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The Way Ahead (Downloadable book)

Ian M Fraser

Grown-up Christians

SKU/ISBN: 9781849520393

Ian M Fraser has been a pastor-labourer in heavy industry, a parish minister, Warden of Scottish Churches House in Dunblane, an Executive Secretary of the World Council of Churches, and Dean and Head of the Department of Mission at Selly Oak Colleges, Birmingham. He is the author of nineteen books, including Strange Fire, Salted with Fire and the spiritual classic Reinventing Theology, which is used as a standard theological sourcebook around the world.

Ian is one of the original members of the Iona Community who helped George MacLeod to rebuild ‘the common life’ and the Abbey buildings on the isle of Iona. Throughout his life Ian has travelled the world, alone and with his wife, Margaret, visiting basic Christian communities. He has walked alongside slum dwellers in India and Haiti; Nicaraguan and Cuban revolutionaries; priests, nuns and catechists facing arrest and/or death in Central and South America; small farming and fishing communities in the Philippines … His life has been a search for the vision and reality of a church in which all voices are heard and all parts of Christ’’s body are included. One place where he found such a model was in the underground church in Eastern Europe during the Communist era. He writes about that discovery here, among other life experiences.

Eighty-eight years old at the time of writing this book, Ian calls The Way Ahead his ‘last will and testament’, the capstone and distillation of his work and thinking. At a time when many people cannot see the future and feel that the church is dying, Ian feels hope and sees great possibility. He writes:

It is difficult to read the signs of one’s own time. In the West, are we at a time of a decline in Christian belief? I think that there is a chance that we are in Kingdom territory where humanity is shouldering church to the side – not rejecting it but giving it its true servant place – in favour of direct Kingdom priorities.

This is a book for anyone who cares about where the church is heading. Will the Christian church live or die? What is the way ahead?

Perhaps the church will live – if it has the courage and humility to take Ian Fraser’’s inclusive message to heart.



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Additional Information

Additional Information

Subline Grown-up Christians
Authors Fraser, Ian M
Author(s) Ian M Fraser
ISBN 9781849520393
Date Added 22 Jan 2011


Minister of St Macher Cathedral, Aberdeen, formerly Director of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of ChurchesReview by Dr Alan Falconer
Drawing on a vast storehouse of knowledge, experience, insight and anecdote, Ian Fraser raises fundamental questions concerning the mission and ministry of the whole people of God. In ecumenical discussions so often these perspectives are referred to briefly and concentrated discussion focuses on the ordained ministry – to the detriment of the witness of the church and ecumenical rapprochement. This is a stimulating and challenging book. (Posted on 15/12/2012)
Radio and television broadcasterReview by Tom Fleming
Dr Ian Fraser is a treasure trove of biblical scholarship, wisdom and common sense. The Way Ahead draws on a lifelong and worldwide experience of Christian communities ‘on the edge’. With inspirational hope, Ian Fraser points to a bright and valid future for the church, shorn of ecclesiastical irrelevances. It is a prophetic vision that cheers the heart. It will not meet with universal approval – but then you know what they say about prophets in their own country (and in their own time!). (Posted on 15/12/2012)
Former Primus of the Scottish Episcopal ChurchReview by Bishop Bruce Cameron
My first encounter with Ian Fraser was in the early days of Scottish Churches House in the 1960s when he sought to earth his vision of ecumenism in the pioneering work of the House. This book continues to challenge the church’s thinking. He reaffirms that vision of Christian unity as about the world’s needs and not simply an exercise in ‘ecclesiastical joinery’; and he calls us to see ministry as the task of the whole people of God, not reserved to the few. At a time when it is too easy for the church to retreat into some pietistic huddle, Ian reminds us of the mission imperative which takes the world seriously; and moreover, he writes with a sense of hope and expectation. (Posted on 15/12/2012)
FCJ, Craighead InstituteReview by Sister Christine Anderson
Controversial and passionate, The Way Ahead challenges all people of God to seek unity in and beyond the norms of dogma and hierarchy – to step out in faith and courageously grasp this new time. Ian Fraser touches the edge of excitement and newness in an earthy, scholarly and profound way. His life quest for integration flows through this book. (Posted on 15/12/2012)

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