Rustin E. Brian

The Death and Resurrection of the Church

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The church as we know it in North America is dying. Statistics make this overwhelmingly clear. And yet, despite this observation, the church remains a resurrection people. How might these seemingly contradictory observations hold true? Taking a cue from Romans 5, Rustin Brian suggests that resurrection necessarily implies death. The church is called to follow Christ. This is a call to come and die. The Christian affirmation is that death is not truly the end, though, but rather the beginning of new and unending life in him. And so the first statement must be tempered by stating that the church is going through death on the way to resurrection. This book is truly one of two halves, then. The first half examines the present death of the church. The second half examines the possibility of resurrection for the church. Throughout, key factors for decline are considered, such as: poor and destructive evangelistic practices, civil religion, moral therapeutic deism, and consumerism. In the end, Brian suggests that the church embrace its peculiarity--the things that make us, dare it be said, a religion. As we embrace our strange beliefs, therefore, and discontinue our obsession with growth and relevance, we just might discover the possibility for renewed and resurrected faith amidst the death that we are experiencing.
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151 printed pages
Original publication



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