Written with erudition and simplicity, this is a review of the Church's history of involvement in secular life, and an exploration of the its true nature and role.
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"Do we properly understand what it is that the Church should be seeking to accomplish on earth in heaven's name?" This crucial question, at the heart of Philip Blair's thought-provoking and challenging book, is one that is seldom confronted by those vast numbers of professing Christians who are overly preoccupied by the world and its affairs. He argues that the Church was appointed to be the single custodian and teacher of a new and distinctive revelation about man's potential in Christ, and that it is this task which she is compromising, and even at times abandoning, by entering the political arena.
In Part I of this book, Dr Blair establishes his argument by tracing the Church's history over nearly 2,000 years, illustrating her many oscillations between faithfulness and apostasy, and in Part II looks at Christian origins in order to identify the real nature of the Church and her Gospel. Scholarly, well-researched, cogently argued and logically developed, while Dr Blair's analysis may appear at some points highly controversial, this merely indicates how timely is his attempt to redress what has become a serious imbalance in much modern Christian thought.
Part I: Wheat and Chaff
1. A Violent End, a Quiet Beginning
2. Commitment, Compromise, and the Crusades
3. The Way of World Denial
4. Poverty, Power, and Protest
5. Revolution, Reason, and Revival
6. The Single Call and a Secular Gospel
Part II: The Seed
7. The Jesus of History
8. Kingdom and Church
9. God and Caesar
Notes and References
Philip Blair has worked both as a full-time Anglican priest, and in secular employment. He has lived and worked in Africa, the Middle East and in the Gulf, and is currently a university lecturer in Cyprus.