I am weary of parish consultants who offer pronouncements of doom, demise and decline; forecast futures based on generic assumptions about generations of people or styles of worship; or describe some congregation that is doing things so right that it is worthy of adoration and praise.
David Kling is interested in how interpretations of the Bible have influenced history and how historical context has shaped interpretations of the Bible. He selects eight key biblical passages that were central at watershed moments in Christian history.
By exploring the contradictions between official theologies and the actual behavior of religious communities, sociologists of religion help religious people to view themselves more honestly—a sometimes deflating and even painful process. Such may be our experience in reading W.