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Christianity for the Rest of Us: How the…
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Christianity for the Rest of Us: How the Neighborhood Church Is… (original 2006; edition 2006)

by Diana Butler Bass

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461522,528 (3.94)3
Member:PaddyAnglican
Title:Christianity for the Rest of Us: How the Neighborhood Church Is Transforming the Faith
Authors:Diana Butler Bass
Info:HarperSanFrancisco (2006), Hardcover, 336 pages
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Christianity for the Rest of Us: How the Neighborhood Church Is Transforming the Faith by Diana Butler Bass (2006)

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hardcover
  dianahughes07 | Apr 17, 2018 |
This was an inspiring and heartening book for a mainline church member. Bass visited numerous congregations and describes the many ways in which some churches are experiencing renewed vitality in worship, study, and service. A useful corrective to the "sky is falling" school of reporting on American Protestant churches. ( )
1 vote auntieknickers | Apr 3, 2013 |
Polls and church membership lists have shown a similar trend for decades: the so-called mainline Protestant churches in the United States are declining. In roughly the last thirty years, conservative and evangelical churches have been growing rapidly. Dorothy Butler Bass goes in search of mainline churches that are defying this trend, and growing in their own neighborhoods. This book represents her summary of the paths they are taking.

In particular, Butler Bass writes about twelve specific faith practices that growing mainline churches have embraced. Many of them seem to be rediscoveries of ancient spiritual disciplines, like contemplation. Others are more modern, like diversity and justice.

Despite the books self-described scope, Butler Bass offers a very anecdotal finished product. While her work suggests that she was working as a type of religious anthropologist, the book lacks the context that such studies need to be comprehensible. Without this context, this book is mostly a collection of anecdotes.

In fairness, Butler Bass intends this book for interested church-goers looking for a mainline alternative to conservative churches. Perhaps the lack of context is an attempt to tell stories that will create insight and stimulate discussion in churches without offering too much confusing information. However, while the research interested me, I found the book rather disappointing without such context.

To be sure, there is value here for mainline churches and their members -- ideas for renewal that don't involve audio visual equipment or TV advertising. The spiritual disciplines mentioned would be good guides for congregations looking to grow in their lives of faith. But more context would make these sections even better. ( )
  ALincolnNut | Mar 4, 2010 |
Are the mainline Protestant churches really suffering membership decline? Bass's investigation reveals just the opposite: non-evangelical, progressive churches are flourishing. Includes a study guide.
  metlibchurch | Oct 23, 2008 |
Excellent book- one of the best I've ever read ( )
  sheyduck | Mar 12, 2008 |
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To my in-laws, Bill and Courtney Bass, who embody the best practices and passions of mainline Protestantism.
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I grew up in a village that has vanished.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060859490, Paperback)

For decades the accepted wisdom has been that America's mainline Protestant churches are in decline, eclipsed by evangelical mega-churches. Church and religion expert Diana Butler Bass wondered if this was true, and this book is the result of her extensive, three-year study of centrist and progressive churches across the country. Her surprising findings reveal just the opposite—that many of the churches are flourishing, and they are doing so without resorting to mimicking the mega-church, evangelical style.

Christianity for the Rest of Us describes this phenomenon and offers a how-to approach for Protestants eager to remain faithful to their tradition while becoming a vital spiritual community. As Butler Bass delved into the rich spiritual life of various Episcopal, United Methodist, Disciples of Christ, Presbyterian, United Church of Christ, and Lutheran churches, certain consistent practices—such as hospitality, contemplation, diversity, justice, discernment, and worship—emerged as core expressions of congregations seeking to rediscover authentic Christian faith and witness today.

This hopeful book, which includes a study guide for groups and individuals, reveals the practical steps that leaders and laypeople alike are taking to proclaim an alternative message about an emerging Christianity that strives for greater spiritual depth and proactively engages the needs of the world.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:07 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

For decades the accepted wisdom has been that America's mainline Protestant churches are in decline, eclipsed by evangelical mega-churches. Church and religion expert Diana Butler Bass wondered if this was true, and this book is the result of her extensive, three-year study of centrist and progressive churches across the country. Her surprising findings reveal just the opposite--that many of the churches are flourishing, and they are doing so without resorting to mimicking the mega-church, evangelical style. Christianity for the rest of us describes this phenomenon and offers a how-to approach for Protestants eager to remain faithful to their tradition while becoming a vital spiritual community. As Butler Bass delved into the rich spiritual life of various Episcopal, United Methodist, Disciples of Christ, Presbyterian, United Church of Christ, and Lutheran churches, certain consistent practices--such as hospitality, contemplation, diversity, justice, discernment, and worship--emerged as core expressions of congregations seeking to rediscover authentic Christian faith and witness today. This hopeful book, which includes a study guide for groups and individuals, reveals the practical steps that leaders and laypeople alike are taking to proclaim an alternative message about an emerging Christianity that strives for greater spiritual depth and proactively engages the needs of the world.--Provided by publisher.… (more)

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