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Prodigal Christianity: 10 Signposts Into the Missional Frontier
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Prodigal Christianity: 10 Signposts Into the Missional Frontier

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  95 ratings  ·  16 reviews
An engaging and thoughtful book that guides readers into the frontiers of being a missional Christian "Prodigal Christianity" offers a down-to-earth, accessible, and yet provocative understanding of God's mission of redemption in the world, and how followers of Christ can participate in this work. It speaks into the discontent of all those who have exhausted conservative, ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published March 18th 2013 by Jossey-Bass (first published February 1st 2013)
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3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  95 ratings  ·  16 reviews

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Lee Harmon
May 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While this book was more conservative than I expected, it was also more thought-provoking. Prodigal Christianity compares the journey of Jesus into our world to the prodigal son (obviously a little different take on that parable) and asks if our own Christianity is prodigal enough. The authors are talking about the missional frontier, and how we are spreading the Gospel. To become Christian is to learn to become prodigal.

One quote on page 69 helped set the tone for me: “New Testament scholar E.G
Dec 26, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
First off, "prodigal," as defined by Mirriam-Webster, means, " characterized by profuse or wasteful expenditure." Thus, "Prodigal Christianity" would mean "wasteful Christianity." Of course, most people don't know the true meaning of the word and associate it only with the story of the Prodigal Son, thus extrapolating a meaning like, "given to leaving and returning." I thought, upon opening the book, that that was a good indicator of what I'd be getting: two writers who don't care enough to rese ...more
Jun 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Prodigal Christianity has great points about the nature of the church, but its tone and architecture seem off. It "proposes a way of being Christian: in missional communities who live in such a way that we invite the kingdom of God into our lives and the neighborhoods around us." And when it is on topic it is thoughtful and winsome. Unfortunately it spends too much time reacting to and critiquing the emergent and neo-Reformed. It has annoyed the emergent and while I have little sympathy with the ...more
Robert Martin
May 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Scot McKnight in his book "The King Jesus Gospel" describes a deeper, fuller, more robust idea of the gospel that goes beyond simply "get saved". What McKnight did for reimagining the gospel, Fitch and Holsclaw have done for ecclesiology and mission in "Prodigal Christianity"

This powerful (and potentially controversial) book challenges the de facto responses to the post-Christendom and post-modern reactions to Christianity in the west and describes "signposts" to lead the church into this strang
Kevin Smith
This is a book which attempts to present a winsome Christianity to a post-Christendom world. The last two chapters on justice and pluralism are the best two chapters in the book. Also helpful is their critique of Brian MacLaren's New Kind of Christianity.
Fitch and Holsclaw write engagingly about the importance of hermeneutics. However, their own ability in this area is quite weak. One cringes at how they interpret texts such as 1 Corinthians 5 and Acts 15 on the Jerusalem Council.
Fitch and Ho
Daniel Wells
Oct 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Check out our "Book Mash Up" of Prodigal Christianity this coming Monday, Oct 28 on the Gospel Neighboring Podcast. (

As a so-called Neo-Reformed Christian, I enjoyed this book for its practical help in entering the missional frontier. The emphasis on the local and relational is refreshing.

I wish authors exercised the principle of charity in critiquing 'my camp'. Often I would read the critiques of Keller and Carson and just shake my head as I know that such a reductionistic
Sep 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Prodigal Christianity is a thoughtful reflection on ten critical issues facing a church intending to live into its missional calling in today's world (here in the USA). This is neither a color by numbers "this is how you have to do mission today" kind of book nor is it a "time to throw out everything you've ever known and done" kind of book. I like this book simply because it moves me to a greater critical awareness of context and a greater sensitivity to incarnational living/ being in the world ...more
Bill Kinzie
May 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A helpful book for the Christian pilgrim. That it was difficult to process reveals more of my own intellectual deficiencies than the organization of the book.
Readers will be drawn to the frequent examples of personal witness by deeds thus enlarging the work of God in His world. They may be dismayed by the echoes of orthodoxy that appear here and there. It is difficult to escape the gravity field of traditional recent Christianity even as the new trajectories are explored.
Apr 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Prodigal Christianity was really challenging for me. As someone who grew up with a conservative, apologetic ideology but is also dissatisfied with both Christian liberalism and emergent church, it spoke to me. It gives us a way forward that seeks faithfulness beyond commitment to an ideology and renewed commitment to living the gospel in our neighborhoods. It was a good, challenging, and encouraging read.
Jul 08, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not a bad read, but nothing really groundbreaking by any stretch. Much of the same has been included in other works on missional church stuff. For folks new to the idea of missional church it will likely prove helpful. Worth a read, but it is one additional voice among many encouraging similar approaches. Won't be appreciated by all of course, as it does push a few buttons on issues of the church's relationship with people of "alternative sexualities" (not my terminology of choice).
Erik Germesin
Mar 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I don't do huge book reviews, but this was very well thought out theologically and went out of it's way to speak well of alternate viewpoints.

That being said, I loved that Fitch gives us a middle path between the pompous theology police of the neo-reformed (The Gospel Inquisition! I mean collation) and the sometimes murky orthodoxy of the emergent movement. This is a good, but deep, read.
William Delleman
The author makes the point that the culture is post-Christian. His argument is good and he offers some good suggestions for the way forward. We have to learn to ask different questions and really listen to culture to do so.
Andy Brock
Jul 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good read for the missional

I found that Fitch and Holsclaw gave voice to some of my own thinking over the past few years about mission, especially missio dei. Thus they will be allies as I go forward as I'm led by the Spirit to discern God's mission in this place.
Josh Gaudreau
Mar 29, 2013 rated it really liked it

An important work that I will keep coming back to, and keep bringing my church spheres of influence back to.
Jun 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Great book with a good mix of theology and practicality.
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David Fitch is B. R. Lindner Chair of Evangelical Theology at Northern Seminary Chicago, IL. He's married to Rae Ann and they have one child, a son Max. He's pastored and participated in many church plants including Life on the Vine Christian Community a missional church in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago of the Christian and Missionary Alliance. Most recently he and his family have joined Peace ...more
“God is at work in all the places we already inhabit. He is bigger than the arena of our own immediate church programs and ideas about evangelism. He is a prodigal God recklessly working in people and situations of all types. If we truly believe God is at work in the world, we must take the time to pay attention, listen, and discern what God is doing in the lives of those around us.” 3 likes
“These days, when our companies are spinning their wheels and all the street lights are out, when our familiar routes are blocked and our maps are torn, this first signpost of post-Christendom directs us towards a prodigal Christianity that does not stand still in order to attract, does not sit in the seat of authority, and does not walk in the ways of the universal, but instead delights in the paths of the prodigal God” 2 likes
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