This dissertation addresses the ministry problem of how the evangelical church in North America has often withdrawn from meaningful engagement with its surrounding culture. The church can engage the community in meaningful ways once it understands its history, has biblical theology of the kingdom of God, and discovers its purpose in the world as mission.
The project begins with a view of the historical context of the problem along with a statement on the author’s missional history, church experience, and worldview. The dissertation also discusses the biblical concept of the kingdom of God and its implications for the missional church. The author also examines the history of the evangelical church in America with focus on evangelicals and fundamentalism and how
they came to their current condition in America. He sees the kingdom of God as a unifying theology for evangelicals with application for the church as a new community.
Implications are examined concerning the problem of evil, the use of scripture, and the tension of the now and not yet of the kingdom. The project also discusses challenges facing the evangelical church in its attempt to become missional with a review of the changes that have taken place in the city of Kent, Washington through its transition into a multicultural city. The dissertation concludes with a review of efforts to find a transferable model of a missional church with recommendations for the evangelical church to take practical steps toward becoming missional.