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FROM CHURCHES TOGETHER IN BRITAIN AND IRELAND
DATE 2 MAY 2007
PRESS RELEASE - FOR IMMEDIATE USE
Adverts on the backs of buses, in taxis, on hoardings and in newspapers for "Alpha courses", which provide a practical introduction to Christianity, are familiar to millions.
Alpha is enormously successful. Its organisers claim over eight million people have now attended an Alpha course, and that more than 7,000 churches in Britain and Ireland, and over 30,000 around the world have signed up for the Alpha experience.
Yet Alpha is controversial. Critics say it offers a comfortable, individualistic version of the Christian faith, and particularly attracts affluent and professional young people.
What is the truth about Alpha?
From CTBI Publications, and edited by Andrew Brookes, The Alpha Phenomenon explores Alpha, questions assumptions made about it by both friends and foes, and offers new levels of theological reflection on Alpha, and many pastoral suggestions to all concerned about Christian mission. This book will be of interest both to Alpha's supporters and its critics.
The Alpha Phenomenon: Theology, Praxis and Challenges for Mission and Church Today tackles a number of questions, including: How did Alpha develop? How does it work? What are its theological, pastoral and evangelistic principles, and how valid are they? Is it the answer to falling church membership? Does Alpha really reach those with no connection to the church or is it just spreading evangelical charismatic Christianity within the church? How does Alpha affect churches that run its courses? What contribution is it making to Christian unity? Will it continue to be effective in an increasingly post-modern and less Christian society?
With contributions by theological and mission experts from across the Christian spectrum, "The Alpha Phenomenon" provides a comprehensive, informed, independent, insightful and challenging assessment, including the strengths and limitations of Alpha. The book also examines modern day evangelism in general, and provides clues as to what else the church must do to carry out its missionary mandate in the 21st century.
The launch of "The Alpha Phenomenon" will take place at 12.30 p.m. on Tuesday, 15th May at the offices of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, 3rd Floor, Bastille Court, 2 Paris Garden, London, SE1 8ND.
The book's editor, Andrew Brookes, will be at the launch and is also available for interview.
The Alpha Phenomenon (ISBN 978-0-85169-331-6] Buy
Note for editors:
Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI) helps the Churches to think, work and pray together. It is the official ecumenical body that brings together Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, Protestant and Pentecostal traditions, and is the direct successor to the British Council of Churches. CTBI's work includes racial justice, inter faith relations, international affairs, global mission, faith, unity and spirituality. CTBI works closely with the "Churches Together" bodies which focus separately on England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. See www.ctbi.org.uk.