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The Provocative Church (eBook)Graham Tomlin
Sometimes Christians assume that people 'out there' are eager to listen to what the Church has to offer. But why should those we try to evangelize want to hear the gospel? Surely people will only be intrigued by Christian life and community when they see something provocative or attractive. Then they will want to know what's going on. The Provocative Church offers a liberating understanding of evangelism as a corporate activity, in which all the gifts needed to enact the life of the kingdom – to stir people into asking, 'What does this mean?' – are spread throughout the whole Church. It encourages the development of a theology of conversion that sees beyond 'becoming a Christian' to bring each individual life increasingly under the rule of God. 'The Provocative Church is about an evangelism that begins with the kingdom, not the Church. Graham Tomlin helps us see that the New Testament, while not saying much about evangelism itself, does have an awful lot to say about new life in Christ. The work of the Church is to demonstrate what this new life looks like. This in turn will provoke a response, and it is in the dialogue that follows that real evangelism takes place. [This volume] is one of the best, most honest, most theologically grounded and therefore most practically helpful books on evangelism to have come out in recent years.' Stephen Cottrell, Bishop of Chelmsford 'A refreshingly honest book from a theologian who clearly knows that most of society doesn't think the way the church does, and wants to do something about it.' Church of England Newspaper