Although, there appears to have been no critical responses so far, the report on Mission-Shaped Churches is being used all over England in the training of people for public ministry. Here, for the first time, is a serious theological evaluation of the framework within which this policy document is presented. John Hull's response to the report raises hugely important questions about the concepts of Kingdom, Church, Gospel and Mission, concepts that are not distinguished clearly, consistently or acceptably in the report. He looks in particular to the consequences this has on the treatment given to issues surrounding poverty, consumerism, pluralism in faith and community. Whilst the author shares the hopes for a renewal of the church, most strongly, and is an avid supporter of the fresh expression of churches, he raises critical questions about the way we go about creating cell churches and cafe churches. He also raises questions about the inherent territorialism, and possible ignorance of realistic situations of poverty or multi-faith communities that the Church may harbour. Although, the report may look for a mission-shaped church what it finds and seems to want to recreate is a church-shaped mission.
We are used to well argued and thoughtful writings from John Hull and this essay is no exception. (...) I commend this essay to all my colleagues in the network. Judi Hattaway