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The Church After Innovation: Questioning Our Obsession with Work, Creativity,
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The Church After Innovation: Questioning Our Obsession with Work, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship Paperback - 2022

by Andrew Root


From the publisher

Outreach 2023 Resource of the Year (Church)

Named One of Fifteen Important Theology Books of 2022, Englewood Review of Books

Churches and their leaders have innovation fever. Innovation seems exciting--a way to enliven tired institutions, embrace creativity, and be proactive--and is a superstar of the business world. But this focus on innovation may be caused by an obsession with contemporary relevance, creativity, and entrepreneurship that inflates the self, lacks theological depth, and promises burnout.

In this follow-up to Churches and the Crisis of Decline, leading practical theologian Andrew Root delves into the problems of innovation. He explores where innovation and entrepreneurship came from, shows how they break into church circles, and counters the "new imaginations" like neoliberalism and technology that hold the church captive to modernity. Root reveals the moral visions of the self that innovation and entrepreneurship deliver--they are dependent on workers (and consumers) being obsessed with their selves, which leads to significant faith-formation issues. This focus on innovation also causes us to think we need to be singularly unique instead of made alive in Christ. Root offers a return to mysticism and the poetry of Meister Eckhart as a healthier spiritual alternative.

This is the fifth book in Root's Ministry in a Secular Age series.

From the rear cover

"This perceptive and engaging book is a godsend for leaders and pastors"

The call for pastors and congregations to be innovative can have a dark side: an obsession with contemporary relevance and entrepreneurship that lacks theological depth and promises burnout and exhaustion. The Church after Innovation shines a light on the problem and offers a treatment.

"This book will help you to consider the possible costs of chasing innovation and entrepreneurship--for you and your church. It provides significant insights and questions regarding some of the most pressing challenges of our time."
--Angela Williams Gorrell, Truett Theological Seminary, Baylor University

"There's something satisfying about a story that is this big, bold, and revealing about how our cultural presumptions came to be--especially when so beautifully told. When Christians fall in love with ideas of leadership, innovation, and entrepreneurship, we can be sure they have ignored for too long the secular economic context in which they live and breathe. A timely wake-up call."
--Brian Brock, University of Aberdeen

"This perceptive and engaging book is a godsend for leaders and pastors. In a market saturated with quick-fix, innovate-or-die polemics on church growth, this book offers a richer path to help realize a transcendent creativity of epiphany (over innovation) that values people, nurtures personhood, and promotes flourishing for the church in a secular age."
--Nick Shepherd, FRSA, Archbishops' Council of the Church of England

"With penetrating analysis and prophetic force, Root exposes how the false idols of capitalism are being smuggled into the church through the Trojan horses of innovation and entrepreneurialism. A bold, necessary, and urgent book."
--Richard Beck, Abilene Christian University; author of Hunting Magic Eels: Recovering an Enchanted Faith in a Skeptical Age

"Seminaries need to assign this book. Ministers need to read this book. I'm grateful to Root for so powerfully articulating the biggest problem facing the church--namely, our supposed need to innovate."
--Tripp Fuller, founder and host of the Homebrewed Christianity podcast

"This important book is worthy of reading and rereading."
--Rodney Clapp, author of Naming Neoliberalism: Exposing the Spirit of Our Age

Details

  • Title The Church After Innovation: Questioning Our Obsession with Work, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship
  • Author Andrew Root
  • Binding Paperback
  • Pages 256
  • Volumes 1
  • Language ENG
  • Publisher Baker Academic
  • Date 2022-09-20
  • ISBN 9781540964823 / 1540964825
  • Weight 0.66 lbs (0.30 kg)
  • Dimensions 8.9 x 6 x 0.8 in (22.61 x 15.24 x 2.03 cm)
  • Themes
    • Religious Orientation: Christian
  • Library of Congress subjects Church renewal
  • Library of Congress Catalog Number 2022009309
  • Dewey Decimal Code 262.001

About the author

Andrew Root (PhD, Princeton Theological Seminary) is Carrie Olson Baalson Professor of Youth and Family Ministry at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. He is the author of numerous books, including Faith Formation in a Secular Age, The Pastor in a Secular Age, The Congregation in a Secular Age, Churches and the Crisis of Decline, and The End of Youth Ministry? Root is also the coauthor (with Kenda Creasy Dean) of The Theological Turn in Youth Ministry.
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