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The Church as Salt


Becoming the Community Jesus Speaks About

By Sally Douglas

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You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored?

It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled underfoot.

Matthew 5:13

The Jesus community is called to be the salt of the earth, a metaphor that contains rich and disruptive challenge. Salt is little. We weep salty tears and grow up in dark salty wombs. Salt preserves. Salt draws out taste and too much salt spoils everything.

With scholarly insight into the biblical text, early church writers and theology, as well as her pastoral experience in ministry, Sally Douglas invites us to wrestle afresh with the metaphor of being salt. Here we discover a call into discipleship that is free from the success criteria of consumerist culture and free from nostalgia.

The Church as Salt is not a ‘how to’ manual. Instead, through stories of ancient and contemporary salty communities, reflection questions and liturgies, the book is a nourishing resource for people and communities seeking faithful ways of being church today.

‘… a profound and joyful book… With colourful stories from church history and from the present, Douglas… shows how congregations today can be “seasoning pockets of grace” for the sake of the world.’ – Ben Myers, Associate Professor, Alphacrucis College.

Douglas ‘…reminds her readers of the simplicity — and demand — of following a gospel that is seen more in generosity, neighbourliness, gathering, vulnerability and sharing than in the competitive and exhausting culture that religion sometimes occupies… In scholarship, story and vision … a compelling read and — more — a call to the local. – Pádraig Ó Tuama, poet and theologian.

‘Beautifully written with clear, poetic language and exquisite images, this book both draws its readers into prayerful reflection and provokes into active salty living.’ – Sharon Hollis, President, Uniting Church in Australia ‘“The church is dying…. Thanks be to God.” So writes theologian and pastor, Sally Douglas… The church as a custodian of morals, a purveyor of respectability, a friend of empire, is all coming to an end. It is now time to tell a “different story” … an ideal resource for church communities or individual members who want to hear this “different story” about the past and the future of the church.’ – Geoff Thompson, Associate Professor, Pilgrim Theological College.