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Evaluating the Church Growth Movement: 5 Views [Paperback]

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Item description for Evaluating the Church Growth Movement: 5 Views by Paul E. Engle Gary L. McIntosh...

Although the church growth movement has made a significant impact on evangelicals over the past half century, it has also created controversy and division. This careful five-view analysis helps evangelicals understand the movement's strengths and weaknesses and arrive at their own conclusions on issues that affect the future direction of the church.

Publishers Description
Gaining form and momentum over the second half of the 20th century, the Church Growth movement has become an enormous shaping force on the Western church today. You may love it, you may hate it, but you can t deny its impact. But what exactly is Church Growth? In what ways has the movement actually brought growth to the church, and how effective has it been in doing so? What are its strengths and weaknesses? This timely book addresses such questions. After providing a richly informative history and overview, it explores---in a first-ever roundtable of their leading voices---five main perspectives, both pro and con, on the classic Church Growth movement: *Effective Evangelism View (Elmer Towns) *Gospel in Our Culture View (Craig Van Gelder) *Centrist View (Charles Van Engen) *Reformist View (Gailyn Van Rheenan) *Renewal View (Howard Snyder) As in other Counterpoints books, each view is first presented by its proponent, then critiqued by his co-contributors. The book concludes with reflections by three seasoned pastors who have grappled with the practical implications of Church Growth. The interactive and fair-minded nature of the Counterpoints format allows the reader to consider the strengths and weaknesses of each view and draw informed, personal conclusions. The Counterpoints series provides a forum for comparison and critique of different views on issues important to Christians. Counterpoints books address two categories: Church Life and Exploring Theology. Complete your library with other books in the Counterpoints series."

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Zondervan
Pages   295
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8" Width: 5.4" Height: 0.9"
Weight:   0.7 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 1, 2004
Publisher   Zondervan Publishing
Series  Counterpoints: Church Life  
ISBN  0310241103  
ISBN13  9780310241102  
UPC  025986241100  

Availability  0 units.

More About Paul E. Engle Gary L. McIntosh

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Paul E. Engle has pastored churches in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Illinois, and Michigan. He earned degrees from Houghton College, Wheaton College Graduate School, and Westminster Theological Seminary. He serves as an adjunct professor in two U.S. seminaries and in four international schools. Among his eight books is The Baker Wedding Handbook.

Paul E. Engle has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Counterpoints: Bible and Theology
  2. Zondervan Practical Ministry Guides

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Evangelism > General

Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > Church Growth

Reviews - What do customers think about Evaluating the Church Growth Movement?

Worth the Read  Jan 9, 2007
"Evaluating the Church Growth Movement" is a book from the "Counterpoint" series by Zondervan where different views are articulated on a particular issue by one of the major proponents of each perspective and then those holding differing views have the opportunity to refute or disagree. With this book there are five differing views of church growth that are presented: Effective Evangelism View by Elmer Towns, the Gospel and Our Culture Network View by Craig Van Gelder, the Centrist View by Charles Van Engen, the Reformist View by Gailyn Van Rheenan, and the Renewal View by Howard Synder.

List strengths of book.
I believe there are many things to like about this book. Each of the presenters (except one that I will discuss under the weaknesses) offered very thoughtful insight on their perspective, as well as helpful debate with each response. I like the fact that each view is presented by someone who is a proponent of that view, rather than having someone else tell you what the other group believes. This approach is a much more "honest" way of presenting differing perspective. I also believe the responses added much to understanding each view. I thought each perspective was theologically grounded and at the same time a healthy concern for the importance of the cultural context was present. A very beneficial historical perspective was given on the overall topic of church growth. It was helpful to better understand the roots of the church growth movement and how different individuals play significant roles.

List weaknesses of book.
There were two major weaknesses of the book. First, most of the views, if not all, seemed to be a bit pushed. In other words, it seemed the editor had to come up with these somewhat arbitrary views of church growth. I do certainly believe there are those who are for and against the traditional church growth perspective, but to say there are five different views seem arbitrary. Secondly, the Centrist View by Charles Van Engen was very muddled and confusing. It was certainly the least helpful of each of the views presented. Additionally I thought the title of Van Rheenan's view (Reformist) was not a very good title, it should have been called something like the Complementary View.

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