Title: Becoming a Just Church: Cultivating Communities of God’s Shalom Author: Adam L. Gustine Publisher: Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2019 Pages: 204 plus end notes Reviewer: Susan S. Baker There are a number of books written about how a church can be effective cross-culturally. Multi-ethnic churches are attempting to reach across cultural lines to …
Modern Western evangelicalism is experiencing a crisis of discipleship and gospel witness because of its perception of spiritual maturity in almost exclusively individualistic terms. The Scriptures, however, conceive of spirituality and growth in corporate terms. The leader’s role, then, is not to disciple a select few, but to create a culture of mutual discipleship, resulting in communities of genuine grace and repentance. Western churches need to recapture this community approach to discipleship to combat the crisis.
Church-based community organizations often struggle with navigating partnerships in their communities, as they sit at the pluralistic community “table” in order to serve the poor and faithfully proclaim the gospel without compromising their Christian witness. What community issues can Christian organizations agree to work on with others in the community in order to bring honor to God’s kingdom? How exactly will they bear witness to the gospel so as not to be seen merely as one group among many committed to social transformation? This study offers some theological guidelines.