An architecture of evangelism: Hospitality to the stranger in a Lutheran context

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1993
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Bentzinger, William Edward
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Engelbrecht, Mark
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Abstract
This thesis intends to investigate the connection between the public community and the faith community, which occurs at the threshold. To investigate the threshold, the First Lutheran Church in Waterloo, Iowa is examined in terms of its membership, which can be positively shifted by the church gaining a better understanding of becoming a community that is open to meeting with and being hospitable to strangers. This paper investigates the tensions that have caused church members to turn inwards instead of to the threshold: the tensions between the church as the house of God and the house of the people of God, and the pressure for the congregation to become a close knit family over and against the public realm. An architecture of evangelism must make the church truly open to the public to bring churches back to their mission, resolve these tensions, and increase church membership and community along the way.
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