What is it? Where did it come from? Where is it going?
Frustrated by the lack of opportunity for grappling with issues of theology and culture in their local congregations, Simon Bibby, Murray Thornhill, Matt Malcolm, Ian Packer and Steve McAlpine started the Dead Apologists’ Society in 1999 as a reading group, regularly together to discuss issues of Christian faith in the context of contemporary Western culture. As ‘lay people’ we wanted to think through the implications of Christian faith in everyday life.
... Includes Loving God with Our.... Mind?!
... Needs a Theology of God’s Kingdom and Creation
We affirm a non-dualistic view of Christian faith, holding that the whole of life comes under the kingdom rule of God; that while God’s salvation is deeply personal, it is not private but is corporate and cosmic, embracing all creation. Therefore the gospel must be expressed as ‘public truth’.
... Engages Western Culture and the Problem of (Post)Modernity
We understand that (post)modernity presents momentous challenges to those who would live as Jesus’ disciples. Further, despite historic Christian influence, our culture requires a genuinely missionary engagement. It is in this light that we seek to understand cultural trends. We also believe that Christ is the transformer of culture particularly through his people as a community gathered and as scattered throughout the ‘everyday world’.
... Seeks to Shape Christian Common Life
The Dead Apologists’ Society is not a ‘church’ but cares deeply about Christian community. We are concerned to seek reform and renewal in common life, and especially to foster and embody practices that witness to the presence of God’s kingdom. Following Jesus commits us to a live as an alternative counter-cultural community.
What Do We Read?
The ‘Dead Apologists’ have read and are reading such things as:
John Howard Yoder, Body Politics.
James K. A. Smith, Desiring the Kingdom
Lesslie Newbigin, The Gospel in a Pluralist Society.
N. T. Wright, The Challenge of Jesus
Alan Kreider, The Change in Conversion and the Origin of Christendom.
Tom Sine, Mustard Seed vs McWorld.
Duane K. Friesen, Artists, Citizens, Philosophers: Seeking the Peace of the City: An Anabaptist Theology of Culture.
Marva Dawn, Reaching Out Without Dumbing Down.
Mark Strom, Reframing Paul: Conversations in Grace and Community.
Rodney Clapp, A Peculiar People.
John Stackhouse, What Does It Mean to Be Saved?
We support networks and groups like...
Zadok Institute for Christianity and Society
Anabaptist Association of Australia and New Zealand
The Ekklesia Project
Macquarie Christian Studies Institute
For upcoming sessions of the Dead Apologists’ Society, meeting every 4 to 6 weeks on a weeknight:
Ian Packer: here or here