Named One of Fifteen Important Theology Books of 2022, Englewood Review of Books Churches and their leaders have innovation fever. Innovation seems exciting--a way to enliven tired institutions, embrace creativity, and be proactive--and is a superstar of the business world. But this focus on innovation may be caused by an obsession with contemporary relevance, creativity, and entrepreneurship that inflates the self, lacks theological depth, and promises burnout.
In this follow-up to Churches and the Crisis of Decline, leading practical theologian Andrew Root delves into the problems of innovation. He explores where innovation and entrepreneurship came from, shows how they break into church circles, and counters the "new imaginations" like neoliberalism and technology that hold the church captive to modernity. Root reveals the moral visions of the self that innovation and entrepreneurship deliver--they are dependent on workers (and consumers) being obsessed with their selves, which leads to significant faith-formation issues. This focus on innovation also causes us to think we need to be singularly unique instead of made alive in Christ. Root offers a return to mysticism and the poetry of Meister Eckhart as a healthier spiritual alternative.
This is the fifth book in Root's Ministry in a Secular Age series.
About the Author
Andrew Root (PhD, Princeton Theological Seminary) is Carrie Olson Baalson Professor of Youth and Family Ministry at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. He is the author of numerous books, including Faith Formation in a Secular Age, The Pastor in a Secular Age, The Congregation in a Secular Age, Churches and the Crisis of Decline, and The End of Youth Ministry? Root is also the coauthor (with Kenda Creasy Dean) of The Theological Turn in Youth Ministry.