Where in the world is the church? These articles, essays, opinion pieces, and blog posts gather around that question. If we quit on the question in despair, we are lost. If we answer it too quickly, we are not digging deeply enough. But if we hunt hard with the help of the Holy Spirit, we'll find Christ's body alive, active, working, growing, and making things new.
In Discerning the Body, Jason Byassee goes hunting for the church guided by a singular conviction--God has promised there will be a church until Christ's return. So it's out there, it's just slightly hard to find. Where is a batch of Jesus' disciples, gathering around his Word and Sacraments, living out his mission in the world? Byassee spends time among Catholics, evangelicals, mainliners, and a few non-Christians looking for signs of Christ's body. He also looks in less likely places: among athletes, in institutions, in popular culture, in the craft of writing.
It is very hard to expect to be surprised. Doesn't the expectation ruin the surprise? Yet it's Jesus who surprises us in the church. Every time we find him, we have to expect to be surprised to find him anew in some counterintuitive guise. This book is about the author's learning to expect to be astounded anew by Christ.