For The Parish Analysis

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Critically evaluate the critique of the Fresh Expressions movement in Davison & Milbank’s For the Parish (2010).

For The Parish [FTP] by Andrew Davison and Alison Milbank (2010) is a literary paradox. It has the power at times to be resoundingly insightful, gracious and well considered, and yet can also be misleading and discourteous. Its theological critique oscillates between rich, penetrating scholarship and poorly executed exegesis. As a critique of fresh expressions it is largely successful at exposing error and tempering sensationalist approaches to consumerist culture. As a viable alternative however, its reimagined parish system is broadly abstract, mistakenly idyllic and lacking in real-life application.

FTP exists on the fault-line
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Where Breaking New Ground saw church planting and early forms of fresh expressions as ‘supplements’ to Anglican life which sustained the parish system (Bayes, 2006:10), MSC saw them as entities effectively separate to the governing life of the parish (2004:xi, 12). This — along with supporting Bishops Mission Orders (2007; updated 2008, 2012) — gave fresh expressions both the recognition as authorised ‘expressions’ of the Anglican Church and ability to define liturgy, leadership, sacraments, structures and practices outside the usual confines of Anglican Law (Cray in Bolger, 2012:329; Nelstrop. …show more content…
We will evaluate their success in firstly, uprooting the theology of the Fresh Expression movement as well as secondly, presenting a viable alternative in the parish system. It is these two given aims, outlined in their introduction (vii), that will form the baseline of our critique. To conclude, this essay will outline significant areas that neither FTP’s critique nor MSC adequately address, suggesting further study. Some of these oversights are due to the sweeping and fast-paced nature of current missionary theory and the resultantly deceptive age of these two works (seven and twelve years respectively). We will therefore endeavour to be aware of more recent developments in the fresh expression conversation while remaining true to the original task. It is to this we now

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