The Next Evangelicalism: Freeing the Church from Western Cultural Captivity
The Next Evangelicalism: Freeing the Church from Western Cultural Captivity  -     By: Soong-Chan Rah
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The Next Evangelicalism: Freeing the Church from Western Cultural Captivity

InterVarsity Press / 2009 / Paperback

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* A bold vision for the future of North American evangelicalism! Urging the Western church to escape the captivity of individualism, consumerism, and racism, Rah provides a keen analysis of the limitations of American evangelicalism and offers alternative models for congregational renewal, including those drawn from African American, Native American, immigrant, and second-generation Christian communities. 180 pages, softcover from InterVarsity.

Product Information

Title: The Next Evangelicalism: Freeing the Church from Western Cultural Captivity
By: Soong-Chan Rah
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 180
Vendor: InterVarsity Press
Publication Date: 2009
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)
Weight: 10 ounces
ISBN: 0830833609
ISBN-13: 9780830833603
Stock No: WW833600

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Publisher's Description

  • 2010 Golden Canon Leadership Book Award winner
The future is now. Philip Jenkins has chronicled how the next Christendom has shifted away from the Western church toward the global South and East. Likewise, changing demographics mean that North American society will accelerate its diversity in terms of race, ethnicity and culture. But evangelicalism has long been held captive by its predominantly white cultural identity and history. In this book professor and pastor Soong-Chan Rah calls the North American church to escape its captivity to Western cultural trappings and to embrace a new evangelicalism that is diverse and multiethnic. Rah brings keen analysis to the limitations of American Christianity and shows how captivity to Western individualism and materialism has played itself out in megachurches and emergent churches alike. Many white churches are in crisis and ill-equipped to minister to new cultural realities, but immigrant, ethnic and multiethnic churches are succeeding and flourishing. This prophetic report casts a vision for a dynamic evangelicalism that fully embodies the cultural realities of the twenty-first century. Spiritual renewal is happening within the North American church, from corners and margins not always noticed by those in the center. Come, discover the vitality of the next evangelicalism.

Author Bio

(D.Min., Gordon-Conwell) is the Milton B. Engebretson Assistant Professor of Church Growth and Evangelism at North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago, Illinois. He was the founding senior pastor of Cambridge Community Fellowship Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He also serves on the boards of Sojourners and the Catalyst Leadership Center. He is a frequent conference speaker and contributed to (InterVarsity Press).

Author Bio

Soong-Chan Rah (D.Min., Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary) is Milton B. Engebretson Assistant Professor of Church Growth and Evangelism at North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago, Illinois.

Publisher Description

The future is now. Philip Jenkins has chronicled how the next Christendom has shifted away from the Western church toward the global South and East. Likewise, changing demographics mean that North American society will accelerate its diversity in terms of race, ethnicity and culture. But evangelicalism has long been held captive by its predominantly white cultural identity and history.
In this book professor and pastor Soong-Chan Rah calls the North American church to escape its captivity to Western cultural trappings and to embrace a new evangelicalism that is diverse and multiethnic. Rah brings keen analysis to the limitations of American Christianity and shows how captivity to Western individualism and materialism has played itself out in megachurches and emergent churches alike. In turn, this prophetic minority report casts a vision for a dynamic evangelicalism that fully embodies the cultural realities of the twenty-first century.

Publisher's Weekly

Professor and pastor Rah says the evangelical church has been in captivity to Western white power and must be released in the same way the early Christian church was released from Jewish cultural control. “Racism is America’s original and most deeply rooted sin,” he says bluntly. The church needs to recover a corporate confession of this original sin of building a culture and economy on the backs of Native Americans and black slaves, and a “conspicuous silence” remains on the issue of immigration from white evangelical church leaders. Stories of churches resisting ethnic change in communities, or learning from and embodying ethnic change, are a strong part of his analysis. He finds the term “emergent church” offensive, saying “the real emerging church is the church in Africa, Asia, and Latin America,” which now makes up 60 percent of the world’s Christian population. The “next evangelicalism” should embrace a theology of suffering as well as celebration, intentionally give up power, and follow the lead of second-generation immigrants. Rah rocks the white evangelical citadel with this book. (May) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

Editorial Reviews

"Soon-Chan Rah calls the North American church to open their eyes to the great evangelism possibilities of our time. While many mainline white Christian congregations are struggling hard to add just one member, our immigrant and multiethnic churches are flourishing. This book is well written, comprehensive and the best of the subject. Mr. Rah is equal parts pastor, teacher and activist. He calls us to take a hard look at our sins against the immigrants and those not of white privilege."
"A needed wake-up call to Western Christians, many of whom have failed to come to terms with the implications of the drastic changes taking place. Pastors and leaders of immigrant congregations will be enlightened by the author's second generation insights. Although the primary audience is the Western Church, the author's message is relevant for the immigrant Church as well as for Christian communities in Asia, Africa and Latin America."
"Stories of churches resisting ethnic change in communities, or learning from and embodying ethnic change, are a strong part of his analysis. Rah rocks the white evangelical citadel with this book."
"Rah skillfully tackles topics even those regularly engaged in racial reconciliation evade in public settings, and addresses how captivity to White privilege and Western cultural pressures (individualism, consumerism, materialism) have influenced the Church's theology, bibilical priorities and interpretations, and ministry strategies. Rah's unique argument intersects with his call to mutuality and reciprocity, underscoring the importance of what Western Christianity must learn from immigrant and ethnic minority groups, and from the global South, in order to maintain a vibrancy in the next evangelicalism."
"Two unambiguous reactions will surely be provoked by Soong-Chan Rah's message in The Next Evangelicalism. Some people will embrace it enthusiastically; others will cringe and cover their ears. As I read through the book, I often compared Rah to a biblical-era prophet--people will either want to follow him or assasinate him. Rah's book does not seek to inspire the superficial reconciliation of people but to realize true reconciliation within the body of Christ."
"An insightful and challenging book. I highly recommend it. The Next Evangelicalism is a good wake-up call for how we need change."
"The book is not a race-based rant but a heartfelt plea that Christians receive all the gifts God has for them, including those that don't confirm their culture's values. He also challenges American believers to examine critically the version of Christianity they are exporting to the world, sometimes with unfortunate results."
"Rah's book does not seek to inspire the superficial reconciliation of people but to realize true reconciliation within the body of Christ."
"While Rah's tone is challenging, his message is ultimately one of hope. If we heed his message, a renewed vision for this kind of multi-cultural Christianity can bring new life to Christ's church in the United States."
"A strong read for those who want to prepare their church for cultural transformation."
"Challenges North American Evangelical Christianity to throw off the chains of its oppression--what he calls the 'Western cultural captivity of the Church'--and embrace a multi-ethnic and diverse evangelism that reflects the church's contemporary constituency."

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