Weaving together narrative and theological reflection, this book offers helpful insights on a range of issues pertinent for all who are involved in fresh expressions of church - the essence of church, missional listening, homogeneity, theological foundations and the meaning of success in such contexts. Although much is familiar from other sources, the author's missional and ecclesial application of different images of the atonement is creative and persuasive, as are his reflections on nothingness as the starting point.
Fresh expressions practice is only properly advanced by experiment and reflection. So Andrew Dunlop's reflection on his experience as a practitioner is a welcome addition to this body of experiential learning. Jesus' anticipation of his atoning death as 'a grain of wheat falling into the ground and dying' was central to the writing of Mission-Shaped Church, with its emphasis on 'dying to live' as the heart of the planting process. Andrew's exploration of the ways in which the atonement shapes the church adds new dimensions to this understanding.
It's really helpful for pioneers to hear an account like this that shows the steps that someone else has taken in starting a fresh expression of church in a new context and especially so when they seem so natural and ordinary in nature. I was left thinking anyone could do this which surely is a good thing!