The North American Church is too easily enculturated, says author Rodney Clapp – and is at its best when it’s set apart as a peculiar people (1 Peter 2:9).
Rodney, whose written several books and has a column in The Christian Century, says we need to get back to formation as a central organizing principle for local congregations.
In this interview, Rodney reminds us that the Church is at its best when we challenge with tough tasks vs. coddling with no commitment.
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Rodney Clapp has made a career out of calling the Church back to the basics – of baptism, Eucharist, and committed discipleship that makes us a peculiar people. Here are my notes from the interview:
Churches Need to be Bi-lingual
One language is that of Christ and His kingdom, the other is of the world. Rodney says today’s Christian leaders need to be well-versed in both to speak Jesus’ word to His blessed world.
More ‘Freelancing’ of Religion
Asked to get out his crystal ball, Rodney sees North Americans getting more private in their faith (which makes building congregations more challenging) and including aspects of other religions in one’s own belief system.
Today’s effective Christian leaders are discovering a newness that comes out of mining the best of our ‘old ways’ – call it ‘re-traditioning’ – but it is the traditional church’s ‘secret weapon’ to growth in today’s climate.
About Rodney Clapp
Rodney Clapp is an editor of Cascade Books, an imprint of Wipf and Stock. As a theologian and cultural critic, he has been called “perhaps the most perceptive contemporary Christian commentator on the intersection of society, culture, and the church.” He is the author of six books and has contributed essays to 17 other books. He authors the column “Soundings” monthly for the Christian Century. He was a cofounder and editorial director of Brazos Press, and has also worked as an editor at Christianity Today, InterVarsity Press, and Evangelicals for Social Action. With his wife, Sandy, he worships at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, Glen Ellyn, Ill.
Sponsors I Mentioned
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Virginia Theological Seminary is the largest Episcopal Seminary in the U.S., forming men and women for leadership in the church. In addition to the MDiv, Anglican Studies and DMin degrees are their Masters of Arts degrees with a fous on Theological Studies, Christian Formation, Religion & Culture, and Biblical Interpretation. Check them out at vts.edu.