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The congregation in a pluralist society: Rereading Newbigin for missional churches today

Cronshaw, Darren J. and Taylor, Steve (2014) The congregation in a pluralist society: Rereading Newbigin for missional churches today. Pacifica, 27 (2). pp. 206-228. ISSN 1030-570X


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Lesslie Newbigin sought to engage the gospel with western culture. A re-reading of Newbigin’s work offers insights for mission and communicating the gospel in the 21st-century western world, including the need to grapple with religious pluralism. For Newbigin, ‘the only hermeneutic of the gospel, is a congregation of men and women who believe it and live by it’. How plausible is the Newbigin thesis? Can congregations today believe and live the gospel, especially in a pluralistic context? This article is an appeal for attentiveness to the place and priority of the congregation, for the sake of mission in our pluralist society. It is grounded in the experience of two congregational case studies, which opens up conversation with Newbigin’s The Gospel in a Pluralist Society. Methodologically, it applies Neil Ormerod’s understanding of ecclesiology as grounded in ‘historical ecclesial communities’ to test both the groundedness and plausibility of Newbigin’s congregational hermeneutic.

Item Type: Published Articles
Repository Version: Published Version
Keywords: congregational renewal, contextualization, dialogue, ecclesiology, ethnography, gospel and culture, Lesslie Newbigin, missional church, mission to the West, pluralism
Fields of Research: 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220405 Religion and Society
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9504 Religion and Ethics > 950404 Religion and Society
Type of Activity: Pure Basic Research
Subjects: D - Missiology
College/Association with University of Divinity: Whitley College
Depositing User: Rev Prof Darren John Cronshaw
Date Deposited: 04 May 2015 04:38
Last Modified: 04 Oct 2018 01:39
URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/1746

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