The Church of Us vs. Them
Freedom from a Faith That Feeds on Making Enemies
We are living in angry times. No matter where we go, what we watch, or how we communicate, our culture is rife with conflict. Unfortunately, Christians appear to be caught up in the same animosity as the culture at large. We are perceived as angry, judgmental, and defensive, fighting among ourselves in various media while the world looks on. How have we failed to be a people of reconciliation and renewal in the face of such tumult?
Claiming that the church has lost itself in the grip of an antagonistic culture, David Fitch takes a close look at what drives the vitriol in our congregations. He traces the enemy-making patterns in church history and diagnoses the divisiveness that marks the contemporary evangelical church. Fitch shows a way for the church to be true to itself, unwinding the antagonisms of our day and making space for Christ's reconciling presence in our day-to-day lives. He offers new patterns and practices that move the church beyond making enemies to being the presence of Christ in the world, helping us free ourselves from a faith that feeds on division.
Introduction: Beyond Enemies?
1. The Strife among Us
2. The Enemy-Making Machine
3. Are You Biblical?
4. God's Grand Drama: The Bible as the Space beyond Enemies
5. Have You Made a Decision?
6. Participating in His Reign: Conversion as the Space beyond Enemies
7. Let's Make America Christian Again?
8. The Local Church Is My Politics: Church as the Space beyond Enemies
9. Beyond the Church of Us vs. Them
Appendix: The Fullness of Him Who Fills All in All: Rudiments of a Political Theology of Presence
"This is not a book where we are meant to come to agreement with the author on all things. Instead, Fitch invites us to the table, 'Us and Them,' to relearn the rules for a robust and congenial conversation. Here we discover that the vision must be eschatological--not a pronouncement of enemies on the outside, but a recognition that the church has simply 'already' stepped into life in the kingdom and serves as an arbiter of peace. This is a profound and challenging word for all who are trying to navigate as faithful followers of Jesus Christ."
Carla Sunberg, general superintendent, Church of the Nazarene