Insider Jesus: Theological Reflections on New Christian Movements
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Insider Jesus: Theological Reflections on New Christian Movements

IVP Academic / 2016 / Paperback

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Amidst the variegated spread of global Christianity, followers of Jesus are showing up in unexpected places. Culturally embedded "insider movements" are emerging in the folds and creases of Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, and other cultural fabrics. They elude our conventional theological categories and elicit wonder and debate. Are these authentic expressions of Christian faith? And if so, how should we understand them?

In Insider Jesus William Dyrness brings a rare blend of cultural and theological engagement to his reflections on these insider movements. Could it be that our own understanding of what God is doing in the world is culturally shaped and needs recalibrating? Amid the present ferment and conversation, Dyrness's probings and reflections open up a theological space for exploring these questions anew.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 168
Vendor: IVP Academic
Publication Date: 2016
Dimensions: 9 X 6 (inches)
ISBN: 0830851550
ISBN-13: 9780830851553

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Author Bio

William A. Dyrness (DTheol, University of Strasbourg; Doctorandus, Free University) is professor of theology and culture at Fuller Theological Seminary. He is the author of many books, including (with Jonathan Anderson), , , (with James Engel), (with Oscar Garcia-Johnson), and was a general editor of the .

Editorial Reviews

"When we are confronted with the reality of religious pluralism, genuine struggles and dialogues are possible only if we take our own faith seriously and at the same time deeply respect the truth claims of other faiths. Professor Dyrness's creation of hermeneutical spaces makes such struggles and dialogues not only possible but, indeed, imperative. A must-read for anyone yearning to learn more about God's mission in the world today."

—Sze-kar Wan, professor of New Testament, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University

"Insider Jesus, written by one of the foremost theologians of culture, makes a significant contribution to the growing body of works on global theology. It seeks to move beyond the current models of contextualization, which tend to privilege the outsider's (missionary) understanding of the gospel at the expense of the insider's. It advocates an 'intercultural theology' that involves older Christian traditions engaging in serious dialogue with the newer expressions of the Christian faith in indigenous movements. The result is not only mutual enrichment but perhaps a new kind of ecumenicity from which a genuinely evangelical-catholic faith would eventually emerge. Protestants and especially evangelicals need to read this book!"

—Simon Chan, Trinity Theological College, Singapore

"In a day when many too quickly give a thumbs-up or thumbs-down response to new movements of followers of Jesus who try to retain much of their religious and cultural heritage of birth, this study offers a wealth of biblical, historical, and theological insight to help us all give a more informed and constructive response.

—J. Dudley Woodberry, dean emeritus and senior professor of Islamic studies, School of Intercultural Studies, Fuller Theological Seminary

Editorial Reviews

"The word insider in the title is accurate but also misleading, because the joy of reading this book is learning more about how God acts and moves in people's lives outside of where and how we might expect. Dyrness takes us through the Bible, theology, history, culture, and case studies to open our eyes to different ways Jesus is being followed today. As a result, our eyes are opened to God's redemptive grace moving creatively in the world. And we're better prepared for thoughtful missions work that participates in God's story without imposing unnecessary cultural baggage."
"Dyrness interacts with much missional and contextualization literature. . . . He raises questions for anyone interested in missions and how best to approach it in our globalized world."
"As the growth in emergent insider movements continues unabated across the globe, missiologists have begun to grapple with the theological and missiological implications of these movements for global Christianity. What does it mean for subaltern communities to embrace Jesus and his gospel while remaining institutionally rooted within their own religious communities? Drawing upon biblical, theological, and ethnographic resources, William A. Dyrness's Insider Jesus offers a comprehensive, critical, and constructive theological response to the challenges arising from the continuing growth of emergent insider movements across the globe. This response truly embraces the plurality of hybridized, boundary-crossing, and transreligious ways in which believers have chosen to follow Jesus while maintaining existing social ties, cultural identities, and religious belongings. As the culmination and crowning achievement of Dyrness's lifelong journey as a missioner and missiologist across Asia, Africa, and Latin America, this compelling and indispensable book is destined to be a seminal resource for missiologists and missioners that is biblically sound and theologically rigorous, yet clear and engaging for nonspecialist readers. I have no hesitation in recommending this as essential reading for scholars and students of Christian mission and global evangelism alike."

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