A Peculiar People: The Church as Culture in a Post-Christian Society

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InterVarsity Press, Nov 12, 1996 - Religion - 251 pages
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Voted one of Christianity Today's 1997 Books of the Year! Christians feel increasingly useless, argues Rodney Clapp, not because we have nothing to offer a post-Christian society, but because we are trying to serve as "sponsoring chaplains" to a civilization that no longer sees Christianity as necessary to its existence. In our individualistic, technologically oriented, consumer-based culture, Christianity has become largely irrelevant. The solution is not to sentimentally capitulate to the way things are. Nor is it to retrench in an effort to regain power and influence as the sponsor of Western civilization. What is needed is for Christians to reclaim our heritage as a peculiar people, as unapologetic followers of the Way. Within the larger pluralistic world, we need to become a sanctified, subversive culture that develops Christian community as a truly alternative way of life. Christians must learn to live the story and not just to restate it. Writing inclusively with considerable verve, Clapp offers a keen analysis of the church and its ministry as we face a new millennium.
 

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Contents

Where Im Writing From
11
THE CHURCH AS PRIVATE CLUB
33
THE CHURCH AS NATIONSTATE
44
THE CHURCH AS TYPE
58
THE CHURCH AS CHURCH
76
THE CHURCH AS WORSHIPING COMMUNITY
94
THE CHURCH AS PARADE
114
THE CHURCH AS LISTENING COMMUNITY
126
THE CHURCH AS MISSION MESSAGE
158
THE CHURCH AS A WAY OF LIFE
172
THE CHURCH AS A COMMUNITY OF FRIENDS
187
Notes
213
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Page 248 - I am going to mean any coherent and complex form of socially established cooperative human activity through which goods internal to that form of activity are realized in the course of trying to achieve those standards of excellence which are appropriate to, and partially definitive of, that form of activity, with the result that human powers to achieve excellence, and human conceptions of the ends and goods involved, are systematically extended.

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About the author (1996)

Until spring 1999, Clapp was senior editor for academic and general books at InterVarsity Press. He was formerly an associate editor for Christianity Today, and he has served on the editorial boards of The Journal of Family Ministry and Marriage Partnership. His essays have appeared in a variety of publications, including Christianity Today, Regeneration Quarterly and Books and Culture. Clapp is now an editor with Brazos Press, a new imprint of Baker Book House.

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