The Church Signs of the SpiritThe Church: Signs of the Spirit and Signs of the Times: The Christian Story — A Pastoral Systematics

Gabriel Fackre. Eerdmans. 2006

ISBN: 978-0-8028-3392-1


This latest volume in Gabriel Fackre’s long-standing Christian Story finds the dedicated evangelical ecumenist attempting to examine the connections, or lack thereof, between worldwide ecumenical progress and the character of local church congregations in twenty-first-century America. Drawing from his own fifty-year experience in the church as pastor, teacher, and parishioner, Fackre offers a critique, a warning, and a constructive guide to the church.

Noting the high points of global ecumenical progress, Fackre carefully traces them back to events in local churches, training his gaze on the wrong turnings the church has taken and the actions and reactions of the liberal and conservative movements. In his consideration of evangelical “megachurches” — in which he finds both hope and reason for concern — Fackre emphasizes the importance of knowing, as much as possible, the whole breadth of Christian tradition and the church’s stewardship of the Holy Spirit’s gifts and graces. Fackre also digs into the meaning of “church” through four foundational signs — kerygma, leitourgia, diakonia, and koinonia — the telling, celebrating, doing, and being of the gospel. He demonstrates how today’s church needs to exhibit all four signs and advises that it is in need of healing if any of the four are missing.

All in all, Fackre’s The Church: Signs of the Spirit and Signs of the Times is rich in insight and fertile in its range of suggestions, most of them aimed at pastors and aspiring pastors — the men and women who will carry the teachings of the church, its kerygma, into the next generation.

Ek het die lees van die boek geniet omdat die tema van geloofsonderskeiding my so interesseer- en ek agter gekom het dat hierdie een van die belangrikste uitdagings vir leiers in gemeentes is. Wat hierdie boek so interessant maak, is die kombinasie van die “lees” van die tekens van die tyd en die Gees.  Ek beveel dit graag aan vir gemeenteleiers wat hulle teologie rondom die praktyk van geloofonderskeiding wil verryk.

Frederick Marais