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By Tim Dickau / Cascade / 2011
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What practices might a community of faith take up that will bear witness to the alternative world Jesus envisions and calls us towards? That is the question that Grandview Calvary Baptist Church, an initially small and fragile group of Christ followers, has kept asking over the last 20 years. Along the way, this small group has spawned a vibrant community of faith that has traveled along four trajectories towards a shared life in community, radical hospitality, justice for the least, and confession leading to transformation. In a culture where individualism, consumerism, injustice, and autonomy shape us all, these practices have reshaped not only the people of this church but also the neighborhood they inhabit in the East side of Vancouver, British Columbia.
For anyone wanting to recover ancient but newly shaped practices of the first disciples, Plunging into the Kingdom Way offers renewed hope. By relating their story in conversation with a host of theologians, sociologists, and philosophers, Tim Dickau sparks the imagination for how you and your friends, your community, and your church can live out the radical vision of Jesus in your neighborhood today. Plunge in and you will discover renewed hope that you can actually follow the way of Jesus today.
In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Scripture citations link directly to English translations, and important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.
. . . a deeply compelling and engaging portrait of a community that practices hospitality and justice while nurturing a strong spiritual and communal life. Tim Dickau’s careful description of a single congregation gives his readers excellent resources for imagining what a fuller commitment to a Kingdom way might look like in their own contexts.
—Christine D. Pohl, professor of church in society, Asbury Theological Seminary
It is one thing to ‘talk the talk.’ It is quite another to ‘walk the walk.’ This book exhibits the way in which Grandview Calvary Baptist Church (led by Tim Dickau) walks the walk in freedom and courage and wisdom. The current crisis in the church leads us to fall back on specific narratives, so that we may learn what is true and transferable from one community of discipleship to another. Dickau offers a full measure of practical theology that is permeated with justice, generosity, hospitality, and forgiveness. This book will guide and empower others to walk by faith where our sight increasingly fails us.
—Walter Brueggemann, emeritus professor, Columbia Theological Seminary
The story that Tim Dickau tells here is the story of a congregation that has heard and received the good news: ‘The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news.’ That is, this congregation has dared to submit their life to this coming kingdom and its Lord. In doing so, they have learned to serve where they have been placed. The life that they have found in this submission has not been hoarded or protected behind high walls and thick doors. Instead this life has been given away in their neighborhood, on their streets, in their homes, coffee shops, and markets. It is a public faith shaped in community by joyful and hard discipline. The story is not complete but its end is certain because the vision that empowers their witness is the crucified and risen Messiah sent by the love of the Father and present today in the power of the Holy Spirit. Anyone who reads this story takes the risk of being captured by that same vision and called to deeper life in the kingdom. Surely that is the good news of Christ.
—Jonathan R. Wilson, Pioneer McDonald Professor of Theology, Carey Theological College
Multiculturalism is on everyone’s lips these days, but we are still struggling with entrenched barriers that perpetuate exclusion and suspicion. This book shows us why diversity must be pursued along with hospitality, repentance, and justice. Tim Dickau warns us that the kingdom of God is no simple excursion and has provided a pilgrim’s roadmap honed by prayer, failures, awkwardness, surprises, and, above all, abiding wisdom and lavish grace.
—Chris Lee, assistant professor, University of British Columbia
This is definitely not one of those ‘how to’ books on church growth. It is for those who want to be challenged to move away from the isolation of individualism, the complacency of their comfort zone, and the use of God in a consumerism religion. It is for those who fear the different, those who are indifferent to the vulnerable, and those who harbor idolatries of all sorts. The book is easy to read, nonetheless the shared stories will pose a challenge to all who want to learn to be God’s agent of hope and healing through His local churches.
—Amanda Shao Tan, adjunct faculty, Asian Theological Seminary, Manila, Philippines
Over 20 years within a vibrant community of faith, Tim has lived the four trajectories that he calls all churches to in this book. It is a call to participate in God’s liberating mandate of love by moving us to (1) radical hospitality, (2) shared life in diversity, (3) seeking justice for the least, and (4) embracing new life in Christ. Freedom is found there, shalom is found there. This is a book that begs to be read over and over. It is a book that leads us into deep living and identification with communities in which churches are placed. Most of all it is a book that emerges from years of laughter, tears, suffering, and joys as a church and its leaders live deeply into the neighborhood.
—Gary V. Nelson, president and vice chancellor, Tyndale University College and Seminary
Tim Dickau is the lead pastor of Grandview Calvary Baptist church in East Vancouver, British Columbia. Like many in his church, he lives in community with his family and housemates.