2007 may become Emerging’s banner year in books. 2008 will see Tony Jones‘ The New Christians but that book is being set up by three significant books this year: Pagitt and Jones, The Emergent Manifesto, Dan Kimball’s They Love Jesus But not the Church and Brian McLaren’s Everything Must Change. These books have been given plenty of attention, so I want to call your attention to two more books that, if you are studying the movement or just interested, will give you plenty of insight into this vibrant and growing movement. [Ah, I forgot: Tim Keel’s book Intuitive Leadership deserved to be mentioned; I apologize to Tim.]
Comments on books about emerging you are finding especially helpful? interesting? provocative?
Here’s how I want to put it: What we need most, alongside books that “tell us what emerging is about,” are books that break into new ground, that open up new vistas, and that move the conversation constructively into new areas. Brian’s book moved us into an emerging social vision. Here are two constructive proposals:
First, Graham Buxton, director of postgraduate studies in ministry and theology at Tabor College in Adelaide Australia, has a book called Celebrating Life. This book is from Paternoster’s important Faith in an Emerging Culture series. Buxton explores how we can get beyond the sacred-secular divide, and many of us know that this divide is a significant concern for emerging.
So, Buxton explores the gospel and culture and exposes dualisms at work among too much of the Christian faith. Then chps on creation, literature’s power to enhance humanity, the creative arts, science and faith, politics, and capitalism. He offers then nine theses — and I like each of them.
Brian Sanders, in Life after Church, brings into words what many readers of this blog want to hear:
“This book is for those who have contemplated leaving church because they believe it should be more. This book is for those who have moved from thinking about it to doing, and now they find themselves isolated, ineffective or alone.” There are many out there like this. This book is for you. Here’s why.
This is the only book I know of that is about leaving church, not in the sense of tossing in the towel, but of thoughtful, deliberate, wise leaving because one’s heart burns for the kingdom more than one’s local church does. This book is not crazy or angry; it’s thoughtful, judicious, and programmatic for those who want to pick up stakes and do church differently, more radically.
Brian Sanders is in Tampa; is the founder and director of Tampa Underground, a missional network of microchurches in urban Tampa. He’s launched more than 15 house churches.