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Vineyard churches use Upside Down classic


Mennonite Church Canada/Mennonite Publishing Network joint release
April 13, 2007

Scottdale, Pa — Almost three decades after its first release in 1978, Donald B. Kraybill’s book, The Upside-Down Kingdom, continues to influence a new generation of Christians in unusual places.

Kris Miller who works in young adult ministries of the national office of Vineyard, USA, in Sugar Land, Texas, recently contacted author Kraybill for an interview on the book The Upside-Down Kingdom.

Each Sunday evening, Miller gives leadership to a group of about 60 young adults at his local Vineyard church, studying the book.

He noted that the Vineyard young adults are asking for some exemplary practices of churches that are actively participating in upside-down kingdom ministry today. He wondered what actions Kraybill hoped may result from studying the book.

The Vineyard Movement is probably best known for the early 90s charismatic “Toronto Blessing” period and the leadership of John Wimber. As the movement spread across North America, Miller noted that “a narrow-yet-expanding theology of the kingdom of God, accenting the charismatic dimension … is waking up to further social and ecological dimensions of kingdom theology.”

Miller, a doctoral student, told Kraybill that his research led him to “the intersection of ethics and spirituality. Yoder, McClendon, Hauerwas, Murphey, and MacIntyre have had their influence on me, as well as yourself … and for that I am grateful.”

The Upside Down Kingdom was published by Herald Press in 1978, and has traveled around the world in six language editions. It has most recently been requested for translation by Neufeld Publishing in Germany. Other editions are in Portuguese, Korean, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, and Indonesian. The most recent English edition was published in 2003.

Mennonite Publishing Network is the publishing ministry of Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church USA.