Those close to me know that I always ask for books for Christmas. Its nerdy, I know, and I think it annoys my wife, but I do it because I get stocked up for the following year. So Amber bought me my first two books:
- Foolishness to the Greeks by Leslie Newbigin – I always encourage my family to buy me used copies and this one is used. I love it because it is full of underlined sections and commentary by the previous owners. Newbigin argues that Christians must now approach the western world as a mission field. The book was written in the 1980s and from what I can gather from other books I have read on the subject, is one of the foundational books for missional theology and the missional movement.
- The Great Giveaway by David Fitch – Fitch is one of my favorite bloggers. I remember the first time I found his site he had a post up about politics and Zizek, which in my mind, any pastor/theologian who engages Zizek in a constructive way is worth respect and worth reading. The book is essentially about how the modern evangelical church has given away so much of what it means to be the church (be it to big business, parachurch organizations, psychotherapy, or consumer capitalism) that it has become barely distinguishable from other societal institutions.
So these are the first of hopefully many that I will be reading in 2009!
Here is a short list of cool things/posts I have found this week:
- David Fitch on Five Reasons He Would Claim to Leave a Church – June 19th post.
- Missional has been a buzz word lately and some people are worried that it is being used too loosely. So in response Rick Meigs organized a Missional Synchroblog to try to define what it means to be missional. There are roughly 50 contributions to the synchroblog and the links can be found below Rick’s post.
- Rays took a 3.5 game lead in the AL East after a big sweep of the Red Sox! (Hey, my Pads are doing terrible this year, so I had to find someone to cheer for.)
About a week ago I read an excellent post by David Fitch on his blog. It was titled “The Emerging/Missional Church – ‘They don’t have converts’ Why Mark Driscoll misses the point”.
He was responding to the criticism of Driscoll that emerging and missional churches do not have converts, or they have very few. As many people know, emerging/Emergent/missional are all buzz words floating around the blogosphere, books, conferences and many other places. So if his critique is correct then there needs to be some serious reflections about the effectiveness of these movements/conversations.
David Fitch takes this up, along with Brother Maynard, and analyzes and compares the missional church movement, Emergent, and the “Drisconian megachurch.” He does an excellent job pointing out the differences between the three and where Driscoll “misses the point.” Here is a short synopsis:
1. Emergent is not looking for converts. That is not to say there aren’t any, but he points out that Emergent is more of a reform movement.
2. Missional churches are incarnational. Meaning it takes a long time living among people before there are converts, much like a missionary in a foreign country. Many of these converts have no church background and did not grow up in church. They also tend to be small. Driscoll’s church, however, is a mega church and attracts many people who grew up in church and fell away or former Catholics. Fitch argues that converts in terms of percentages, rather than numbers, is a much more accurate measurement (if it must be measured). Therefore, neither approach is necessarily wrong, they are just reaching different people.
I highly recommend checking out Fitch’s post and the ensuing conversation in the comments, especially if anything I said was unclear.