chapter  5
28 Pages

Reflections for a Wider Context

This chapter illustrates how the concept arose from the empirical findings of the Jacobsfield Vineyard (JV) congregational study. It demonstrates why reflection on the concept may be transformational for other church contexts, with specific attention given to the "emerging church". The chapter suggests specific, related lines of further inquiry and exploration for churches and theological disciplines such as historical theology, systematic theology, or biblical theology. Using the tools of qualitative research, a community of faith can do this via a congregational study. The field of qualitative research continues to undergo its own debates as to what kinds of findings it is capable of producing. Theological reflection, therefore, must be able to provide embodied Christian responses to complex situations while at the same time challenging a church's current understandings of what makes it Christian. Many churches, JV included, are longing for a wider and fuller understanding of the Christian life than the one with which they were educated.