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Number of Pages: 263
Vendor: Zondervan/Youth Specialties
Publication Date: 2003
|Dimensions: 9.25 X 7.37 (inches)|
What should the church look like today? What should be the focus of its message? How should I present that message? We live in as pivotal and defining an age as the Great Depression or the Sixtiesa period whose definition, say some cultural observers, includes a warning of the churchs influence. The result? A society measurably less religious but decidedly more spiritual. Less influenced by authority than by experience. More attuned to images than to words. How does the church adapt to such a culture? Or should it, in fact, eschew adapting for maintaining a course it has followed these last two millennia? Or something in between? These are exactly the questions asked in The Church In Emerging Culture by five Christian thinker-speaker-writers, each who advocate unique stances regarding what the churchs message should be (and what methods should be used to present it) as it journeys through this evolving, postmodern era. The authors are: Andy CrouchRe:Generation Quarterly editor-in-chief Michael Hortonprofessor and reformed theologian Frederica Mathewes-Greenauthor, commentator, and Orthodox Christian Brian D. McLarenpostmodernist, author, pastor, and Emergent senior fellow Erwin Raphael McManusauthor and pastor of the innovative and interethnic L.A.-based church, Mosaic Most unique about their individual positions is that theyre presented not as singular essays but as lively discussions in which the other four authors freely (and frequently) comment, critique, and concur. That element, coupled with a unique photographic design that reinforces the depth of their at-once congenial and feisty conversation, gives you all-access entrée into this groundbreaking discourse. Whats more, general editor Leonard Sweet (author of SoulTsunami and AquaChurch, among several other acclaimed texts) frames the thought-provoking dialogue with a profoundly insightful, erudite introductory essaypractically a book within a book. The Church In Emerging Culture is foundational reading for leaders and serious students of all denominations and church styles.
Andy Crouch is editorial director for The Christian Vision Project at Christianity Today International and executive producer of Where Faith and Culture Meet, a series of short documentary films on Christians creating "a counterculture for the common good." He is a member of the editorial board of Books & Culture, and a senior fellow of the International Justice Mission's IJM Institute. His writing has appeared in several editions of Best Christian Writing and Best Spiritual Writing. He lives with his family in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.
Leonard Sweet is an author of many books, professor (Drew University, George Fox University, Tabor College), creator of preachthestory.com, and a popular speaker throughout North America and the world. His "Napkin Scribbles" podcasts are available on leonardsweet.com
Michael Horton (PhD, DD) is Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics at Westminster Seminary California. Author of many books, including The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way, he also hosts the White Horse Inn radio program. He lives with his wife, Lisa, and four children in Escondido, California.
Frederica Mathewes-Green (BA, University of South Carolina; MA, Virginia Episcopal Seminary) is an author, commentator, and Orthodox Christian. She is a regular contributor to Christianity Today, Focus on the Family-Citizen, and Touchstone. <P>Brian D. McLaren (MA, University of Maryland) is an author, speaker, activist and public theologian. After teaching college English, Brian pastored Cedar Ridge Community Church in the Baltimore-Washington, DC area. Brain has been active in networking and mentoring church planters and pastors for over 20 years. He is a popular conference speaker and a frequent guest lecturer for denominational and ecumenical leadership gatherings in the US and internationally.</P> <P>Erwin R. McManus (BA, University of North Carolina; MDiv, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) serves as lead pastor and cultural architect of Mosaic, a diverse, multi-ethnic church based in Los Angeles, California. As founder of Awaken, an entrepreneurial community, Erwin collaborates with a team of dreamers and innovators who specialize in the field of developing and unleashing personal and organizational creativity. A national and international consultant on culture, change, leadership, and creativity, he partners with Bethel Theological Seminary as a futurist and distinguished lecturer. He is the author of the ECPA Silver Medallion Award-winning book, An Unstoppable Force, and Seizing Your Divine Moment, Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul, and The Barbarian Way.</P>
Mak3 Stars Out Of 5October 26, 2007MakAn interesting book especially for those who are following the development of the emergent church movement. It helped me understand better the concerns of the emerging church movement and also its criticism. The comments from the orthodox perspective are very enlightening.
SRB4 Stars Out Of 5November 8, 2006SRBLeonard Sweet provides the introduction for this book, in which he identifies four basic approaches that churches are taking to engage the emerging postmodern culture and gathers five contemporary thinkers that cover the range of these approaches: 1) Low change in message, low change in method; 2) Low change in message, high change in method; 3) High change in message, low change in method; 4) High change in message, high change in method. Michael Horton and Frederica Matthewes-Green represent the first position; Horton approaches the issue from the standpoint of classic Reformed theology, while Matthewes-Green looks through the lens of the Eastern Orthodox tradition. Erwin Raphael McManus is presented as taking the second approach, and focuses on the necessity of leading people into relationship with Christ, which he believes requires innovative methods in the present ever-shifting culture. Andy Crouch represents the third approach, and emphasizes the continuing importance of practicing the sacraments of baptism and communion as the primary foci for the worship of the church. Brian McLaren espouses the fourth approach, arguing that major changes in culture require that we re-examine both our theology and practices to ensure that we are properly contextualizing the gospel for the current cultural climate. (The book never actually tells us which author is taking which position, but I think Ive got them straight.)An innovative element of the book is that each of the five contributors is invited to comment on each others work, and the comments are included in the text as you read through the book. Each author was also given the opportunity to respond to these comments in a rejoinder following their own essay. Though this format sometimes makes it difficult to follow the line of argument, on the whole I found it to be useful, as it lends a sense of an ongoing conversation. Stimulating reading for pastors and educated laypeople.
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