I ran across a new book this morning (new to me, at least) that I can’t wait to read. Here’s what interested me:
The Church, in the Western world, faces populations who are increasingly “secular”—people with no Christian memory, who don’t know what we Christians are talking about. These populations are increasingly “urban”—and out of touch with God’s “natural revelation.” These populations are increasingly “postmodern”; they have graduated from Enlightenment ideology and are more peer driven, feeling driven, and “right-brained” than their forebears. These populations are increasingly “neo-barbarian”; they lack “refinement” or “class,” and their lives are often out of control. These populations are increasingly receptive-exploring worldview options from Astrology to Zen—and are often looking “in all the wrong places” to make sense of their lives and find their soul’s true home.
In the face of this changing Western culture, many Western Church leaders are in denial; they plan and do church as though next year will be 1957. Furthermore, most of the Western Church leaders who are not in denial do not know how to engage the epidemic numbers of secular, postmodern, neo-barbarians outside (and inside) their churches. Moreover, most of the few who do know what to do are intuitive geniuses who cannot teach others what they know (or charismatic leaders who cannot yet be cloned). The mainline Western Churches, Roman Catholic and Protestant, lack both the precedent and the “paradigm” for engaging the West’s emerging mission fields. There is, however, a model upon which Western Christians can draw as they face this daunting new situation. The ancient movement known as Celtic Christianity can show us some ways forward in the twenty-first century. (pg 9, 10)
This book is presented with the naive confidence that, if Western Church leaders are willing to love the Lord of the Harvest with their minds as well as their hearts, and are willing to learn from a once-great movement outside of the Roman paradigm, then Christianity can become contagious once more across North America and Europe in the twenty-first century. (pg 12)
The Celtic Way of Evangelism: How Christianity Can Reach the West…Again by George G. Hunter III. Abingdon Press, Feb 2000 (144 pgs) ISBN 978-0687085859