Making Sense of Church - eBook  -     By: Spencer Burke
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Making Sense of Church - eBook

Zondervan / 2009 / ePub

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Product Information

Format: DRM Protected ePub
Vendor: Zondervan
Publication Date: 2009
ISBN: 9780310862956
ISBN-13: 9780310862956
UPC: 025986862954
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

Samplings of online discussions about God, truth, and church—from Our culture is rapidly changing and people are searching for new models and paradigms to find meaning in their lives. As in all transitional periods, this search takes place in grass-roots conversations where the “new” is taking form. No other place so uniquely captures this struggle more than the message boards at, the premier melting pot of emerging spiritual conversation. Making Sense of Church is a snapshot of this “community conversation” as it tries to make sense of God in the emerging worldview. It represents a gathering of individuals with different points of view, theologies, life contexts, and feelings. Author Spencer Burke, creator of, provides the framework writing for each chapter and acts as a “guide” to the accompanying e-mail postings that supplement the chapters. Subjects discussed include: • Authentic Community • Experiential Worship • The Internet and God • Art as a Vehicle for Communicating Truth • Spirituality and Sexuality • What Is the Church? • What Is Postmodernism?

Author Bio

During the last 22 years of ministry, Spencer Burke has explored his passion for arts, technology, and the church. Spencer now serves at both THEOOZE and at his church, ROCKharbor, in Costa Mesa, California. As creator and sustainer of THEOOZE, Spencer has the opportunity to merge all of his passions together into one organization as he strives to understand what being a real and authentic follower of Jesus means in our world. ROCKharbor gives him the privilege to serve on the elder board, the speaking team, and---as strategic planner---facilitator and counselor to the staff. Colleen Pepper spent three years as a staff writer for a large parachurch organization before launching her own communication firm, Pepper Creative, in 2001. She and her husband, Jeremy, live in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Product Reviews

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  1. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    September 28, 2003
    Rachel Cunliffe
    In "Making Sense of Church", Spencer Burke describes some of the broader changes in society and then moves on to changes within the church -- trying to bridge a gap between the "emerging" and "established" church. "It's simply about the questions, hopes, and fears of real people... it's a conversation about church - The Church."Spencer has done an excellent job of weaving together conversations from TheOooze message boards with his own experiences on various topics: leadership, teaching, growth, ministry, mission, faith and evangelism. I really appreciated his two identity metaphors for church leadership: the tour guide versus the fellow traveller. Making Sense of Church is a great read -- actually it's my first "postmodern" book that I've read, and I found it reassuring to see others thinking along similar lines to the things I have been wondering about and questioning. Spencer has pulled quotes from a great well of thoughtful, inspiring and encouraging thinkers at TheOoze and I highly recommend this book to you.
  2. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    September 25, 2003
    Jeremiah Smith
    I wasn't sure if I really wanted to read another book on postmodernism, but when I saw that Making Sense of Church was written by Spencer Burke, I knew this one would be worth reading. It's not because he has become a "voice" for postmodern ministry, but because he has enabled so many other voices to be heard.And that's what makes this book so unique. Spencer gives voice to those who would otherwise go unheard. This is more a collection of viewpoints-often conflicting-than it is a traditional book. Each chapter is a mixture of observations from his personal journey with dozens of posts from TheOoze's discussion boards. This blending of viewpoints accomplishes what the author hopes the church can do-enter "an era where we can have meaningful, compassionate conversations with each other, no matter where our allegiances lie-modern or postmodern, Eastern Orthodox or Catholic, mega church or house church." Admittedly, for the first few chapters I felt like this was territory that's already been explored. Some of the ideas are covered elsewhere by popular authors like Leonard Sweet. It's the later chapters that made the book worth it for me. Chapter 7, "Adversary to Ally," makes me carry on some rather uncomfortable internal dialogue. Some of the chapter frustrated or even angered me, which is why this book needs to be read. It forces me to ask some of the questions I don't want to ask, because I'm afraid of the answers I may find. In reality, what I'm discovering is that they actually lead to even deeper and more challenging questions. Which in turn shapes me into a more honest and faithful follower of Jesus.Hopefully we can embrace the attitude that this book communicates-an attitude that seeks to understand before it tries to be understood. An attitude of deep, rich, and meaningful conversation.
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