The Great Giveaway

Reclaiming the Mission of the Church from Big Business, Parachurch Organizations, Psychotherapy, Consumer Capitalism, and Other Modern Maladies

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Toward an evangelical postmodern ecclesiology

Has the contemporary evangelical church given away much of what it means to be the body of Christ? Indeed it has, argues David Fitch. The North American church has largely conceded its unique calling by relinquishing traditional church functions and adopting modern methods. As a result, the church's role in spiritual formation, leadership, worship, and other essential functions has become barely distinguishable from other societal institutions.

The Great Giveaway examines the many practices of the church, details how each has been compromised by modernity, and offers suggestions for how the church might recover these practices in a biblically faithful manner.


"In the growing stack of books dealing with gospel, church, and postmodernity, many are popular and pragmatic. Others are esoteric and abstruse. A few are scholarly, penetrating, and full of rich, practical implications. David Fitch's is in that rare category. Drawing from Lindbeck, MacIntyre, Hauerwas, Radical Orthodoxy, and his own extensive experiences and scholarship, Dr. Fitch offers an important work for evangelicals who seek hope for the church beyond pragmatics and culture wars."--Brian McLaren, pastor and author

"David Fitch's The Great Giveaway offers a stern but truthful diagnosis of the state of evangelicalism's captivity to America. He clearly outlines the ways in which modernity has enticed evangelicalism into perilous waters. At the same time however, he never turns his back on his evangelical roots. His solution, offered in clear compelling prose, charts a path that is filled with hope and imagination on the one hand, and a deep appreciation for the Church's traditional practices on the other."--Stephen Fowl, professor of theology, Loyola College of Maryland; author, Engaging Scripture

"The question of finding our way to the hearts of seekers after truth without forsaking the Gospel is one which every generation of pastors faces. In The Great Giveaway, David Fitch deeply engages this question as an evangelical, a pastor, and a scholar. Amidst the questions of modernity and postmodernity, he seeks to identify practices in evangelical church life which may impede, and correct orientations which may harm, so that the church may once again bring the truth and grace of Jesus Christ to our world today."--Franklin Pyles, president, The Christian and Missionary Alliance of Canada

"A new crop of leaders is emerging within the evangelical wing of the American church. These leaders are clearly moving away from the pragmatism of the last thirty years of the evangelical movement to recover roots, depth, symbol, story, mystery and mission. David Fitch is one of those younger evangelicals who will be taken seriously. The Great Giveaway cuts a clear path into the future, a path that is now being taken by many."--Robert Webber

"David Fitch has written a book that has been waiting to be written, and he has written it about as well as it can be done. Evangelicals often fail to see how their concern with 'a personal relationship with Jesus' can be co-opted by the worst of contemporary American life. In a wonderful way Fitch names how this captivity happens, and what is more, he points the way to a better practice. Hopefully The Great Giveaway will be widely read. Hopefully, even more importantly, this book will provide an alternative to the failure of imagination on the part of many Christians in our society."--Stanley Hauerwas, Duke Divinity School

The Author

  1. David E. Fitch

    David E. Fitch

    David E. Fitch (PhD, Northwestern University) is the B. R. Lindner Chair of Evangelical Theology at Northern Seminary and the cofounder of Missio Alliance. He is the founding pastor of Life on the Vine Christian Community, a missional church in the...

    Continue reading about David E. Fitch


"Fitch believes the Gospel too often takes on the tinge of the very culture it seeks to change. Fitch doesn't carp, but seeks to provide a thorough, Bible-based evaluation, calling church leaders back to essentials. His analysis is trenchant and motivated out of love for the body of Christ. He deserves a hearing by church leaders."--Gerry Wisz, Aspiring Retail

"This book is important to the Emerging Church. Fitch calls us to return to a deep living out of Christ."--Aaron Flores,

"The Great Giveaway is an honest and wide-ranging guide for everyone who is concerned about the growing 'worldliness' of the evangelical movement. I wholly recommend this book to all those concerned that we as evangelicals are losing a sense of what it means to be the church."--Christian Book

"His aim is appropriate and admirable. It provides many moments of illumination and passages of sustained analysis and direction for "reclaiming the mission of the church" (as the subtitle promises). His cultural analysis is usually quite insightful. He understands the nuances of complex social analyses and moves deftly from those analyses to church life. Fitch embodies an evangelical passion for the postmodern world with insight into the culture and concrete direction for the church. Fitch is right in his reading of the cultural situation, in his critique of the church's giveaway, and in the practices to which we are called."--Christianity Today

"The Great Giveaway has a little bit for everyone concerned about the direction and scope of today's evangelical church. His remedies might not always please the reader, but they are challenging and will give cause for serious reflection."--Minnesota Christian Chronicle