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Signs amid the Rubble: The Purposes of God in Human History

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  46 ratings  ·  10 reviews
The late Lesslie Newbigin was widely regarded as one of this generation's most significant voices on Christianity in relation to modern society. Now that he is gone, there is a call for his unpublished writings to be made available. To that end "Signs amid the Rubble" gathers some of Newbigin's finest statements on issues of continuing relevance. The first set of chapters ...more
Paperback, 130 pages
Published February 11th 2003 by Eerdmans (first published February 1st 2003)
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Oct 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology
This collection of previously unpublished lectured by the bishop and missiologist Lesslie Newbigin is a real gem. I've previously read Newbigin's The Open Secret, an introduction to the theology of mission, and this develops many themes for which Bishop Newbigin is known: election, conversion, missionary witness to the modern West. The lectures here focus on the nature of the kingdom and its relationship to the church and the world, the question of the unconverted, and ecclesiology. He has withe ...more
John Henry
Nov 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-library
Much of the missional church movement owes its beginnings to Lesslie Newbigin. His books have ignited a love for local church communities, helping me connect my calling to mission with what God is wanting to do in Western societies. I can't give enough praise to Newbigin's work.

Questions: I will take the first two questions together.
1. What is the “end” of humanity; how does the dogma of “progress” affect our understanding of mission?
2. What challenge does Newbigin bring to my understanding of t
Joel Wentz
Dec 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Newbigin is one of my heroes - a prophetic, incredibly clear, and thoughtful voice who could fearlessly critique both Western culture and the shallow philosophies of the day. This collection of lectures (in essay form) is pure gold for the Newbigin fan, though I wouldn't necessarily recommend it to those who haven't read any of his work yet.

For those who have, though, this provides an incredibly compelling synthesis of the growth of themes that would define and establish his important career. T
Abigail Hartman
Mar 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christianity
This is no easy book - no light devotional for a quick read. While skinny to look at, Newbigin's lectures are far too full of teachings and implications that rattle one's cage to be read quickly. These talks on culture, missions, the gospel, and "the purposes of God in human history" are sometimes unsettling, often profound, and I used my underlining pen a great deal as I worked my way through. Sometimes I wondered if he wasn't pushing the edges of orthodoxy, and certainly I wouldn't recommend t ...more
Feb 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book was great - very insightful. Up to this point I had only read Newbigin's autobiography, which is good as well. I first discovered him a few years ago when someone did an overview of his life and works at a conference I attended. I've always meant to dive into his stuff, but just haven't got around to it - much to my detriment. This particular book is taken from some lectures he gave in 1941. If you enjoy reading N.T. Wright, there is a similarity in style (and substance) here - it woul ...more
Sep 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is a book worthy of a 2nd read (and probably more). It’s a collection of lectures from different times in Newbigin’s life, the first 4 dealing with the Kingdom of God and the idea of progress in Western civilization. These were very good. The next 3 (plus two addendums) deal with the relationship between gospel, kingdom, missions, and culture. There were some things I wasn’t sure I could follow Newbigin on here, but he definitely made me think (and he has a glorious way of putting into word ...more
Gary Chorpenning
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a deeply insightful set of lectures examining the interaction between the church and the changing western culture. It is paradigm shifting, a must read for anyone who wants to understand the changes taking place in western culture since the middle of the last century.
Jan 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
An excellent book - the first I've read by Newbigin but I'll be reading more. A great intro to the tested insights of this missionary/theologian. (There probably shouldn't be any other kind of theologian.) ...more
Abe Cho
Apr 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dmin-newbigin
Outstanding. An absolute must-read for any Christian who is at all interested in the relationship between the gospel and culture; evangelism and cultural renewal; the church and the kingdom.
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Bishop James Edward Lesslie Newbigin was a British theologian, missiologist, missionary and author. Though originally ordained within the Church of Scotland, Newbigin spent much of his career serving as a missionary in India and became affiliated with the Church of South India and the United Reformed Church, becoming one of the Church of South India's first bishops. A prolific author who wrote on ...more

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