Religious No More: Building Communities of Grace and Freedom
Paperback – February 28, 2005 by Mark D. Baker (Author)
Too many Christians are "religious" - their faith is more a human endeavor than a response to God's loving initiative. Such religion assumes that our value comes not from God but from what we do. It absorbs principles and postulates from the surrounding society, leading to further misconceptions about God and our relation to our Creator. All this hinders people from experiencing vibrant Christian community, where they could freely love and be loved.
Mark Baker suggests that just as car companies test automobiles under severe conditions to uncover weaknesses, North American Christians may detect fallacies in their "gospel" by examining how it plays out under the challenges of poverty, injustice, and entrenched religiosity. Baker's test case is drawn from his ten-year missionary experience in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, at churches born out of North American mission work.
Baker observes Honduran church life, draws parallels to the dangers of religion in the North American church and mines from Galatians exciting possibilities of robust Christian grace and freedom. The result is a bracing and refreshing approach to Christian community for laypersons, pastors, missionaries, and mission strategists.
About the Author
Mark D. Baker (Ph.D. in theology and ethics, Duke University) is associate professor of mission and theology at Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary in Fresno, California. He was a missionary in Honduras for ten years and has written 'Dios de ira o Dios de amor?' and (with Joel B. Green) 'Recovering the Scandal of the Cross: Atonement in New Testament and Contemporary Contexts'.