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REACTIONS TO GROWTH AND DECLINE

"A growth which is merely abstractly extensive is not [the community's] growth as the communio sanctorum. Thus it can never be healthy if the Church seeks to grow only or predominantly in this horizontal sense, with a view to the greatest number of adherents."

-Karl Barth, 1957

in Church Dogmatics

"The spread of the Church throughout the world must not be thought of in merely human terms. We are not speaking about the multiplication of branches of an American organization. … The multiplication of churches nourished on the Bible and full of the Holy Spirit is a sine qua non in carrying out the purposes of God."

-Donald McGavran, 1970

in Understanding Church Growth (Eerdmans)

"Many churches like ours have applauded a theology of nongrowth. Growth has been seen to be as vulgar and plastic as Disneyland and, furthermore, pure evidence that the gospel is not being preached with its radical claims. … Applause for the theology of nongrowth will not last long, however, because it is almost ...
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