Camden Theological Library

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Being Church : Reflections on How to Live as the People of God

Posted on 29 April 2013 Gavin Glenn

What modern church doesn’t call itself a “community”? Yet for how many is it real? How many churches form disciples intimately connected enough to call themselves Christ’s “body”? How many form disciples who know the relational arts that create a robust unity? How many form disciples practiced in the ways of sacrificial love?

Pastor John Alexander, a thirty-year veteran of living in Christian communities, yearns for all the wonder and promise of the New Testament vision of church to come true. After struggling with Scripture in live-together church communities, he shares the Scriptural practices and wisdom that make for an authentic, sustainable, and joyful life together. For any person or church wanting to move beyond the cliché of “community” to the radical vision of the New Testament, this book is an invaluable guide.


“John Alexander has been one of the unsung heroes in the modern Christian world. His understanding of Christianity as a counter-cultural movement is profound, and he has been able to communicate it with effectiveness in his writings. Everything he has written has been marked by fresh insights into what it means to be a Christian in a society in which cultural Christianity has become the norm.”

Tony Campolo,
author of Red Letter Christians


“Superb. Disturbing. Challenging. Radical because it is biblical. Being Church is an extremely well-written, theologically profound but easily understood presentation of a hugely important truth: almost everything depends on recovering the revolutionary reality of genuine Christian community. A must-read.”

Ronald J. Sider,
author of Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger


“Being Church is a comprehensive and winsome invitation to embrace a more radical and holistic vision for the church. It is also a testament to the remarkable story of Church of the Sojourners. John’s voice has the weight of wisdom that comes only from deep reflection and hard-earned experience—it is a voice that we should pay attention to.”

Mark Scandrette,
author of Practicing the Way of Jesus


“It took a sixty-year journey before John Alexander could write this book. Eventually he learned that trying harder and doing more is not the way God changes us. Nor is it the good news of the gospel for the world. This book shares the alternative: the culture of grace. It was worth the wait.”

Chris Rice,
author of Reconciling All Things


John Alexander earned a degree in philosophy and psychology at Oxford University and a master’s degree at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and pursued doctoral studies at Northwestern University. He taught at Wheaton College, edited The Other Side magazine, authored Your Money or Your Life and The Secular Squeeze, and was pastor of Church of the Sojourners (a live-together church community in San Francisco) before his death in 2001.

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