Sky is Falling, the Church is Dying, and Other False Alarms, the
Is there only doom and gloom for the future of mainline Christianity? Or is it that the current sense of decline and malaise is only a mirage or the result of exaggerations by persons both within but also without these...
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Is there only doom and gloom for the future of mainline Christianity? Or is it that the current sense of decline and malaise is only a mirage or the result of exaggerations by persons both within but also without these churches? Is the church threatened or are we on the precipice of new opportunities? While there has been some helpful work on the state of the church, others have uncritically parroted claims about decline and linked these claims with notions that the decline is due to relentless theological liberalism. The tragedy for churches is that many pastors now feel decline is inevitable and they are blind to the strengths that they do have.
In this book, Ted Campbell begins with an accounting of the Church's great treasure, the Gospel, and how mainline churches continue to minister in line with many thoughtful traditions. Tradition isn't just "frozen success," it also holds keys to faith's relevance for the world today. Campbell continues to show how mainline churches came to understand themselves as mainline and how the media continues to misunderstand them. The book concludes with practices that will help churches build up the larger Christian community while reaching out to new constituencies.
Ted A. Campbell (PhD., Southern Methodist University, MA., Oxford) is Associate Professor of Church History at Southern Methodist University. His research interests include Methodist history including Wesleyan studies; Pietism and movements for a "religion of the heart" in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; Ecumenical Christian doctrine. Selected Publications: Methodist Doctrine: The Essentials (Abingdon Press); Christian Confessions: A Historical Introduction (Westminster John Knox Press); The Religion of the Heart: A Study of European Religious Life in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (University of South Carolina Press); John Wesley and Christian Antiquity: Religious Vision and Cultural Change (Kingswood Books imprint of the Abingdon Press); Edited: Albert C. Outler as Historian and Interpreter of the Christian Tradition (volume 8 in The Albert C. Outler Library; Anderson, Indiana: Bristol Books), Wesleyan Essentials in a Multicultural Society and Charles Wesley: Life Literature and Legacy(edited with Kenneth Newport).