Catalogue


Reinventing American Protestantism : Christianity in the new millennium /
Donald E. Miller.
imprint
Berkeley, Calif. : University of California Press, c1997.
description
ix, 253 p. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0520209389 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Berkeley, Calif. : University of California Press, c1997.
isbn
0520209389 (cloth : alk. paper)
catalogue key
1442827
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 233-245) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Donald E. Miller is Professor of Religion at the University of Southern California.
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"A refreshingly honest and personal account, this book is a model for the analysis of religion and contemporary culture and contains important clues as to why many mainline churches are declining while others churches grow."--Wade Clark Roof, author ofA Generation of Seekers "Everyone interested in the changing face of religion and society will want to read this engaging, empirically grounded, persuasively argued book."--Robert Wuthnow, author ofThe Restructuring of American Religion "[This is] a masterful study of American Protestantism. . . . A serious piece of scholarship offering an engaging story about religious upstarts."--Roger Finke, author ofThe Churching of America, 1776-1996
Flap Copy
"A refreshingly honest and personal account, this book is a model for the analysis of religion and contemporary culture and contains important clues as to why many mainline churches are declining while others churches grow."--Wade Clark Roof, author of A Generation of Seekers "Everyone interested in the changing face of religion and society will want to read this engaging, empirically grounded, persuasively argued book."--Robert Wuthnow, author of The Restructuring of American Religion "[This is] a masterful study of American Protestantism. . . . A serious piece of scholarship offering an engaging story about religious upstarts."--Roger Finke, author of The Churching of America, 1776-1996
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 1997-09-01:
Miller (religion, Univ. of Southern California) analyses what he calls "new paradigm churches." He bases his well-researched work on three churches that got their start in Southern California: Calvary Chapel, Vineyard Christian Fellowship, and Hope Chapel. Unlike more mainline evangelical churches that they resemble, these groups appeal primarily to young, middle-class families. Offering a unique blend of contemporary culture and life-transforming spirituality, they are growing rapidly as mainline churches decline. These groups are contemporary and casual in style, have very little doctrine or hierarchy, and seem to make great use of lay members in many aspects of ministry. Miller sees these churches as embodying no less than a new Protestant Reformation, with the common people reclaiming religion from the elite clergy, and he makes an interesting case for his assertion. An excellent book with some new insights; recommended for public and academic libraries.‘C. Robert Nixon, M.L.S., Lafayette, Ind. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Choice on 1998-01:
Miller's fascinating study of "new paradigm" churches focuses in particular on the Vineyard Fellowship and the circles of offspring or "adopted" congregations that have formed around Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa and Hope Chapel in Hermosa Beach, CA. Miller (Univ. of Southern California) knows that some would call these groups either evangelical or pentecostal, but he argues that neither of these labels captures "their "distinctive character. Instead he calls these new paradigm churches postmodern sects--postmodern in their structure and operation (i.e., decentralized and democratic) and sectarian in their lean, lay-oriented, whole-person emphases. Miller writes in an easy participant-observer style, and, while he does not share the religious perspective of these churches, he clearly respects the way in which they have been able to provide postmodern seekers with an experience of the sacred. The concluding chapter moves in a somewhat different direction from that of the rest of the book, drawing lessons for the Protestant mainline from these new paradigm churches. All in all, this is an excellent study of a very significant contemporary religious movement. General; undergraduate through professional. D. Jacobsen; Messiah College
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 1997-08-18:
Since the 1960s, American Protestantism has undergone significant changes, as mainline churches have experienced declines in membership. However, the new face of American Protestantism may be seen, according to Miller, in the "new paradigm churches," mega-organizations that transcend denominational polity and structure to bring Christianity to larger numbers of people in both conventional and nonconventional ways. Miller, professor of Religion at the University of Southern California, focuses his study on three such groups‘Calvary Chapel, Vineyard Christian Fellowship and Hope Chapel‘to show the ways in which American Protestantism is being reinvented. He begins his study with a brief history of these new movements that traces their origins to the "hippies and beach baptisms" of the '60s, a time when, he notes, Christians were seeking ways to spread their message successfully to social groups for whom traditional worship and religious structure were irrelevant. These non-mainline groups were successful primarily, according to Miller, because they combined an emphasis on the simple message and organizational structure of first-century Christianity with contemporary "methods of worship, rock music, and a variety of support and interest groups." Miller examines the ways in which these groups "democratized the sacred," handing the organizational authority and interpretation of the Bible over to the congregations. Miller's evenhanded and balanced interpretation provides important insights into the character of contemporary American religion. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews, July 1997
Publishers Weekly, August 1997
Library Journal, September 1997
Choice, January 1998
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
Examining dramatic changes in America's religious landscape over the past 30 years, author Donald E. Miller explores three of the movements that have created new paradigm churches: Calvary Chapel, Vineyard Christian Fellowship, and Hope Chapel. Miller suggests that religion is in the midst of a second Reformation, one that challenges the bureaucracy and rigidity of mainstream Christianity.
Long Description
During the past thirty years the American religious landscape has undergone a dramatic change. More and more churches meet in converted warehouses, many have ministers who've never attended a seminary, and congregations are singing songs whose melodies might be heard in bars or nightclubs. Donald E. Miller's provocative examination of these "new paradigm churches"--sometimes called megachurches or postdenominational churches shows how they are reinventing the way Christianity is experienced in the United States today. Drawing on over five years of research and hundreds of interviews, Miller explores three of the movements that have created new paradigm churches: Calvary Chapel, Vineyard Christian Fellowship, and Hope Chapel. Together, these groups have over one thousand congregations and are growing rapidly, attracting large numbers of worshipers who have felt alienated from institutional religion. While attempting to reconnect with first-century Christianity, these churches meet in nonreligious structures and use the medium of contemporary twentieth-century America to spread their message through contemporary forms of worship, Christian rock music, and a variety of support and interest groups. In the first book to examine postdenominational churches in depth, Miller argues that these churches are involved in a second Reformation, one that challenges the bureaucracy and rigidity of mainstream Christianity. The religion of the new millennium, says Miller, will connect people to the sacred by reinventing traditional worship and redefining the institutional forms associated with denominational Christian churches. Nothing less than a transformation of religion in the United States may be taking place, and Miller convincingly demonstrates how "postmodern traditionalists" are at the forefront of this change.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introduction: Winners and Losers: Restructuring the Religious Economyp. 1
The New Face of American Protestantism: A Second Reformation?p. 11
Hippies, Beach Baptisms, and Healings: A History of Three Movementsp. 27
Transforming Your Life: The Process of Conversionp. 53
Beyond Rationality: Democratizing Access to the Sacredp. 80
Living by the Bible: Social Ministry, Politics, Theologyp. 108
Giving the Ministry to the People: The Postmodern Organizationp. 134
Franchising New Groups: Church Planting and Growthp. 157
Can the Mainline Church Survive? Some Lessons from Historyp. 177
Geographical Distribution of Churchesp. 191
Congregational Surveysp. 195
Pastors Surveyp. 213
Notesp. 233
Indexp. 247
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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