It is no longer possible for Protestantism to survive in its present forms."" Denominational organizations are obsolete and...

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THE GRASS ROOTS CHURCH: A Manifesto For Protestants

It is no longer possible for Protestantism to survive in its present forms."" Denominational organizations are obsolete and should be largely stripped away. Local congregations are unable to meet the requirements of Christian community, and many should be combined into church centers serving areas of the metropolis with co-operative ministries and corps of lay volunteers. These are the premises upon which the editor of the pungent magazine, Renewal, elaborates views and proposals previously set forth in that publication. His intention is to go beyond current diagnoses of the ills afflicting the churches and to offer a positive prescription. The results do not fully realize this intention. There remains a considerable amount of criticism of the churches throughout the volume; and the prescription offered would seem to place an unjustified confidence in decentralization of church structures as a way of increasing local participation, upon the consequences of more teaching by the churches, and tacitly, at least, upon a trained clergy. Believing that the traditional Greek terms, diakonia (service), koinonia (community), and kerygma (proclamation) are not serviceable today, the author offers three other terms which can hardly be regarded either as synonyms or adequate counterparts: chaplaincy (traditional ministry), teaching, and abandonment (trimming down property and program to minimal needs for carrying out the other two). One limitation of the point of view underlying the book is its seeming preoccupation with the church vis-a-vis the metropolis, and a lack of recognition that the problems of metropolis are the consequences of forces and structures of national and international scope, to which the church must address itself, even at the cost of sometimes getting beyond grass-roots controls and responsibilities. A stimulating, if at times fragmentary, contribution to the present discussion of the survival of the churches.

Pub Date: Nov. 17, 1966

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1966