative vision for a renewed evangelical theology that faces the intellectual challenges of its time. He further envisions an "evangelical center" through the establishment of a "generous orthodoxy" that enables the church to fulfill its mission in the world.
From the foreword: "Perhaps Renewing the Center wasn't the best title for this book. Perhaps this book reaches toward a new center, a new vantage point, a new floor that must be discovered (or constructed) for the first time, so that words beginning with "re-" don't apply. Perhaps the ultimate center---Jesus---is actually a moving center, moving and always on the move, so that our faith centers less in an old position we claim and defend and more in a set of fresh footprints we track and follow. But then again, recalling the best sense of evangelical, the newest thing is also the oldest thing: the ever-new good news is also the original story of Jesus, continuing through history and stretching through today into a vast future that is full of danger, yet even more full of hope."--Brian McLaren
Stanley J. Grenz (1950-2005) (D.Theol., University of Munich) was the Pioneer McDonald Professor of Theology and Ethics at Carey Theological College in Vancouver, British Columbia. A leading voice on the North American theological scene, he wrote or cowrote over twenty-five books, including A Primer on Postmodernism, Created for Community, and Revisioning Evangelical Theology.
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