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Church Without Walls: Moving Beyond Traditional Boundaries [Paperback]

By Jim Petersen (Author), Carol J. Kent (Author) & Gene A. Getz (Foreword by)
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Item description for Church Without Walls: Moving Beyond Traditional Boundaries by Jim Petersen, Carol J. Kent & Gene A. Getz...

Your church is more than just a building, people or a mission statement--find out what your church really is and how to make it an exciting, thriving part of your community. THE POPULAR DEFINITION OF CHURCH PUTS TOO MANY ESSENTIAL FUNCITONS OF THE BODY OUTSIDE THE DEFINITION, AND THEREFORE OUTSIDE THE CHURCH. By habit, the church has come to mean a place. A place where we congregate, a place where we build up believers. But as long as that's our whole understanding of church, we miss one of our primary functions as the people of God: being out in the world for the sake of the lost. "The sad reality is that going to the lost and living Christlike lives among them is not in our ecclesiology," says author Jim Petersen. Throughout its history, the church has pushed for institutionalism in an effort to preserve the purity of the gospel. As a result, we've evolved into congregations that meet inside the walls of a building-rather than vital communities that live among the lost. In Church Without Walls, Jim Petersen offers an exciting definition of the church that pushes beyond the too-small boundaries we've inherited from the past. The first-century Christians had to sort out Jesus from Judaism in order to become a people for all nations. Today, we have to sort out Jesus from our religious traditions in order to make Him available to our nation. That's the challenge we face: Will we be the church without walls, communicating a gospel free of traditional and cultural trappings? Or will we continue to reproduce our forms and structures, hiding the essence of the gospel within?

Publishers Description
The first-century Christians had to sort out Jesus from Judaism in order to become a people for all nations. Today, we have to sort out Jesus from religious traditions in order to make Him available to our nation.
That's the challenge this book tackles: Will we be the church without walls, communicating a gospel free of traditional and cultural trappings?

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Item Specifications...

Studio: NavPress
Pages   240
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.9" Width: 5.9" Height: 0.6"
Weight:   0.75 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Dec 1, 1991
Publisher   NavPress Publishing Group
ISBN  0891096639  
ISBN13  9780891096634  

Availability  0 units.

More About Jim Petersen, Carol J. Kent & Gene A. Getz

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Jim Petersen has been on Navigator staff since 1958. He pioneered the Navigator ministry in Brazil. He is also the best-selling author of Living Proof, The Insider, and Church Without Walls.
Glenn McMahan is on Navigator staff in Londrina, Brazil. He is also a journalist and has worked for the Frederick Times near Baltimore, Maryland.
Dr. David Russ lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. He is a certified psychologist with twenty years of experience in counseling.

Jim Petersen has published or released items in the following series...
  1. LifeChange
  2. Living the Questions

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Reviews - What do customers think about Church Without Walls: Moving Beyond Traditional Boundaries?

Book that challenges tradition  Jan 28, 2002
This book challenges the concept of the Christian Mega-Church, and the role of Christians in the modern world. In Church Without Walls Petersen puts forth the following two point thesis:

1. Christians are in the world (not separate from it) in order to spread the good news about Jesus.
2. Every believer has a role in this process.

I think that he successfully argues his point, and provides a litany of supporting evidence (mostly historical) to show why the concept of the Church (the Body of Christ) has lost its place in the world over the centuries. By explaining a short history of the Church, Petersen points out that many good ideas that were relevant in their time, have become steep traditions in the Church, and lost their effectiveness. While this argument is interesting, especially if you do not know a lot of Church history (I fall into this category), it does get a little boring in certain sections of the book.

The part of the book which I found most compelling, was about my role as a Christian in the Church. Basically, Petersen points out that the "If we build it they will come" philosophy that many churches follow today is not working. We are not reaching the unchurched, and will continue to fail in this effort, unless a change is made. More specifically, every Christian needs to be out the in the world, modeling and explaining Christ's love to an American culture which has become quite indifferent to the Church.

I think that Petersen's analysis is accurate and convincing. He spells out how we are to do this, and what the Church should do to support this effort. If this topic is of interest to you, then you should read this book. It will challenge you to rethink your role in the Church, and take a hard look at whether or not the Christian community is being effective in a world that so desparately needs to hear the truth and love of Jesus.

Although I think that Chuck Colson's book "The Body" will give you a more profound look at today's Church, this book does a better job of explaining our role in the process. Coupled together, these two books will hopefully inspire Christians to step out of their comfort zones, and truly make a difference in the modern world.

An Amazing Book!  Dec 22, 2001
This is a balanced yet radical new look at what it means to be the Church in our day and in our culture. Peterson reminds us that Jesus gave us the command to "Go" into our world and make disciples. Instead we have told the world to "Come" to us! Peterson's analysis of the form of the Church being elastic enough to fit the function in each location and culture is truly life-changing; I was changed by this book. I have given copies to many friends who are also being challenged to "Go" in new and exciting ways. Out of five stars I would give it six!
A Very Balanced View  Apr 8, 2000
This book represents a very well researched and balanced rethinking of much of the Church Growth material that has been generated since "Understanding Church Growth" was published in the 60's. It presents a honest, Biblical view of all the stuff and fluff and gets down to the heart of the matter, namely reaching people for Christ.
Much-needed Biblical evaluation  Mar 7, 1998
I highly recommend this book to all Christians who want a well-reasoned approach to the Biblical concept of the Church. Petersen challenges the reader to re-think traditional, cultural "add-ons" to corporate worship of God and to seriously consider St. Paul's practice of "becoming all things to all men" for the sake of the spread of the Gospel to those foreign to practices familiar to the American Christian. -- Joseph W. Roberts

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