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Church In 21st Century

(Rough Notes of a paper read to the Baptist Union of Victoria, sometime in 1999).

Exercise : Hand out pieces of paper, and ask the
students to write down seven things that would happen in the future,
and put a date against them. Collect the m and arrange in chronological
order to see what kind of collective summary of the future the
group has. (When Alvin Toffler did this he found that only 10%
use the word ‘I’, and only about a third of these refer to their
own death. There is a discrepancy between what’s going to happen
to the world, and what would happen to them – nothing. The future
is something that happens to somebody else ).

FUTUROLOGY. Futurists are as old as civilization. Amos, an eighth century BCE prophet, who had no formal training, saw
in his materialistic society the few prospering via injustices
to the many. By using ‘trend extrapolation’ he warned that present
trends could not continue… What can we learn from Amos? First,
he closely studied the local, national and international scene
– so must we. Second, he saw his task involving both warning and
offering suggestions for renewal and change. Third, the story
of his life shows a prophet’s life to be a difficult one: prophets
call for a change in the status quo, and many people who benefit
from things staying the way they are won’t like it. (Amos was
threatened by Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, who reported to King
Jeroboam of Israel about this stirrer.)

Corporations and institutions everywhere are caught
up in ‘end of century / 21st century’ thinking. Futurists (or
futurologists) use various techniques – like trend extrapolation
(projecting into the future from current trends), ‘delphi’ (groups
of experts working separately offering their insights), scenarios
(something like the science fiction writing of Arthur Clarke or
Isaac Asimov), and simulation modeling (using computers).

But thinking about the future has always been a human
preoccupation. Malthus (1766-1834) predicted with ‘certainty’
that population growth would outstrip the world’s ability to feed
itself. Malthus’ reasoning was understandable: England was changing
beyond recognition, with its swollen cities, railways incising
the countryside, and economic growth unlike anything the world
had before experienced. Then there were the predictions by Paul
Ehrlich in the 1970s (The Population Bomb) of global famine and
massive food riots were only partially fulfilled.

Alvin Toffler, John Naisbitt and others have identified
our society’s trends away from an Agricultural and Industrial
Age towards an Information Age; from national to global economies;
from centralization to decentralization; from institutional help
to self-help, from hierarchies to networking, from few options
to many options. Barry Jones (Sleepers Awake! Technology and the
Future of Work, Melbourne OUP, 1983) has written the best Australian
book on futurism. And among evangelical Christians, Tom Sine’s
The Mustard Seed Conspiracy: You Can Make a Difference in Tomorrow’s
Troubled World (Word, 1981) was a significant book.

Items from Futurology:

*POLITICS. Wuthnow (1994) sees Christian fundamentalism
as a ‘third party’ in Western politics – first in America, then
possibly elsewhere.

*WORK PRACTICES: In the future more people will
distinguish between a ‘job’ and what Christians call a ‘vocation’.
Today’s young people think they’re entitled to a satisfying job.
Our grandparents might have said ‘I didn’t know I was supposed
to enjoy my job’, but Baby Boomers don’t. There’ll be more flexi-time
for more people; more will work from home; and it will be a tougher
job market. Futurist Phillip Ruthven describes the coming millennium
as a ‘golden age’ : by 2010 dole queues will have disappeared,
part-time workers will dominate the work force, housework will
no longer be drudgery (Hill, 1995:35). Governments and other agencies
(including the church) will be pressured to encourage more opportunities
for more people to find meaningful work. (And we might develop
a parallel idea – that it’s immoral to give money to anyone for
not working: that’s demeaning).

*SCIENCE: There are some astonishing new ventures
in the pipeline: Nanotechnology (a method of producing materials
by molecular synthesis)…

*MEDICINE: Here we are not astonished by very much
anymore, eg. predicting a disease as serious as cancer by examining
a single strand of a patient’s hair through the use of a proton
accelerator; arresting the aging process; predetermining the sex
of offspring; genetic selection and discarding of defective or
recessive traits; storage banks for all parts of the body, including
sections of the brain…

*ECONOMICS. We’re heading for the ‘McDonaldization’
of the world, which will severely impact our ecology. (Wait will
half a billion Chinese want hamburgers). And in Western countries
we await the influx of BabyBoomer ‘greys’ into nursing homes…

*DEMOGRAPHY. The migration to the cities in the
Third World will continue (it’s the largest migration in history),
but in the Industrialized world more people will live in rural
areas (eg. the north of Australia). Western cities will be come
truly multicultural, where, as in L.A. (soon) no one group will
be in a majority.

*(POSTMODERNISM. I don’t want to address this here,
for two reasons: I don’t understand it, and I think it’s all somewhat
faddish. My hunch is that if postmodernism’s pet themes – sensibility,
feeling, impression, role-play, lifestyle, viewpoint, mind-set,
network, spacetime, project, model, value, choice, pluralism,
style, worldview etc -represents no more than a passing phase
in western thinking, something akin to the Romanticism of the
1800’s… However if you want some basic introductions, see relevant
works in the Bibliography, with Snyder, pp. 213 ff).

BAPTISTS IN AUSTRALIA have significant strengths
and weaknesses. First, the statistics: Baptists comprised 2.4%
of the population in 1901; we’re now about 1.2%. The age profile
is similar to that of the population as a whole, and so is different
from that of other mainline denominations, except the Catholics.
(Most other denominations have a stronger representation among
older people). The 1991 census also shows Baptists to be underrepresented both among professionals and paraprofessionals on the one hand, and labourers and plant and machine operators on the other. Those with trade certificates are overrepresented (Hughes, 1996:52,73).
(A survey I conducted while at Blackburn Baptist Church, found
that fewer than 10% of members came from working classes, but
more than 60% of the reversions from membership over about a ten
year period came from that 10%). Baptists have one of the highest
membership/attendance ratios of any denomination. In 1993 46%
claimed to be in church most weeks or more often – higher than
for all others except the Pentecostals. But Baptist churches are
losing to other denominations more people than they are gaining
(Kaldor et. al. 1994, pp. 24 4-5). Membership is taken seriously
in most Baptist churches: until recently only members were allowed
to vote in church business meetings, although this is slowly changing
(except for significant matters such as the call of a pastor,
major financial decisions, etc.) However, Philip Hughes found
it ‘surprising to find that only 36% of Baptist attenders saying
that they participated in decision-making – less than the proportion
of many other denominations such as the Uniting Church and the
Lutheran Church – 32% said they chose not to get involved in decision-making, and 25% said they had no opportunity’ Hughes, 1996, citing Kaldor
et. al. 1994, p.124). (The National Church Life Survey (1991)
found that 60% of Baptist church attenders believe that the world
was created in seven days, while 27% believe that evolution and
the biblical account of creation can be reconciled (Kaldor &
Powell, 1995, p.69).

I remember reading Cook’s What Baptists Stand For
before seminary training, and being impressed with the heritage
we have as a Baptist people. God has been with us. Our key strength,
as I see it, is our insistence on people’s personal declared allegiance
to Christ, outwardly confessed in believers’ baptism. (Baptists
in Victoria most strongly affirmed ‘believers’ baptism’, followed
by ‘conversion for membership’ and ’emphasis on evangelism’ according
to the VBU Heritage Task Force, 1991, p.16). This practice encourages
a higher commitment than among paedobaptists, generally speaking.
(Though let’s not be too cocksure here: I meet many nominal Baptists
around the Western world, particularly in the U.S., and some very
committed, say, Anglicans!). But we Baptists urge people to grow
in their faith, join bible Study groups, be involved in decision-making
in church meetings, ‘witness’ to their neighbours etc. Good. But
we aren’t good at some things. Hughes writes: ‘Sociologically,
the intense form of congregationalism, with its high levels of
involvement has been, and continues to be, the greatest strength
and the most problematic liability of the Baptists. In some situations
it can lead to the formation of small groups, exclusive in their
attitudes, particularly in terms of power-sharing. It is easy
for those groups to remain insular and oblivious of external changes
in the surrounding culture. It can provide a fertile ground for
leadership conflict, both within the congregation and between
lay leaders and the pastor’ (Hughes 78). There isn’t much experience
of the ‘numinous’ in our corporate life. Few Baptists, compared
with other churches, note the worship as the aspect of church
life they most valued (Kaldor et al, 1994, p.187).

I must have preached in 300+ Baptist Churches in
Australia, and they’re becoming more varied each decade. The single
most common question in our ‘The Marks of a Healthy Church’ seminars:
how can we cater for old and young with their different tastes
in one worship service, particularly in smaller churches? This
centres particularly on the issue of modern vs. older music. But
then, we’ve argued about music before: some Baptist churches in
the 17th century forbade all singing, others said we should only
sing Psalms. In 1691 when the first Baptist hymn book appeared,
most Baptists complained about it!

to prognosticate too much about the institutional shape of future
churches, except to say it’s certain that experimental structures
will proliferate: there’ll be many models of ‘house churches’
(or, more specifically school-building-housed churches!), churches
without walls, metachurches (See George, 1991/1996) etc. Large
supermarket-type churches will attract more people, and small
corner-store churches will continue to die out, unless they cater
for a particular clientele (like extended families in rural areas)
and/or do something with excellence (like reaching a particular
ethnic or social group). More people in more churches will belong
to small groups. Liturgies-as-usual will appeal to a diminishing
clientele (I’ve only heard of three churches in Australia where
organ-only accompanies the singing in the main worship service
that are growing) and ‘church growth’ as a goal will be seen to
be as suspect as ‘economic growth’. A church should aim to be
healthy, and if growth is a concomitant of health, OK. If not,

Another way of putting all this: the modern church
competes with television (most attenders have watched almost 20
hours the previous week). Not only is the medium the message,
but if communication in church isn’t interesting (and cognizant
of an assumed 45-second attention span), the music excellent,
and the themes life-related, people will go elsewhere – even back
to the TV. (See Campolo, 1995, chapter 4 ‘The Television Challenge’
for one of the few writers-about-churches to agree on the significance
of television for churches).

Babyboomers have grown up with television – that’s
why they’re less-than-committed to a particular church/denomination.
They’re part of a consumer culture in which choices/freedom dominates
their lifestyle. They want ‘value for money/time’ and won’t hang
around a church that’s boring, irrelevant to their questions,
or stuck where it was. (Tradition is a good servant, and a very
bad master). These provide a partial rationale for the growth
of well-led Pentecostal/Charismatic churches, which now claim
24.6% of Christians worldwide, according to statistician David
Barrett (religious press, July 1996).

Back to Babyboomers those born between 1946 and 1964):
they have a disproportionate influence over our entire society,
consuming (in the U.S.) 51% of all the goods and services and
comprising 81% of journalists. They don’t share at all the ‘brand
loyalty’ of their parents: indeed they scoff at it – hence the
decline of denominations that have ‘expected loyalty but neglected
needs’… Babyboomers see the church they’re in as a ‘waystation’
on their ongoing spiritual journey rather than the final destination.
This is partly because they’re open to upward job mobility, which
may require changing location. They’re more likely to be loyal
to a pastor than to a church or denomination. They’re also more
tolerant of change, and more comfortable with diversity and ambiguity
(Anderson, 19 90:82).

Babybusters (those born since 1965) got the best
of everything: they’ve never had to wait for the good things of
life, so don’t understand ‘deferred gratification’. They listen
to music privately, and grew up in the first generation that devalued
children as having less social and economic value. They finish
their education later, marry later, have kids later and enter
the job market later (hence the term ‘the postponed generation’).
They’ve been more influenced by television than have the babyboomers:
but their concern for global issues often tends to be unfocussed,
even shallow. They face an almost overwhelming array of options,
and tend to be indecisive. ‘We search for a goal, and once it’s
attained, we realize it has moved farther away’ (Anderson p. 106).

I want now to highlight some trends I hope we’ll
see in the future (but the discrepancy between the ideal and actuality
will always be with us in a fallen world):

THE NEED FOR PROPHETS. Sociologists talk about ‘the
routinization of charisma’, which in lay terms, refers to the
inevitable tendency for institutions towards social entropy. Groups
lose the founders’ vision, and run out of steam, seeking an untroubled
life. As Robert Merton put it, memorably, ‘All institutions are
inherently degenerative.’ They rely on dogmas and bylaws to keep
their constituents in line. But God raises up prophets to remind
us of our commitments to faith, hope and love. Prophets stir us
out of our complacency; their words are a mix of judgment and
hope; they are ‘seers’, helping us see beyond our constricting
horizons to God’s greater vision for us. Prophets warn those on
the right to repent of their legalism, and those on the left of
their elitism. (So, on an issue like the current debate about
homosexuality, we will avoid both pharisaical legalism and unbiblical
liberalism). Prophets remind us that both God and the d evil are
active in all of the 26,000 Christian denominations in our world,
and point out who’s for what. Prophets help us identify the ‘shadow
side’ of all realities. (They’re good ‘crap detectors’ as futurist
Tom Sine puts it). They point out, in the words of Richard Rohr
(one of the English-speaking world’s best communicating prophets)
that boutiques do not sell anything you need. That biblical literalists
ought to extend their hermeneutic to the injunctions about selling
everything and giving it to the poor. If a church can’t name,
then commission, their prophets, they’re going to slowly die of
institutional arterial sclerosis… (And to think that we nearly
said ‘no’ to one of the few prophets we’ve ever had in our denomination
– Athol Gill, accusing him, would you believe, of ‘reading the
Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other’ which Karl Barth
wisely advised every preacher to do!

LEADERSHIP. The future is shaped more (in human terms) by the visionary gifts of leaders than by any other single factor.
Visionary leaders know God, know who they are (they’ve dealt with
their childhood stuff, for example) and know where they are going
– and they have some idea how they’re going to get there. I would
recommend that we include in pastors’ ordination vows pledges
to submit to Spiritual Direction (to keep us honest in our life
with God) and Supervision (ditto with people). Ideally, everyone
should also have a mentor (to encourage skill development) and
belong to a peer group (for encouragement). (Here’s an important
statement from Tony Campolo, 1984:106: ‘Do you have a support
group to which you are accountable? If not, let me say this as
directly as I know how: without such a small support group, you
are not likely to spiritually survive.’ As a denomination we should
encourage pastors to submit to constructive ‘performance appraisals’
and churches to undergo ‘audits’. That is, we will all take the
notion of accountability seriously. (See Paul Beasley-Murray’s
A Call to Excellence).

Two years ago Christian Century reported the first
case of a pastoral misdemeanour which went right up to the U.S.
Supreme Court. Although the woman agreed she’d seduced the priest,
the local Episcopal Diocese was fined, I think, $1 million. They
appealed, but the Supreme Court agreed with the local legislature
that someone in a pastoral or counseling profession who is not
under regular supervision should be liable in cases like this,
irrespective of who initiated the improper conduct.

WORSHIP. Healthy churches in the future will recognize
that all four Biblical modes of worship – ‘temple’ (with its emphasis
on liturgy-as-high drama), synagogue (the reading and exposition
of Holy Scripture), the small group (koinonia), and the festival
(charismatic praise) – ought to feature somewhere in every church’s
life. The fact that most of us aren’t comfortable in one or more
of these modes is surely an index of our spiritual immaturity.
(See the chapter on Worship in Rowland Croucher & Grace Thomlinson,
The Best of Grid).

COMMUNITY. I spent the International Year of the
Family writing a book on the subject (The Family: At Home in a
Heartless World
, HarperCollins). As I thought about it, I became
convinced that as Western governments divest themselves of more
and more social welfare responsibilities, churches have some wonderful
opportunities to care for people outside their fellowships – the
homeless, mentally ill, unemployed etc. Every solo parent with
children should be linked to other families. No single adult in
our churches should be chronically lonely. And no one in our church
communities should be unemployed or underemployed. Our churches
need to sponsor seminars on marriage enrichment and Christian
parenting. And I think we Baptists lost something in rejecting
the idea of children having god parents: every kid needs to relate
to other ‘uncles and aunts in the village’. Let us teach mothers
about bonding, and fathers about their strategic role in the developmental/
emotional health of their teenagers (of both sexes). Let us teach
young people – and others – about the importance of boundaries
for their psychological health, how to sort out good and bad (without
inducing false guilt), and how to become a well-put-together adult.

In terms of the wider community of churches, the
bad news is that conservatives will continue to be threatened
by cooperation (justifying their stance with a rationale about
doctrinal purity), and others will be more open (though some ‘ecumaniacs’
are so bedazzled by the notion of institutional togetherness that
they lose the plot in terms of essence of the Gospel). What we
share with other Christians is much more important than what divides
us from them. Unity is not a function of common dogmatic perspectives,
but our common heritage as children of the Most High God. (Have
you heard the sayings, ‘They’ll know we are Christians by our
doctrine’… ‘Now abides faith, hope and love, and the greatest
of these is baptism’).

One thing is certain: denominational loyalty is on
the way out… For two reasons, among others. First, the notion
of ‘denomination’ is too nebulous to most people in terms of belonging,
unless it’s small (Salvation Army, Wesleyan Methodists). Second,
denominational leaders are generally to the left / more liberal
than people in the pews: they have more opportunities to broaden
their thinking on lots of issues. And open membership in Baptist
churches will become more acceptable (ask me for my paper on that),
as will leadership ministries by women (ditto for a paper on that
one too). Isn’t it good God isn’t a legalist?

FORMATION. The Church Jan and I have just joined
(she’s the new Children’s and Family pastor there, and I’m a once-a-month
visitor when I’m not preaching elsewhere) is putting together
a ‘Reading Group’. Joiners will commit themselves to reading a
serious book once a month, and one of us will lead a discussion
on it . But spiritual formation/transformation is more important
than information. A note about seminary training (there’s more
in the John Mark Ministries’ pack on this subject): seminaries
exist to help future pastors get to know God very well, get to
know themselves very well, and get to know other people/the world
very well, and introduce one to the others in terms of the Christian
gospel, which they also know very well. I’ve been frankly critical
of seminaries’ performance, at least in the first three areas,
although fortunately they’re changing. A pertinent question, of
course, is whether seminaries should have the main responsibility
for spiritual formation of future clergy, or should that be done
some where else?)

# Just about everybody agrees we need a new Reformation
to put ministry into the hands of the laos (as the Protestant
Reformation gave them the Bible) but many/most clergy will resist
it. (Why do we persist in using the word ‘minister’ in the singular?).
The clergy are part of the laity, equipping us all towards spiritual
growth and maturity (Colossians 1, Ephesians 4). Pastors are the
churches’ resident spiritual directors (see Eugene Peterson’s
excellent writings on that subject), theologians (see Elton Trueblood),
and prophets (Brueggemann).

MISSION. Last Sunday night I spoke at Syndal Baptist’s
‘Life After Sunday’ event (it’s not a ‘service’, not even a ‘seeker
service’). The topic: Does God Exist? I listed 22 reasons why
intelligent people choose to believe in God. The usher told me
later that he watched some tattooed young men he didn’t know listening
with absolute attention the whole time. I followed a band (some
oldies said it was too loud and they were dazzled by the strobe
lights), and before that, by an explanation as to why we were
all there – ‘to find meaning for our lives by getting to know
Jesus’ – and an extempore prayer in colloquial language. All in
one-hour flat; terrific!

A few years ago I was invited to Taiwan as a speaker
at their ‘Towards 2000’ conference. Two thousand pastors and leaders
were there, praying and planning how to reach everyone in Taiwan
with the Good News before the end of the century. On the final
night they were invited to append their name-tags to one of three
large banners behind the stage: one committed them to speak to
others about Jesus; another encouraged special training for pastoral
or evangelistic ministry; the third challenged reaching the world
outside their nation. As hundreds came forward, many weeping,
to commit their lives to reaching others for Christ, I had to
ask my interpreter why so many older people were pinning their
name badge s to the overseas missions banner. ‘O, they’ll visit
their place-of-origin in mainland China, he told me, and there
they’ll witness to any relatives and others they find.’

Thousands of churches, particularly in America, are
now developing their own Internet Home Pages for evangelism and
teaching: a wonderful facility for reaching a lot of literate

In terms of Mission, in the 21st century some things
will stay the same: # Christians should still expect Jesus to
return in their lifetime # We should still have goals/visions
of reaching our generation for Christ # There will always be people
difficult for us to love: in previous times the categories were
racial, sexual, gender, chronological, economic; now two special
groups are homosexuals and pedophiles. But to each/all we will
say, on behalf of Jesus who loved marginalized people (the ‘least,
the lost, and the last’): ‘God does not share out love to all
creatures: God gives all of God’s love to each of God’s creatures’
(Hugh of St Victor).

THEOLOGY As the world gets more pluralistic/secularistic and complicated, fundamentalisms of all kinds will continue to proliferate. More and more people, in all religions (and indeed
in all ideologies) will find refuge in ‘simplicity this side of
complexity’. So we must encourage people to read, learn, grow,
think. Does your church have a well-stocked bookstall, with regular
book reviews from the pastors/leaders? Who was the church leader
who said, when asked whether he was conservative or liberal: ‘On
matters I’ve thought about, I’m liberal; on other matters I’m
conservative’. Fundamentalists may think too little, liberals
too much! Both may lose the plot, in different ways. But to be
fair to both, they are answering different questions. Fundamentalists
want to know about authority: what, put in basic language, is
to be our authority for faith and practice, assuming our God has
revealed some absolutes for us? Liberals are asking: how can God’s
truth be applied in shifting cultural circumstances, consonant
with Jesus’ ethic of love? So how can we provide forums for conservatives
and moderates/liberals to talk/pray together?

YOUTH. Young people are somewhat religious, but alienated from the church. We’ve sold them the wrong vision: Jesus will
help solve your problems, and so whatever you have left over,
give it to him. Follow Jesus if it’s exciting/interesting. As
Tony Campolo and others are saying, young people want a life-changing
vision for their lives – and they’ll respond to that.

Beer and drugs and sex are the addictions of non-student
young people. Students are becoming increasingly addicted to the
Internet, and computers in general, according to student counselors
at Berkeley and other campuses. (The University of Maryland has
set up a new campus support group called Caught in the Web, and
recommends students limit their keyboard-time to 40 hours a week).

Why is there standing-room only with the Milan Cathedral
with crowds of young Italians when Cardinal Archbishop Carlo Maria
Martini (sometimes called ‘the Pope-in-waiting’) leads his weekly
Bible studies? Why do they come from all Christian denominations
(or none) to Taize in their tens of thousands? Or (previously)
to hear German pastor-theologian Helmut Thielicke in Germany and
John Stott and David Watson in England? Why the crowds of Baby
Boomers to churches pastored by Chuck Swindoll, or Bill Hybels?

CONCLUSIONS. ‘Expect the worst, prepare for the best.’
The future will be both better and worse than we imagined. So
although we do not know enough about the future to be absolutely
pessimistic we know enough about God to be sure we’ll not be alone
whatever happens. In terms of vision and planning we can stay
the same, go back to pre-industrial community, or change. I would
advocate each of these for different things. In human terms the
future is not a lottery, a game of chance, or a whim of fate.
It is a result of the decisions made – or not made – today. We
can shape our destiny, so we must think and plan accordingly.
As Alvin Toffler says somewhere in The Third Wave, it is not the
task of the futurist to predict exactly what people will do in
the future, but rather to help people to understand the possibilities
of the future so that a better world can be created.

We can have three reactions to the future – we can
be passive, reactive, or proactive. Some dispensationalists and
Calvinists are passive: history is unfolding God’s way and we
are called to be passengers rather than participants. Many conservatives
are reactive: negative about many things. People with courage
and hope will be proactive.

Let’s summarize the key issues I believe the church
will have to face in the 21st century:

1. Spiritually: let’s become more accountable to
one another in our commitment to our God

2. Ecclesiologically: let us recapture the prophetic
calling so that our discipleship will be more radical; and practice
a theology of ministry which empowers all ministers – clergy and
others – towards spiritual maturity; and encourage pastors and
other leaders towards excellence.

3. Psychologically: strengthening families, and working
hard to enhance church-as-family

4. Economically: feeding the hungry and working creatively
to find every able-bodied and able-minded person a job

5. Theologically, conservatives and ‘moderates’/liberals
have got to start talking to each other, and praying together.
The issues will vary from decade to decade, and group to group.
For Baptists in Australia the fundamental issue is hermeneutical,
how we interpret the Bible. This impinges on ‘presenting’ issues
like abortion/euthanasia, homosexuality, women in leadership,
and charismatic renewal.

6. Missiologically, we need to recapture an understanding
of Jesus’ and Paul’s concerns about the ‘lostness’ of people outside
the kingdom.

7. Morally, we have to work harder on the theory
and practice of sexual ethics. – for pastors, and for everyone.

The future never turns out to be so alien or as calamitous
as we imagined. But then a full-blown Armageddon hasn’t happened

God reigns, despite appearances. God’s reign gives
us hope. God invites us to cooperate in bringing about God’s rule
everywhere – in people’s lives, in power structures, in our work
and study and leisure – ie. on earth as it is in heaven . So although
God’s reign is ‘spiritual’ its reality impinges on all of life.


Leith Anderson, Dying for Change: The New Realities
Confronting Churches
, Bethany, 1990.

Paul Beasley-Murray, A Call to Excellence: An Essential
Guide to Christian Leadership
, H & S, 1995.

Greg Broquard, Post-Modernism FAQ: [1] ‘So You Want
To Know About Post-Modernism?’; [4] ‘Passages from Frequently
Cited… Postmodernist Theory Theorists’ (part of the charter
of the Usenet alt.postmodern newsgroup.

Tony Campolo, Can Mainline Denominations Make a Comeback?,Judson, 1995.

Rowland Croucher, various papers, including ‘Women
in Leadership’, ‘Open Membership in Baptist Churches’, ‘Baptist
Church Membership’.

Rowland Croucher, Recent Trends Among Evangelicals,
John Mark Ministries, Melbourne, 1986/1995.

Rowland Croucher with Grace Thomlinson, The Best
of Grid: Leadership, Ministry and Mission in a Changing World
Melbourne: World Vision of Australia, 1993.

Carl F. George, Prepare Your Church for the Future,
Revell, 1991/1996

Robin Hill, ‘A Glimpse of Coming Distractions’, The
, Sydney, January 24/31, 1995, p.35.

Philip J. Hughes, The Baptists in Australia, Australian
Government Publishing Service, Canberra, 1996

Peter Kaldor et al, Winds of change: The Experience
of Church in a Changing Australia
, Lancer, NSW, 1994

Peter Kaldor & R. Powell, Views from the Pews:
Australian Church Attenders Speak Out
, Open Book, Adelaide, 1995.

John Naisbitt, Megatrends, Warner, 1982.

Henry Porter, ‘Future Shock’, The Age, Melbourne,
17 January 1995, p.4

Richard Rohr, Quest for the Grail, Crossroad, 1994.

Howard Snyder, EarthCurrents: The Struggle for the
World’s Soul
, Abingdon 1995.

Alvin Toffler, Future Shock (1970), The Third Wave
(Collins, 1980).

Robert Webber, Evangelicals on the Canterbury Trail,

Donald T. Williams et al, Apologetic Responses To
Post-Modernism: A Symposium
, Evangelical Theological Society in
Philadelphia, Volume III Number 4/ April 29, 1996.

Robert Wuthnow, Christianity in the 21st Century:
Reflections on the Challenges Ahead
, OUP, 1994.

(Other packs in this series: Church Growth and Pastoral
Stress, Seminary Training for Pastors, Evangelism on the Internet,
Spiritual Abuse, Homosexuality, Why Clergy Leave Parish Ministry,
‘Be a man!’ But What Does That Mean? (on the contemporary men’s
movement), Does God Exist? Etc.

Rowland Croucher
(Sometime in 1999)


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