Mere Ecclesiology: Finding Your Place in the Church's Mission (Wipf & Stock, 2016) explores the church's purpose and mission in two movements: 1) "breathing in" (worship and discipleship) and 2) "breathing out" (transformational service in the world). It is available in paperback for $ 13.60 USD from Wipf & Stock by clicking here..
NOTE: A Kindle e-book edition is available at Amazon for only $ 9.99 USD by clicking here.. See the same site for hardback and paperback editions.
From the Foreword:
"Greg has powerfully captured the church, 'God’s mission in the World', in these brief pages. Ecclesiology is generally a subject written and discussed in academic theological circles and rarely reaches the person in the pew. But this is one for the pew and will be valued as well."
-Jo Anne Lyon, Ambassador
General Superintendent Emerita
The Wesleyan Church
From the back cover:
"This is an excellent overview of the work of the church. Refreshing!"
- Jesse C. Middendorf, General Superintendent Emeritus, Church of the Nazarene
"If ever the church needed a grassroots understanding to fulfill its mission in the world in this significant time, then this is the 'back to the basics' guide so desperately needed."
- Gabriel J. Benjamin, Church of the Nazarene, Africa Region Education and Clergy Development Coordinator
"Crofford invites us into a discussion regarding the theology of church and the practical implications for ministry...This work will prove useful for the church engaged in the formation of Christlike disciples."
-Carla Sunberg, President, Professor of Historical Theology, Nazarene Theological Seminary
"In promoting a healthy church, Dr. Crofford emphasizes the need for 'spiritual respiration.' His conception of church health first requires a 'breathing in' of personal growth that is spiritual, knowledgeable, and communal. Second, spiritual respiration requires a 'breathing out' that is missional, ministering practically to others for their holistic salvation, societal well-being, and ecological care-giving. . . Crofford identifies step-by-step strategies that help Christians to implement 'spiritual respiration' in finding their place in the church's mission."
-Don Thorsen, Professor of Theology, Azusa Pacific University Seminary
The Dark Side of Destiny: Hell Re-Examined (Wipf & Stock, 2013) is available in paperback and Amazon Kindle editions by clicking here.
It is also available here for just $ 6.99 for users of the Nook e-reader.
From the back cover:
"Discussion of Hell is hotter than ever. Yet for all the attention the topic has drawn, few are the resources that provide an overview of the major points in dispute without bogging down in detail.
The Dark Side of Destiny: Hell Re-examined is an excellent primer, yet goes beyond a mere description of options. Dr Crofford weighs various views of Hell in the light of Scripture and finds them wanting. In the end, he champions a neglected view of last things that both responds better to the preponderance of biblical evidence and safeguards the character of God as equitable, holy, and loving.
With probing discussion questions at the end of short chapters, The Dark Side of Destiny is ideal for Bible studies, Sunday school classes, or small groups."
The buzz about Dark Side (from Amazon.com reviews):
"I read this book with my husband on a recent trip out of state. The book is short but says all I'd hoped it would say and does so very neatly. It gave us hours of discussions to make an otherwise dull drive very interesting." - Charlotte Burton
"Dr. Crofford thoughtfully engages with a neglected part of the biblical message: final judgment." - Andrew Pottenger
"Dr. Crofford writes well and treats all positions with gentleness and respect. Beware,-- this little gem is very thought provoking." - John Watton
Wesley and Methodist Studies (WMS) publishes peer-reviewed essays that examine the life and work of John and Charles Wesley, their contemporaries (proponents or opponents) in the eighteenth-century Evangelical Revival, their historical and theological antecedents, their successors in the Wesleyan tradition, and studies of the Wesleyan and Evangelical traditions today.
Dr. Crofford's article, ‘Grace to All did Freely Move’: Thoughts on Charles Wesley’s 1741/42 Hymns on God’s Everlasting Love' appeared in Volume 6 (January 2014). Based upon research conducted during the 2012 Wesleyan Studies Summer Seminar at Asbury Theological Seminary (Wilmington, Kentucky, USA), the essay examines the predestinarian controversy between the Wesley brothers and the followers of George Whitefield, with special focus upon the pastoral concerns that motivated the publication of the Wesleys' hymn collection.
For further information about WMS, click here.
The Global Wesleyan Dictionary of Theology is available in hardcover by clicking here.
Dr. Al Truesale, Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology at Nazarene Theological Seminary, is editor of this excellent selection of essays by global scholars in the Wesleyan-Holiness tradition of Christianity.
Dr Crofford contributed 6 articles, including essays on sin, prevenient grace, predestination, and John Wesley's small groups.
Streams of Mercy: Prevenient Grace in the Theology of John and Charles Wesley (Emeth Press, 2010) is available in both softback and Kindle editions at Amazon.com by clicking here.
This is the monograph form of Dr. Crofford's 2008 PhD thesis from the University of Manchester (Nazarene Theological College), U.K.
From the back cover of Streams of Mercy
"Exploring the theological roots of the doctrine of prevenient grace in Anglican, Puritan and Quaker sources as they streamed into the theologies of both John and Charles Wesley, Gregory Crofford has written an engaging account of the significance of this salient grace. In a work marked by careful balance, Crofford ably demonstrates that the doctrine of prevenient grace not only helped the Wesley brothers to integrate diverse elements in their respective theologies but it also enabled them to avoid rigid determinism on the one hand and the 'despair of moralism' on the other. This is an important contribution to the field."
- Kenneth J Collins, Ph.D., Professor of Wesley Studies and Historical Theology, Asbury Theological Seminary
Streams of Mercy was cited by Dr. Amos Yong (currently the Director of Fuller Theological Seminary's Center for Missiological Research) in his plenary address on religious pluralism given to the 2012 meeting of the Wesleyan Theological Society held at Trevecca Nazarene University.
2 thoughts on “James Copple on saving the children”
I thought that the very strength of the book was the one thing you thought was it’s weakness, which is the very breadth and depth of Copples broad exploration and experiences; personal, social, and political. Oftentimes, we read stories that are too narrow, giving us a compartmentalized and empty view, that diminishes just how massive the problem is. His haunting story that moves him from one place to another, brilliantly proves how one crack house experience is connected to the tragedies and horror of a little boy across the world. I also believe that Copple not only demonstrated the power of the “voices in the night” as it relates to his experience with particular children in distress, but he gives the reader insight about his own “voice from the night”…the one that he holds dear, the voice from his childhood, melded in with the voice of God.
I was struck hard by the lessons of personal struggle and the hope of Jesus Christ that he so beautifully conveys.
I tried to leave this comment, on the review site of Dr Crofford, however I didn’t think it worked, so I had to rewrite it…which I’m actually happy about. The first version was horribly typed on my “Smartphone,” that thinks it has the right to change what I want to say automatically. So this is a new version of the same idea. I re-uploaded my response to his review. Though I am opinionated, I hope and pray that the spirit in which I wrote this, one of respect for all views, is easily translated onto a Facebook post!
I thought the book’s strength was the very thing that Dr. Croffard felt was its weakness, and that is the breadth and depth of the author’s experience, the broadness and grandness of the author’s journey. Oftentimes, stories of this nature are narrowly told, compartmentalized, and sanitized, keeping the reader in the dark about just how far reaching the problem really is. The stories connect in such a way that it is conceivable that the life and voice of the little girl in the crack house, is somehow directly related to the little boy in war-torn Africa, forced into situations so horrific, that we cannot even imagine their pain, let alone their hope. The politics, the injustice, the spiritual war within us, as a member of the human race, fallen…all are amazingly connected in a web of destructive forces, yet, so graciously intertwined with the hope of Christ.
I enjoyed hearing the diverse experiences through the author’s storytelling. Copple’s ability to take the reader on a ride so human, that you are forced to deal with your own complacency and apathy, as well as the realization of the power that lies within us as Believers, keepers of the truth, that can literally save countless lives.
Another piece to this is that Copple is able to project the “voices from the night,” as if the reader is standing right there next to him, “alongside” him…listening to their fight for survival. However, in a twist of brilliance, he also creates the opportunity for the reader to hear his “voice from the night.” He shares his own introspective lessons, as well as his own sense of emptiness and sadness, he too experienced as a child. Copple, a self-identified “Seeker” wrote a book that is at the very heart of who he is in Christ. I just hope that he realizes the fact that his journey of “seeking” Christ or of Truth, has long been found in him. Through His relationship with Jesus, God has revealed himself already, not only through His Word, but also through Mr. Copple’s heart and passion for God’s children.
The book to me, not only showed the bigger picture of the plight of children in a drug infested, selfish, self-absorbed world; it showed me the child within this man, and the voice from within, that cannot be ignored. His voice…God’s voice, compels each of us to open our ears, eyes, and hearts to bring refuge to those who are crying for safety, to give food and water to those who are hungry, and to heal those who are brokenhearted, in Jesus’ name. I loved this book, there isn’t one line that didn’t resonate with me. I had found a book that spoke to me and explained why I have the passion that bubbles up inside of me. My own voice from the night, the one that we all hold somewhere deep inside. It confirmed for me, in so many ways, that I am on the right track on my life’s journey.