Liquid Church - II
If ‘solid’ or traditional church is meeting the spiritual needs of a diminishing minority of the population, what we need is a ‘liquid’ church which is more able to ‘go with the flow’ of contemporary life. The book begins with a warning:
At the start, I want to give a health warning: liquid church does not exist yet. Moreover, please do not think that I have set up and run a successful, thriving liquid church. This means that what I say here is an attempt to imagine rather than describe a different way of being church.
In the chapters that follow, Peter Ward wrestles with a number of themes that will be familiar to many. How do we make sense of the fast-changing, consumer-oriented world in which we live? His answer is based around the thesis that we need to imagine a church that is lightweight rather than institutional; a church based more on relationships than authority; on networks rather than gatherings. He wrestles hard with how such a church could remain faithful to historic Christianity and has detailed chapters on Christology, trinity, the marks of the Church and the work of the Spirit.
I was particularly impressed by the section dealing with consumerism and his challenge that the church must begin to face the challenge of the consumer mind-set positively and not continue to hope that if we condemn it, it will go away!
The final chapter paints some practical pictures of liquid church. Are they convincing? You’ll have to decide for yourself! Will this book challenge you to think again about the sort of church that the world needs? Definitely! I didn’t agree with all of it, but it certainly got me thinking.