Item description for From Generation to Generation: The Renewal of the Church According to Its Own Theology and Practice (Annie Kinkead Warfield Lectures) by John Haddon Leith...
Overview Based on years of experience as a pastor and professor of theology, John Leith reflects on the dilemma of the church today as primarily "a crisis of faith." He states that renewal is found within Scripture and the tradition of a believing, worshiping community--in hearing the word of God, particularly in preaching, in teaching, in the sacraments, and in Christian conversation.
Based on years of experience as a pastor and professor of theology, John Leith reflects on the dilemma of the church today as primarily "a crisis of faith." He states that renewal is found within Scripture and the tradition of a believing, worshiping community--in hearing the word of God, particularly in preaching, in teaching, in the sacraments, and in Christian conversation.
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Studio: Westminster John Knox Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.68" Width: 5.9" Height: 0.57" Weight: 0.64 lbs.
Release Date Jan 1, 1991
Publisher Westminster John Knox Press
ISBN 0664251226 ISBN13 9780664251222
Availability 95 units. Availability accurate as of Mar 23, 2017 02:19.
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More About John Haddon Leith
Leith is Pemberton Professor of Theology, Union Theological Seminary in Virginia.
John Haddon Leith currently resides in the state of Virginia.
John Haddon Leith has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about From Generation to Generation: The Renewal of the Church According to Its Own Theology and Practice (Annie Kinkead Warfield Lectures)?
Generation to Generation Mar 11, 2009
John H. Leith's From Generation to Generation: The Renewal of the Church According to its Own Theology and Practice (Louisville, KY: Westminister/John Knox Press, c. 1990), merits sustained reflection. Leith's written other studies, including The Reformed Imperative: What the Church Has to Say that No One Else Can Say, so we're indebted to an accomplished scholar for this work. Like so many others in mainline denominations, Leith's concerned about declining membership, anxious to promote church renewal. But he's not interested in quick fixes, slick sales gimmicks, psycho¬logical tricks, or emotional excesses. In fact he proposes no "new suggestions"!
The church, he thinks, just can't renew itself. It must humbly await God's renewing! Waiting, praying, remembering, witnessing . . . these are what the church does best--in fact, they're about all the church can do! Preaching, teaching, pastoral care--old fashioned but time-tested--are properly churchly activities. Results can't be programmed. God will do what He wills as He wills when He wills! "The renewal of the church," he says, "requires the application of the message, or the interpretation of life today in the light of the Christian faith. Here the theological or logical order is critically important. The church is in trouble in considerable measure because it has sometimes interpreted the faith in the light of experience in the world. The first step in the renewal of the church is recovering the proper order" (p. 14). In the first chapter, "Heritage and Trust," Leith celebrates the deposit of faith entrusted to us--"the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 3). Unfortunately, it's a faith largely lost in large segments of Christendom. What we must, above all, preserve is contained in "Jesus Christ: the history of God's works in crea¬tion, judgment, and redemption which Jesus Christ fulfilled. Faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord constitutes the church" (p. 26).
We maintain the church by devoutly doing what the church has done: preaching, teaching, pastoral care. Preaching (as one would expect from a Presbyterian seminary professor) must be theological, biblical, exegetical, expositional. It's the only kind of preaching which saves, the only kind worth doing. We preach not to entertain but to remember and bear witness to our Redeemer. Teaching, using all the skills of scholarship and intellectual discipline, has, Leith insists, always under girded to the Reformed tradition. Educational endeavors within local congregations, denominational colleges and seminaries, all have their proper role. Yet too often, these days, both colleges and seminaries fail to preserve their churchly mission, sliding into basically secular educational modes. Pastoral care--soul cure--characterizes the church. Visitation, counseling, ministry to needy people, is essential wherever the church retains its heritage and mission. In the Reformed tradition of Calvin and Barth, pastoral care grows out of clearly theological perspectives. Unlike Pelagius and some of his heirs, Reformed theologians have never had high hopes for human perfection or social reform! So pastoral care means, mainly, helping folks who are mired in their sinful prediament. Visiting people in their homes, caring for the sick and dying, being present with folks in the midst of their trials, is the ministry of pastoral care. Leith's back-to-basics message needs hearing, even by many of us who don't share his strongly Reformed perspectives. Just to do what the church has always done, without being too concerned with the world's standards of success (growth; income; sophistication), may well be all we're asked to do!