Featured Reviews, VOLUME 4

Featured: MISSIONAL SPIRITUALITY – Helland / Hjalmarson [Vol. 4, #24.5]

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In the book’s final chapter, “The Gospel According to You,” the authors focus on certain aspects of what living one’s life on a mission entails.  At one point they draw from another recent work on the missional church (AND, Halter and Smay; 2010) and go on to interact with the concepts of modality and sodality,  terms originally used in ecclesiological discussions having to do with the parish and diocesan structures (modalities) and the monastic structures (sodalities) of the Roman Catholic Church.   Later, evangelical missiologist and historian Ralph Winter, employed these terms in a well-known paper entitled “The Two Structures of God’s Redemptive Mission.” Here, the authors advocate a synthesis of the “gathering” activity of the modality and the “going” activity of the sodality as necessary for a truly missional church.  This is all well and good, but it does not actually address Ralph Winter’s original two structure thesis, which stands as something of a challenge both to the concept of missional church presented in this book as a functional mix of modality and sodality and to those who portray the missional church largely along the lines of a sodality.  This, however; is not a focal point in Helland and Hjalmarson’s, Missional Spirituality, but it is a matter that those involved in the missional church discussion will want to explore.  Regardless, Missional Spirituality is a thoughtful and helpful book that should be read by anyone interested or engaged in missional church life.

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Jeff Romack serves as Executive Director of ServLife International.  ServLife is a non-profit at work in Nepal and India planting communities of the Kingdom, rescuing children-at-risk and serving the global poor.  Jeff and family live in Indianapolis, IN.

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C. Christopher Smith is the founding editor of The Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of a number of books, including most recently How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church (Brazos Press, 2019). Connect with him online at: C-Christopher-Smith.com


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