From the Church / Christian History & Future section

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The Underground Church

Reclaiming the subversive way of Jesus

by Robin Meyers


Price: £12.99
Publisher:SPCK (Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge)
Published:November 2012
"We have so long defined ourselves by who and what we are not that we have almost forgotten entirely who and what we are." So begins Robin Meyers at the start of this remarkable book in which he seeks to rediscover the essential components of what should be the defining characteristics of the church.

Meyers' critique of the church is staggeringly accurate ("More passion is generated by a service that runs too long than by the destruction of the planet.") His analysis of what has gone wrong returns - as other commentators have before him - to the effect of, as he puts it "waking up in bed with Constantine". Political recognition has compromised the church and dragged us further and further from the heart of Jesus' call. We are in bed today with the imperial forces of global consumerism determined to wreck God's world and the church has nothing to say - or more importantly perhaps - lives in such a compromised and complicit way that its words, however heroic and well-intentioned, will never be heard.

Meyers' solution is to call upon Christians to rediscover the gospel by placing trust in God, truly loving one another sacrificially and countering the imperial forces of today's culture by deliberate acts of subversion. Translating this from Meyers' American context to the UK naturally - at least for us Anglicans - raises questions about the future of the established church. But more fundamental questions are raised too - just how many Christians are there that would recognise the subversive nature of the Jesus that Meyers describes? And how many of them are prepared to act upon it? As the church seeks to adjust to the reality of its own powerlessness Meyers asks some vital questions we all need to consider.

Reviewer: David Ford   (10/07/13)
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