Theology After Christendom
Forming Prophets for a Post-Christian World
Imprint: Cascade Books
“This is a fierce critique of shallow Christian discipleship and irrelevant theological formation that has positioned the church on the fringes of our trivial and poverty-stricken cultures. This gifted author writes as a self-confessed outsider, an Anabaptist without a home, but this is the very strength of the book. He asks the question, ‘where have all the prophets gone?’ and then answers it with some chilling denunciations and challenging propositions. Three cheers for his call for pioneering theologians who will serve as apostles to the bewildering cultures of our age.”
—David Coffey, Global Ambassador BMS Mission, Past President of the Baptist World Alliance
“Searle’s call for a radical rethink of what often passes for ‘theological training’ is both welcome and long overdue. Many of his assertions expose fundamental shortcomings in historical and current preoccupations that are often bereft of prophetic imagination and revolutionary practice. This is a provocative, faith-full, and deeply passionate book.”
—Kate Coleman, Founding Director of Next Leadership, Past President of the Baptist Union of Great Britain
“While this book stands on its own, it is part of a broader ‘after Christendom’ series, which includes among others, Reading the Bible After Christendom by Lloyd Pieterson, Church after Christendom by Stuart Murray, and Atheism after Christendom by Simon Perry. Christendom is understood as a historical era whereby the Christian faith had a normative and indeed privileged position within most spheres of Western society.
The thesis of Searle’s work is that in the light of the new reality of post-Christendom, the purpose and practices of theology need to be re-envisioned and reimagined. Searle’s understanding of theology is not an erudite academic theology, but an everyday theology. If you are a disciple of Christ, you are a theologian. Theology is how we think, not only about God (theology can not be reduced to ‘God talk’), but how we address questions of ultimate concern within our lived experience. The choice for a Christian is never between either having a theology or not having a theology. The choice is between having a good theology or having a bad theology.
Searle’s passionate plea for a church in solidarity with the world is a powerful message. It is comprehensively researched, referenced, and footnoted. Much of what he says is persuasive."
—-Rob Clements, Rector of Kilternan (Diocese of Dublin)