Book Review – Mission Implausible

Mission Implausible: Restoring Credibility to the ChurchMission Implausible – Restoring Credibility to the Church (Paternoster Press £15.99)
Duncan MacLaren’s new book Mission Implausible should be required reading for all those formulating mission strategies and schemes in the church, as well as for students of the mission of God’s people in the world.

Contemporary sociological analysis of society is used by the author to illuminate questions which are more often easier to formulate than to answer. Why do people struggle to believe? How can we explain the decline in church attendance in some parts of the world church?
MacLaren refuses to accept that society is inevitably moving towards secularisation. He writes in a Britain in which people claim to believe yet who rarely connect with church life. Perhaps surprisingly, hope springs from deep and ancient wells, not least models of thinking which come from the Columban mission in Scotland – a missiological community which is at once distinctive, inculturated and engaged.

This is a book which will sit on this reviewer’s bookshelf next to David Bosch’s Transforming Mission. It is a more accessible book and a more entertaining book even though it is never an entirely comfortable read. It can hold its own in lofty company.

Duncan MacLaren is Associate Rector of St Paul’s and St George’s Episcopal Church, Edinburgh.

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Published in inspires, the magazine of the Scottish Episcopal Church