Forming Christian Communities in a Secular Age
Recovering Humility and Hope
by Tim Dickau
Published: April 2021
In this book, Tim Dickau tells three stories: the story of Western society’s move towards secularism and its captivation to distorted powers; the story of Grandview Church’s sustained journey of forming a thicker and more porous shared life in a particular place; and the story of his own recovery from burnout and alcohol abuse after thirty years of pastoral ministry in one place;
While engaging a host of scholars across a variety of academic disciplines in his societal analysis, Dickau engages three primary conversation partners that include Charles Taylor, William Cavanaugh and Willie Jennings. In describing the moves made in Christian theology and practice over the last half millennium, Dickau attempts to help us understand how we have come to our current cultural context. By describing how Grandview church has responded to this context, he attempts to spark our imagination for how the church might participate in the mission of God in fruitful ways in this cultural moment. In particular, Dickau seeks to illuminate how Grandview church sought to hold together elements of the mission of the church that often get pulled apart including evangelism with seeking justice, prophetic action with works of mercy, personal conversion with the pursuit of systemic change, institutional development with grass-roots organisational leadership, formation and discipleship with deeper cultural engagement. By telling his own story of recovery, Tim also seeks to let us in on some of the personal challenges of pastoring in a communal context for the long haul.
About the author
Tim lives with his wife Mary, one of three sons and a daughter-in-law, a beautiful grandson and many mealtime guests. He and Mary have lived with over 38 people in the last 27 years and this has become a way of life for them. He is passionate about widening our imagination for how we can be the church in a way that brings hope and transformation among both persons and societal structures in particular neighborhoods.