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Dancing in the Dark, Revised Edition

Christians are often tempted to encapsulate God in their own little boxes, as if God could be tied down to our finite way of thinking. But we can neither domesticate nor fully understand God, for theology has a lot to do with coming to terms with the mystery of God. This revised edition of Dancing in the Dark--shaped, as in the first edition, by the two overarching themes of God as Trinity and a theology of participation--embraces the notion of mystery in presenting a compelling vision of seeing all things finally united within the inner life of God. As we engage in Christian ministry, we are summoned to participate as grace-filled faith communities in the triune God's immeasurably loving and healing work in the world, leading those who are in darkness into an awareness of the God who imparts life in all its glorious abundance, that which is so . . . and a journey into the mystery of that which is to come. The liberating ministry of the gospel is both a declaration and an invitation--an invitation to the dance! ""Ministry can be reduced to the pragmatics of what works or to best practices as easily as church can be reduced to a brick building or a local outpost of a historic denomination, and preaching too can be reduced to a formula, a plan, and mechanics. In Dancing in the Dark, Graham Buxton reverses these all too common reductionisms in the church by turning all we do in ministry toward God, toward God's mission, toward God's gospel, and toward the church as designed to get swept into the joyous, gracious, adventurous, and unending dance of the Trinity in God's very self. What a breath of fresh grace this book is."" --Scot McKnight, Julius R. Mantey Professor of New Testament, Northern Seminary ""The best guides to ministry have theological depth, an openness to learning from many disciplines, a pastoral heart, and an honesty about its joys and frustrations. This book encapsulates those qualities because it is written by a practitioner and theologian who has lived and embodied such qualities."" --David Wilkinson, Principal, St. Johns College, Durham University ""You need to know that this is a good book. A really good book. With a breadth of knowledge and wisdom which draws on insights from history, scripture, literature, and experience, Graham Buxton brings together ministry, trinitarianism, creativity, incarnation, and mission. In doing so he is not merely linking interesting themes but showing how they are actually related dimensions and expressions of the divine nature. Dancing in the Dark is an eminently readable, soundly theological, and always practical look at Christian ministry."" --Brian Edgar, Professor of Theological Studies, Asbury Theological Seminary; Author of God is Friendship and The Message of the Trinity ""This welcome second edition of Graham Buxton's Dancing in the Dark deepens the themes of the first. Buxton creatively explores what it means to participate in God's ministry in the world, developing a helpful paradigm for ministry, exploring its implications in practice, and closing with a portrait of listening leadership and living in hope. Informed by significant ministry experience and rich and wide reading, it is a treasure not to be missed."" --Brian Harris, Principal, Vose Seminary, Perth, Australia Graham Buxton is Affiliate Professor in the School of Theology at Fuller Seminary, USA; Senior Lecturer in Theology at Flinders University, Australia; and Visiting Fellow at St. John's College, Durham University, UK. He is the author of a number of books, including The Trinity, Creation and Pastoral Ministry (2005), Celebrating Life (2007), and An Uncertain Certainty (2014).
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