Giving the Church – The Christian Community Through the Looking Glass of Generosity

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The nucleus of the church’s vocation is to join the Spirit in giving communion in Christ to others, in the form of new Christian communities, for the benefit of the world. But can the church be a welcome gift?” In Giving the Church leading ecclesiologist Michael Moynagh draws together recent thinking from the worlds of ecclesiology and missiology with significant sociological work on the idea of ‘gift’, to provide a much-needed theological rationale for some of the key missiological and ecclesiological movements in today’s church. Part 1 reworks some of the big themes in ecclesiology from this giving perspective – the nature of the church, the four marks, the visible/hidden church and inclusion/exclusion. Part 2, meanwhile, draws on the extensive literature on gifts to offer an ethical framework for giving the church to others, and uses this framework to provide fresh readings of liberationist, herald and eucharistic models of the church. It concludes by arguing that giving the church away can be a route to making the church a more attractive gift.