'the best book yet on the emerging church' is andrew jones comment on the back of ryan bolger and eddie gibbs new book emerging churches. i think he's right. this really is a must read. one of the reasons is that it is a research book. it has taken 5 years to produce from lots of visits to emerging churches in the uk and the usa and interviews with people involved in the movement. (it is a shame that the research was unable to include other places in the world - especially new zealand and australia but that was down to the budget). from listening to the voices from below eddie and ryan offer the following defintion of emerging church:
emerging churches are communities that practice the way of jesus in postmodern cultures
and they identify nine practices of emerging churches - emerging churches 1) identify with the life of jesus 2) transform the secular realm 3) live highly communal lives. Because of these they 4) welcome the stranger 5) serve with generosity 6) participate as producers 7) create as created beings 8) lead as a body 9) take part in spiritual activities.
i am one of about 50 people who were interviewed as part of the research which i am sure gives me a biased view of the book. there is an appendix with the faith journeys of all the people interviewed at the back.
the quote i wrote for the book was:
Gibbs and Bolger have produced a very welcome and comprehensive piece of research into UK and US emerging churches. The book captures the spirit of the emerging church movement wonderfully well from the underside. I love the way it gives voice to leaders from within the movement and helpfully draws out and gives shape to the practices of emerging churches. It is a refreshingly sympathetic and positive critique from two researchers who have clearly been inspired and filled with hope as they have sensed the Spirit at work beckoning the church into the future.
the book is out in the usa published by baker publishing and will be published in the uk in february by spck.
Technorati Tags: emerging church, emerging churches
Jonny, I really have to agree with you. I am about halfway through the book and i am so excited. This is what i am giving out for Christmas presents this year! Great work on your contributions! Adele
Posted by: Existential Punk | November 22, 2005 at 11:11 PM
I'm REALLY looking forward to grab a copy when it comes to Malaysia (hopefully soon) .. the shipment through Amazon is just too expensive for our standards.
BTW, I was REALLY blessed by what you and Karen did at Princeton for the alternative worship session :-)
Posted by: Sivin | November 23, 2005 at 01:26 AM
This is on my "to buy" list. Look forward to reading it.
Posted by: Fernando Gros | November 23, 2005 at 06:22 AM
Glad to hear its coming out in the UK with SPCK as well.
I was pretty impressed with it too!
Posted by: Sue Wallace | November 23, 2005 at 12:22 PM
i think brits will be happy to see a lot of unpublished material about the early days of NOS and to hear from alt. worship leaders like Andy Thornton who have managed to avoid getting into previous books.
ohhh . . btw - i will be in london for one day on dec 7 and will be at global zoo. see u there
Posted by: andrew jones | November 23, 2005 at 01:59 PM
Although Eddie does not include research in the book from an Aussie context, when he was here this year he was very excited about what was going on. He did some teaching for ACOM (www.acom.edu.au) and some other sessions around the east coast, one of which I attended. At that lunch in Melbourne, he spoke with much enthusiasm (and some concern) for the emerging climate in our great land! He has some great things to say along the lines of theological education and is very impressed with the direction ACOM is taking education in the nation. (gotta say that...I work for them!!)
I gotta get this book!!
Posted by: vawz | November 24, 2005 at 08:07 AM
Way to tease us Jonnny,,,,that said it does mean we have time to save our pennies and be able to afford the thing!
Posted by: John Cooper | November 24, 2005 at 11:37 AM
Any idea if it will be published in Australia?
Posted by: Digger | November 24, 2005 at 01:42 PM
I have been a reader of this blog for some time, but not a regular contributor. I love Jonny and have done since we first met in a YFC context many years ago. Having gotten the slush out of the way, I have to say that from a distance the discussion of 'emerging church' is seen as navel gazing for a new generation in societies where the church is strong. Where I live the church is unseen ( just as well as it is quite ugly). The two most successful intiatives over the last 400 years has been the Jesuit led initiative in the 1500s and more recently the influence of the non-church movement: a christian movement but one that rejected the west's emphasis on local churches.
I am stimulated by what I read so keep it up but I have to make sense of the gospel in an entirely different universe.
Posted by: lowell | December 08, 2005 at 10:56 PM