john drane is one of the most thoughtful mission thinkers in the uk. i always enjoy hearing him speak and/or reading his books. i finally got round to reading his latest book after mcdonaldization which is an excellent follow on to the mcdonaldization of the church. 5 chapters touch on the themes of mission, culture, ministry (or leadership), community and theology and the challenges and opportunities they present in a changing world. one of the sections in his first book that caught people attention was his breakdown of society into 7 categories of people. somehow it caught the moment. he builds on that here by reflecting further on the spirituality and mission that might connect wit the different groups. it's a really helpful piece of work. in particular i was struck by the shift to lifestyle as a main theme for spirituality and mission. rather than asking credal questions, many people are more interested in how to live life - in a way that has integrity, treads lightly on the earth, lives with difference and so on. does christianity have any wisdom to offer on lifestyle? does it make sense in this way? i think this could be a key insight. i need to chew over it a bit more.
i have also been thinking and reading a lot on theological education recently as it's an area i'm likely to be doing more in with cms (well mission education) and i found the chapter on theology really helpful. john succintly spells out some of the challenges in theology and then offers a holistic, relational, creative way of learning. drane admits this appeals to the group he calls cultural creatives the most. being one i liked it a lot!
this is a very short review but if i wait around to write an in depth review it will probably never happen... a welcome addition to the books on mission and church in the emerging culture.