The American church is at a critical crossroads. Our witness has been compromised, our numbers are down, and our reputation has been sullied, due largely to our own faults and fears. The church's ethnocentrism, consumerism, and syncretism have blurred the lines between discipleship and partisanship.
Pastor Eric Costanzo, missiologist Daniel Yang, and nonprofit leader Matthew Soerens find that for the church to return to health, we must decenter ourselves from our American idols and recenter on the undeniable, inalienable core reality of the global, transcultural kingdom of God. Our guides in this process are global Christians and the poor, who offer hope from the margins, and the ancient church, which survived through the ages amid temptations of power and corruption. Their witness points us to refocus on the kingdom of God, the image of God, the Word of God, and the mission of God.
The path to the future takes us away from ourselves in unlikely directions. By learning from the global church and marginalized voices, we can return to our roots of being kingdom-focused, loving our neighbor, and giving of ourselves in missional service to the world.
"There have been few books that rightly assess and analyze the tensions American church leaders are managing in our current cultural moment. In Inalienable, the authors not only provide a proper assessment and analysis of these issues, but more importantly, they also offer a way forward. If you care about what the next generation of American Christianity looks like and how marginalized voices are shaping the future of American churches, I highly recommend this book."
"This is a book for our times, some strong-but-needed medicine. The authors write, 'Many in the American church have replaced worship of God with idolatrous pursuits of wealth and power, at the cost of our integrity.' In many ways, much of the American church has lost her way in consumerism, political idolatry, and shallowness. As a result, the church in America is feeble. This book is a clarion call for American Christians to listen to and learn from our brothers and sisters in the global church. The future of the American church depends on it."
"This book, by some of the most thoughtful leaders in the church today, points us away from fear and panic and toward promise and hope and joy. Jesus is building his church, and doing so, as he always has, using those who are at the margins. This book will help ready you for the exciting next generation of the Spirit's work through the church."
1. Why the American Church Needs Saving
Part I: The Kingdom of God
2. Kingdom Centered
3. Decentering the [White] American Church
Part II: The Image of God
4. American Christian Idols
5. Imago Dei and Neighbor
Part III: The Word of God
6. The Bible with Eyes to See and Ears to Hear
7. God’s Inclination Toward the Poor, Oppressed, and Vulnerable
Part IV: The Mission of God
8. Advocacy and Discipleship Freed from Partisanship
9. American Religion or the Great Commissions?
Conclusion. A Declaration of Dependence