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Powers, Weakness, and the Tabernacling of God

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating details ·  87 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
As we embark on the new millennium, uncharted challenges await the church. This volume by one of today's most valued voices on modern church life offers a wealth of insight into the role of local churches in the twenty-first century. 

Rooted in solid biblical research and extensive experience, Marva Dawn's newest book will help churches and their leaders avoid falling to t
Paperback, 186 pages
Published March 19th 2001 by Eerdmans
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Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: powers
A manuscript of the author's Schaff Lecture on Christianity and the Powers.

The author begins by exploring the concept of the powers and principalities and traces out modern exploration of the theme. She offers insightful and beneficial critiques to Wink's magisterial trilogy in terms of its emphasis on nonviolent resistance in socio-political terms as well as the denial of the embodiment of the Powers.

The author offers a persuasive case that Paul in 2 Corinthians 12 spoke of Jesus' work as comi
Dec 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Marva Dawn, Teaching Fellow in Spiritual Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, BC, Canada (recently retired) and founder of Christians Equipped for Ministry, takes aim at the ecclesial power structures of the western church in her work Powers, Weakness and the Tabernacling of God. The author begins her task by quoting Miroslav Volf in defining principalities and powers as “social, political and economic realities diffused throughout the culture [and leveraging control over] the imaginations a ...more
Jeremy Garber
Jul 23, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: ecclesiology
How can we think about the role of the church in a system where institutions follow an agenda that is all too often both dehumanizing and unchristian? Theologian Marva Dawn provides a helpful supplement – but not a standalone replacement – to the work of such “powers theologians” as Jacques Ellul, John Howard Yoder, and Walter Wink. Dawn provides a close heavy reading of the Biblical idea of powers and principalities, suggesting both they exist both as sociological institutions and as spiritual ...more
Garland Vance
Let me begin with a qualification: I absolutely love Marva Dawn's writing and her prophetic voice to the church. Every time that I read her, I am constantly challenged--even when I disagree with her conclusions or methodology. I believe that she should be read by many Christians, not just pastors, as she challenges the status quo of American Christianity.

That being said, this was not my favorite book of hers. She quote Jacques Ellul and Hugh Mackay so much that I found myself wondering why I was
Jennifer Powell
Dec 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I love this book! Marva Dawn courageously points us back toward the truth behind the difficulties we face today and gives us a strategy for meeting those difficulties. She takes us out of irrelevant and distracting arguments and puts us squarely back in the middle of what actually is. Fantastic read - one I'm sure I'll come back to periodically over the years. Also - lots of really good quotes from other sources which point the reader to texts they might want to visit next! Easy to medium langua ...more
Dec 13, 2008 rated it liked it
This book knocks the wind out of me. It challenges the farthest reaches of the mind and the deepest yearnings of the soul. Of all the books on 'weakness' this is the best 'theological' one I have read thus far. Marva talks about 'the principalities and powers', what they are, what others have said them to be, and then shows how it is in our weakness that God dwells with us. The evil powers are dismantled, not by direct aggressive attack, but through love, weakness etc.
Jun 20, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: justice
God works through weakness. We know this. So why does the Western church operate as if the opposite were true?

Oh, Marva Dawn. Her content is always excellent, but there's something about her writing style-- it seems rather repetitive and unorganized. I'm not sure if she needs a better editor, or if it's a me-thing. This book had fabulous concepts, but it took me more than four years to finish reading it. Maybe me and Marva just aren't meant to be.
Sean Strehlow
Aug 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
In "wordy" language that is sometimes difficult to grasp, this academic read is a brilliant call to understanding the "powers and principalities" mentioned in the Bible, and our response to those powers. Dawn does a wonderful job of calling individual believers, as well as the collective church, to adopting and accepting their state of weakness in order to overcome these powers, as opposed to asserting their "strength."
May 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
An excellent read: this book is a powerful, accessible and sophisticated call to the church to reconcieve its identity and the nature of its mission. One has to look hard for American Christian writing that bridges the study of theology and the Scriptures with thoughtful reflection on Christian social praxis. Marva Dawn's work consistently does this.
Nov 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
Having met the author herself years ago, her theological words are stronger because I observed how she lived with weaknesses. A message I need to be reminded of constantly - that God chooses to work in weakness.
Jan 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
Nobody wants to be a 'sheep'... to be pathetic and meek, but to forsake this calling is to forsake the tabernacling of God. To be a church of the powerful and people employing the ways of 'wolves', even in Christ's name, is to forsake Him completely.
Gregg Koskela
In the top ten of the books that have most impacted my life.
Nov 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
Strong biblical scholarship and provocative, dept interpretation. One of the best treatments of Ephesians 6 I've found.
Aug 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
life changing
Tom Devries
Jul 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
A really outstanding look at the Biblical issue of "the Powers." I particularly loved her use of Jacques Ellul, who is one of my favorite authors. Stimulating and provocative!
Sep 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
Heavy theology and a lot of unusual vocab.
But if you like that sort of thing, Dawn puts of a lot of my internal theological/church culture struggle into words, which is such a relief.
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Marva J. Dawn is an American Christian theologian, author, musician and educator, associated with the parachurch organization "Christians Equipped for Ministry" in Vancouver, Washington. She also serves as Teaching Fellow in Spiritual Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia. Dawn is generally perceived as a Lutheran evangelical.
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