This volume offers much-needed contemporary theological reflection on the phenomenon of conversion and transformation. Gordon Smith provides a robust evaluation that covers the broad range of thinking about conversion across Christian traditions and addresses global contexts.
Smith contends that both in the church and in discussions about contemporary mission, the language of conversion inherited from revivalism is inadequate in helping to navigate the questions that shape how we do church, how we approach faith formation, how evangelism is integrated into congregational life, and how we witness to the faith in non-Christian environments.
We must rethink the nature of the church in light of how people actually come to faith in Christ. After drawing on ancient and pre-revivalist wisdom about conversion, Smith delineates the contours of conversion and Christian initiation for today's church. He concludes with a discussion of the art of spiritual autobiography and what it means to be a congregation.
Transforming Conversion will be useful in evangelism, spirituality, missions, ecclesiology, soteriology, and practical ministry courses. Pastors, church leaders, and thoughtful lay readers will also appreciate this book.