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Towards the Prophetic Church

A Study of Christian Mission

John M. Hull

Thirty years ago John Hull wrote What Prevents Christian Adults from Learning? This new book asks 'What prevents Christian adults from acting?' How has it come about that the Church appears so preoccupied with itself? What happened to the quest for the social justice of the Kingdom of God? 

John Hull's search for understanding took him back to the prophetic tradition of the Bible, and he has discovered that this has become neglected and even betrayed. Christian discipleship must be more than church-going and prayer. Christians must resist the unjust structures of society in the prophetic tradition. Theological reflection is not enough!

Book cover. Towards the prophetic church

Publisher: SCM Press

ISBN: 9780334052340

Published: 2014

Book cover. Mission-shaped church

Publisher: SCM Press

ISBN: 978-0334040576

Published: 2006

Mission-Shaped Church

A Theological Response

John M. Hull

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.

What Prevents Christian Adults From Learning? 

John M. Hull

Many adults in the churches find learning difficult. They may not be able to understand, for example, how the church has developed through history and in a time of rapid social change will continue to develop in many ways. They may find intellectual formulations of belief difficult to comprehend, attitudes ― like those who argue that the church must be involved in politics ― difficult to accept, and patterns of behaviour difficult to adopt. Evidence of this is the way in which after more than two centuries, some of the most basic assumptions of modern theology are alien to the average congregation.


Adults who find learning difficult may be parents, who ought to be able to teach children; they may be clergy and teachers, who ought to be helping to remedy the situation. They are often criticised; they also need to be understood. This book is for them. What John Hull has written is a study in practical theology but it adopts an inter-disciplinary approach, drawing on sociology, social psychology and psychology, as well as theology. It considers the nature of Christian education; the problems of education in what is inevitably an ideological community; the deep-seated human need to be right and the pain of learning; and the way in which faith must evolve along with the self. There is no other book quite like it, and it represents a most important breakthrough relevant not only in church and school, but also in a wider social context.

Book cover. What prevents christian adults from learning

Publisher: SCM Press

ISBN: 978-0334017844

Published: 2012

Book cover. Helenistic magic and the synoptic tradition

Publisher: SCM-Canterbury Press

ISBN: 978-0334006107

Published: 1974

Hellenistic Magic and the Synoptic Tradition

Studies in Biblical Theology

John M. Hull

This book is based upon Hull's University of Birmingham doctoral thesis of 1970 and is a study of the background of the miracles of Jesus in the magical world of the first Christian century.

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