Mission on the Margins
Arising from the author's work among homeless alcohol and drug abusers in Birmingham, this text explores the theory that many people feel alienated from the church because they are alienated from society and through marginalization, cannot relate to the dominant...
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Arising from the author's work among homeless alcohol and drug abusers in Birmingham, this text explores the theory that many people feel alienated from the church because they are alienated from society and through marginalization, cannot relate to the dominant middle-class culture of most churches. In confronting this issue, the author attempts to transform understanding of marginality and to draw a parallel between transcending present-day socioeconomic conditions, and the growth of Christianity through history among those rejected by their host societies - Gentiles, barbarians, outcasts.;Street people in the wealthy industrialized West, the poor in the Third World and hermits and contemplatives who have left civilization are all regarded by the author as having a valid contribution to make to the comfortable middle-class church. This study brings together these aspects of voluntary and involuntary marginalization to present a challenging view of their role in Christians' self-awareness and social concern. It promotes the idea that by reaching out to the disadvantaged, Christians will themselves be evangelised by them.
Run-down inner city areas are not seen as places for spiritual renewal; yet, in mythology, places of marginal habitation such as the desert are places of mystery and encounter God. Could the same be true of the 'urban deserts'?^This book confronts the question of marginality, examining the affinity between those alienated from the mainstream of Society, and those seeking to follow Christ's example of solidarity with society's rejects. As the ancient desert was the place for stripping away false realities in order to meet God so the urban desert can be a place where Christians can rediscover the vital experience of the early church.