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Seeking Church: Emerging Witnesses to the Kingdom

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New expressions of church that are proliferating among Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and other non-Christian religious communities, including so-called “insider” movements, have raised intense discussion in missiological circles. In Seeking Church, Darren Duerksen and William Dyrness address these issues by exploring how all Christian movements have been and are engaged in a “reverse hermeneutic,” where the gospel is read and interpreted through existing cultural and religious norms.

Duerksen and Dyrness draw on the growing social-scientific work on emergent theory—the concept that social communities arise over time in ways that reflect specific historical and cultural dynamics. This is a missiological process, they argue, in which God has always worked through people and their culture to shape his witness in the world. They illustrate emergent theory through historical and contemporary case studies and consider the church's contextualized nature by exploring biblical models of the church, worship practices as emergent, and ecclesial markers that identify emerging churches and their distinctive witness.

For missiologists, theologians, practitioners, and all who ponder the challenge and opportunities of mission among other religious communities, Seeking Church offers a multidisciplinary conceptual framework with which to understand the global diversity of the body of Christ. The Spirit is constantly drawing people toward God's community, causing new expressions of church to emerge and thus displaying new facets of his work and character.

Resource Experts

Key Features

  • Examines a variety of worldwide religious movements
  • Addresses recent social-scientific work on emergent theory
  • Considers the church’s contextualized nature by exploring biblical models of the church


  • Is the Church in Crisis?
  • The Church As an Emergent Phenomenon in History
  • Emergent Ecclesial Identity and Mission
  • The Church Emerging Among Other Religions: Case Studies
  • Biblical Metaphors for Church
  • Theological Practices of Church
  • Markers of the Transformative Church
  • The Future of the Church

Praise for the Print Edition

The twenty-first century global Christian fellowship is undergoing radical questioning of two theological loci: epistemology and ecclesiology. This book is about the second, the doctrine of the church. Authors Duerksen and Dyrness argue that the church is always emerging (never in final form) and in the end, like the Buddha’s raft, will be eliminated when the kingdom of God reaches its fullness. They suggest that the answer to our quandary about what the church should be has more to do with eschatology than we have heretofore imagined. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in our religious future.

—Terry C. Muck, scholar of religion, comparative missiologist, and theological educator at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary and Asbury Theological Seminary

Product Details

  • Title: Seeking Church: Emerging Witnesses to the Kingdom
  • Authors: Darren T. Duerksen and William A. Dyrness
  • Series: Missiological Engagements
  • Publisher: IVP
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Pages: 272
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Topic: Modern Church

About the Authors

Darren T. Duerksen (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is associate professor and program director of intercultural and religious studies at Fresno Pacific University. He has worked and conducted research in India and is the author of Ecclesial Identities in a Multi-Faith Context: Jesus Truth-Gatherings (Yeshu Satsangs) Among Hindu and Sikhs in Northwest India.

William A. Dyrness (DTheol, University of Strasbourg; Doctorandus, Free University) is professor of theology and culture at Fuller Theological Seminary. He is the author of many books, including Modern Art and the Life of a Culture (with Jonathan Anderson), Senses of the Soul: Art and the Visual in Christian Worship, Reformed Theology and Visual Culture, Changing the Mind of Missions (with James Engel), Theology Without Borders (with Oscar Garcia-Johnson), and was a general editor of the Global Dictionary of Theology.


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    Digital list price: $31.99
    Save $11.00 (34%)