“North American evangelicals learned to do church in relation to modernity,” asserts David Fitch. Furthermore, evangelicals have begun to model their ministries after the secular sciences or even to farm out functions of the church whenever it seems more efficient. As a result, the church, too often, has stopped being the church.In The Great Giveaway, Fitch examines various church practices and shows how and why each function has been compromised by modernity. Discussing such ministries as evangelism, physical healing, and spiritual formation, Fitch challenges Christians to reclaim these lost practices so that the church can regain its influence. Pastors, leaders, and students who minister to the postmodern world will find in this book fresh insight that will stir the hearts of many and spark muchneeded discussion about the evangelical church
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, author of The Younger Evangelicals, Northern Seminary,
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
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 ‘THE GREAT GIVEAWAY’ is in that rare category. Drawing from Lindbeck, MacIntyre, Hauerwas, Radical Orthodoxy, and his own extensive experience and scholarship, Dr. Fitch offers an important work for evangelicals who seek hope for the church beyond pragmatics and culture wars.
Brian McLaren, pastor, author (anewkindofchristian.com)
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 of Engaging Scripture