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Church in Hard Places

How the local church brings life to the poor and needy 

Church in hard places300Church in Hard Places
How the Local Church Brings Life to the Poor and Needy
By Mez McConnell & Mike McKinley
ISBN 978-1-4335-4904-5
Reviewed by Stuart Murray Williams

Subtitled ‘how the local church brings life to the poor and needy’, this book combines reflections on gospel, church and mission with stories from the North American and Scottish contexts of its two authors. The stories testify to the transforming power of the gospel in poor neighbourhoods, and the reflections emphasise the vital role of the local congregation in these communities.
The commitment and passion of the authors is evident in this further contribution to literature on urban ministry.

However, both authors write from a very conservative perspective and operate on the basis of a range of theological and ecclesial assumptions that many involved in more holistic forms of ministry will struggle with.

There appears to be no room here for alternatives to monologue preaching, women in ministry, socio-political engagement or any expressions of church beyond the local congregation. And evangelism in a strictly verbal sense is prioritised above all other forms of missional engagement.

Readers who share the assumptions of the authors will no doubt appreciate their firm stance on these issues; others are unlikely to be persuaded.

Stuart Murray Williams is a tutor in Mission, and Director of the Centre for Anabaptist Studies at Bristol Baptist College. He is a founder of church planting network Urban Expression



Baptist Times, 16/06/2016
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