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The Mainliner's Survival Guide to the Post-Denominational World

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4.35  ·  Rating details ·  17 ratings  ·  7 reviews
The Mainliner's Survival Guide to the Post-Denominational World considers how the declining church should live into the hope of its legacy by living out the Gospel's radical nature with reckless abandon. In a world where the fastest growing religious self-designation among emerging generations is "none," the hope of the church may lie in worrying less about the survival of ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published August 15th 2014 by Chalice Press (first published June 30th 2014)
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Robert D. Cornwall
The Mainline Protestant Church(es) has been in decline for much of my life. The churches that make up the Mainline reached their height of influence and numbers within a few years of my birth at the end of the 1950s. Once full churches now are either closing or live with a scattering of aging members remembering better days.

There have been numerous responses to this situation. Some blame the decline on liberalism or being too tied to the culture. Others suggest that Mainline churches haven't ada
...more
Kevin Phipps
Aug 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: church-life
In the interest of disclosure, Dr. Penwell and I attended seminary together nearly 25 years ago. Much of what he says in the book is a continuation of conversations that started way back then. What is encouraging is that Derek continues to grow in his understanding of how the mainline church can be a relevant voice in the culture mileau in which we live. He offers practical steps of how to integrate his vision at the end of every chapter in a section called 'Field Notes.' He argues that the visi ...more
Michael Doerr
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My friend Derek names the issues facing Christians and congregations who embrace their faith, but do not embrace the prejudices and bigotries associated, far too truthfully, with the church and Christians.
You need to read this book!
Richard Shepard
May 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Written by a church pastor for church pastors, this book makes the argument that mainline Christianity isn't necessarily doomed by the crush of cultural change, but can be revived if it adapts to the culture in which it finds itself. Institutional rigidity and "judgmentalism" must be jettisoned in favor of a more organic and loving environment. Drawing on the history of the Second Great Awakening, Penwell argues that in order to survive mainline churches need to be prepared to meet people "where ...more
Julius McCarter
Aug 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Derek Penwell's The Mainliner's Survival Guide to the Post-Denominational World is a book I've yearned for for a long time. He takes seriously the landscape of Christianity in America, and does so with a pastor's heart.

While raised in an evangelical tradition, Penwell eventually was ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and as the title suggests, he seeks to address mainline denominations such as his own in particular. By "mainline", he means those denominations that largely h
...more
Michael
Aug 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Derek is a colleague and someone I have admired since we were in seminary together, he 2 years ahead of me at Lexington Theological Seminary.
This book envisions a way forward into the future God means for us to have, rather than wallowing in all the bad news mainline or progressive Christianity has faced for 2 generations.
It is helpful, warm, faithful, transformational, visionary, prophetic, and even a bit attitudinal, all of which is to say that it reflects Derek perfectly.
Every Pastor and chur
...more
Steve
Apr 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology-church
A fantastic (and funny) unpacking of the current and future status of the institutional church as well as the non-institutional church. A superlative read that uses solid data but even more gives one a thoughtful and emotive understanding of people of faith, both older and the under 30 generation. Penwell is nothing less than brilliant in explaining it to both the lay and ordained reader.
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