Humanity at the beginning of the third millennium is faced with unprecedented challenges - climate change, species extinction, resource decline, economic instability and widening inequality to name but a few. Although Christians say that they believe that they have good news for world, there is little recognition that Christianity has anything distinctive or important to say about these global challenges. This crisis of relevance is reflected in widespread disaffection with the Christian church, both without and within. Coming Back to Earth is a collection of essays that examines some of the foundational challenges that must be confronted this century - climate change, urban life, agriculture and food - with the conviction that the great biblical narrative has something essential to say about each of them: essential in that we need to hear it; and essential in that it penetrates to the very essence of the problem and its solution. It argues that we can find in the Bible both prescient explanations for our current predicament and pertinent wisdom that offers hopeful guidance. Through all of this we are invited to re-think our understanding of the church and its purpose in a hurting and broken world, the reasons for the Christianity's seeming irrelevance today, and what might be required to renew the church as a dynamic, engaged and hopeful witness to the good news of the kingdom of God. Coming Back to Earth invites us to move beyond seeing the challenges confronting humanity and the church as abstract issues but rather to understand them as challenges that penetrate to the heart of our lives and our faith. Prophetic, personal, passionate and practiced are words that spring from these pages. Prophetic because these words are rooted in the biblical narrative and tradition that calls God's people to live an embodied faith. Personal through anecdote and family. Passionate for God's way of pursuing ethical living amidst the challenges of our age. Practiced because discipleship is to be lived in the everyday economics of our lives, enfleshed in practical and visible ways. Perceptive, is another descriptor, for this book offers significant insights into God's call for the Church as a social ethic, a community of reconciliation, in a world and Church at the crossroads. I commend this book's challenge to our discipleship. Archbishop Philip Freier, Anglican Primate of Australia Jonathan Cornford is co-founder of Manna Gum, a ministry in 'good news economics'. The two-fold purpose of Manna Gum is to help Christians reclaim an understanding of the Bible's teaching on material life and to help translate that teaching into the context of our complex global economy. Jonathan has a doctorate in political economy and a background in international development. Jonathan lives with his wife and two daughters in Bendigo, Victoria, where they are members of the Seeds Community and the Common Rule Christian network.
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