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Relating Faith: Modelling Biblical Christianity in Church and World

Relating Faith: Modelling Biblical Christianity in Church and World (Paperback)

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Synopsis

In this book, Robert Knowles seeks to encourage Christians to embrace and model authentic biblical Christianity - or "Relating Faith" - in their discipleship, church, and mission. Our faith is relational in that "love for God and neighbour sums up the Law and the Prophets" and in that, in response to the Great Commission, we are to relate our faith in Jesus Christ to the world where it is actually at today. Such "relating faith" is biblical not least in that Christians are to be matured and refereed in their love, or biblical lawfulness, primarily through the Holy Spirit's formative and relational activation of biblical speech-acts.



Knowles argues, however, that the Western church has so allowed itself to be shaped by ancient, modern and postmodern Western culture and thinking, that it has in effect lost its authentic biblical shape as "relating faith". Knowles identifies five broad kinds of inauthentic or unbiblical sub-culture within the contemporary Western (and especially British) church that, whilst they are by no means the whole truth about the church, have still critically compromised its biblical shape and mission so as to render the church "non-relational" and even oppressive. Knowles then argues that these five counterfeit non-relational church sub-cultures are responsible for Christians hopping between churches or else leaving the church in droves, and for non-Christians increasingly seeing the church as irrelevant.



In order to address this problem, Knowles gives detailed expositions of the shape of authentic biblical discipleship, church and mission on the one hand, and of the shape of Western modernity and postmodernity on the other hand. In the light of these expositions Knowles argues that the apparently more "modern" and/or "postmodern" shape of the five inauthentic or unbiblical contemporary church sub-cultures that he has identified has resulted, in part, from a long-standing anti-intellectual, anti-theological, and anti-biblical attitude of cherished ideological and cultural ignorance within the church. Notably, Knowles argues that this pietistic attitude has allowed the church to see false prophecy as "true", and to see the truly prophetic, the theological and even sometimes biblical doctrine as, at best, of only marginal or "merely academic" importance. This conclusion forms the platform from which Knowles calls Christians back to authentic biblical discipleship, church and mission - to "relating faith".



COMMENDATIONS

"Rob's gift to the Church is to communicate rich theological truth in profoundly relational ways with the Scriptures at the centre. Those who want more and know there's more but just don't know where to look, would find in Rob's work a goldmine of wisdom, and Christ is the fount of it all."

- Rev'd Richard Matcham, Minister of Barton Baptist Church, Torquay



"I am glad to commend this book. It combines such technical-sounding topics as speech-act theory and postmodernism with very practical issues in bible study and the Christian life. Dr Knowles has shown that these are down-to-earth tools and issues which can be of practical use in everyday Christian discipleship. Issues such as that of church leadership are also raised in a practical way."

- Anthony C. Thiselton, Emeritus Professor of Christian Theology, University of Nottingham



"Rob Knowles is one of those people who has had a massive influence on my life and ministry; his work is always thoughtful, challenging, and very helpful. Rob always seeks to be thoroughly biblical, and he's never one to duck the tough questions or offer easy platitudes. I thoroughly recommend this volume as one which will help you significantly in your life and ministry."

- Rev'd Ted Fell, Vicar of All Saints Anglican Church, Kings Cross, London

Philosophy, Psychology & Social SciencesReligion & BeliefsChristianityChristian theology Publisher: Send The Light Publication Date: 13/02/2014 ISBN-13: 9781842278314  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
Availability: To Order. Estimated despatch in 1-3 weeks.  

ROBERT KNOWLES, initially a geophysicist by training, moved into theology, feeling called by God to become involved in Christian ministry. He has worked with the Navigators in London and Swansea and has had links to Cymru Institute for Contemporary Christianity, an offshoot of London Institute for Contemporary Christianity, and to Central Eurasian Partners, an Eastern European group of mission initiatives. He obtained his doctorate in theology at Cardiff University in 2006, and has since written the successful Anthony C. Thiselton and the Grammar of Hermeneutics (Paternoster, 2012).

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