Christians are much the richer for this accomplishment of a long-cherished dream by an experienced missioner-social anthropologist. Gerald Arbuckle has provided a book for the contemporary pastoral care team that mediates basic insights on ministry via the social sciences. He also challenges church workers to rethink and reassess their work in light of the profound cultural changes taking place around them.
'Earthing the Gospel' introduces pastoral workers in the First World to methods of social analysis pioneered by missionaries worldwide. It includes case histories, personal stories, and the results of fieldwork of hundreds of people in both the First and Third Worlds. Applying the insights of social anthropology to the parishes on the home front" Arbuckle offers the tools required to address issues of mission and inculturation in the First World.
Above all, 'Earthing the Gospel' is practical. It presumes no special knowledge of anthropology as it zeroes in on topical issues - racism, fundamentalism, the modern family, youth and senior citizen subcultures - affecting parishes and communities today. Each chapter ends with questions for reflection and action. For pastoral teams and workers on every level, the insights gained from mission around the world can, applying the methods described here, be just as fruitful in our own back yards.