Cover image for Disruptive witness : speaking truth in a distracted age / Alan Noble.
Title:
Disruptive witness : speaking truth in a distracted age / Alan Noble.
ISBN:
9780830844838
Publication Information:
Downers Grove : InterVarsity Press, 2018.
Physical Description:
189 pages ; 21 cm
Contents:
A distracted, secular age -- The barrier of endless distraction -- The barrier of the buffered self -- Searching for visions of fullness -- Bearing a disruptive witness -- Disruptive personal habits -- Disruptive church practices -- Disruptive cultural participation -- Large and startling figures.
Abstract:
These two trends define life in Western society today. We are increasingly addicted to habits--and devices--that distract and "buffer" us from substantive reflection and deep engagement with the world. And we live in what Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor calls "a secular age"--an age in which all beliefs are equally viable and real transcendence is less and less plausible. Drawing on Taylor's work, Alan Noble describes how these realities shape our thinking and affect our daily lives. Too often Christians have acquiesced to these trends, and the result has been a church that struggles to disrupt the ingrained patterns of people's lives. But the gospel of Jesus is inherently disruptive: like a plow, it breaks up the hardened surface to expose the fertile earth below. In this book Noble lays out individual, ecclesial, and cultural practices that disrupt our society's deep-rooted assumptions and point beyond them to the transcendent grace and beauty of Jesus. Disruptive Witness casts a new vision for the evangelical imagination, calling us away from abstraction and cliché to a more faithful embodiment of the gospel for our day.
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Summary

Summary

We live in a distracted, secular age.These two trends define life in Western society today. We are increasingly addicted to habits--and devices--that distract and "buffer" us from substantive reflection and deep engagement with the world. And we live in what Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor calls "a secular age"--an age in which all beliefs are equally viable and real transcendence is less and less plausible. Drawing on Taylor's work, Alan Noble describes how these realities shape our thinking and affect our daily lives.Too often Christians have acquiesced to these trends, and the result has been a church that struggles to disrupt the ingrained patterns of people's lives. But the gospel of Jesus is inherently disruptive: like a plow, it breaks up the hardened surface to expose the fertile earth below. In this book Noble lays out individual, ecclesial, and cultural practices that disrupt our society's deep-rooted assumptions and point beyond them to the transcendent grace and beauty of Jesus.Disruptive Witness casts a new vision for the evangelical imagination, calling us away from abstraction and cliché to a more faithful embodiment of the gospel for our day.


Author Notes

Alan Noble (PhD. Baylor University) is assistant professor of English at Oklahoma Baptist University and cofounder and editor-in-chief of Christ and Pop Culture. His writing has appeared in Christianity Today, First Things, The Atlantic, BuzzFeed and Vox.


Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Noble, editor-in-chief of Christ and Pop Culture, offers thoughtful insights into practices and ideologies that have become cultural barriers for Christians. Noble identifies two major trends that interfere with Christian spiritual formation: constant distraction (exacerbated by technology's endless elevation of immediate gratification), and the growth of secularism. Drawing on Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor's work, Noble unpacks the experience of living in a secular age in which social media invites "superficial but constant engagement" and being "open-minded, refusing to draw conclusions" has become a virtue. Following an incisive critique of evangelical worship services that feel more like concerts and TED Talks than sacred events, Noble recommends that churches reclaim practices of "embodied worship" (singing, praying, communal silence) and encourages individuals to live aesthetically, which "defies pragmatism and utilitarianism," and engage in contemplative practices such as keeping the sabbath, "an act of spiritual defiance" against the notion that one "must always be working or self-improving." Through these practices Christians will be able to find "manifestations of God's goodness" and experiences of transcendence that many have become insulated from over time. This accessible, timely book provides concrete strategies for individuals and churches desiring a robust "disruptive" Christian witness in a distracted, secular age. (July) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
Part 1 A Distracted, Secular Age
1 The Barrier of Endless Distractionp. 11
2 The Barrier of the Buffered Selfp. 31
3 Searching for Visions of Fullnessp. 61
Part 2 Bearing a Disruptive Witness
4 Disruptive Personal Habitsp. 85
5 Disruptive Church Practicesp. 120
6 Disruptive Cultural Participationp. 148
Conclusion: Large and Startling Figuresp. 172
Acknowledgmentsp. 181
Notesp. 183