Book of the Week: An Emergent Manifesto of Hope

This week’s book of the week is An Emergent Manifesto of Hope edited by Doug Pagitt and Tony Jones.  This book contained 25 emergent leaders writing on differing issues within the church from the emergent church perspective.  If you are not savy on the emergent church, it is a group of church leaders who believe that the modern church needs revitalization for such postmodern times.

This movement has some good ideas and identifies some real issues in American churches, but with the lack of a clear definition of what the group believes, it is hard to truly grasp what you are dealing with.  In this movement are people that I believe have some great ideas and are simply changing church methods, but I also fear some of them in the same movement are getting too far from biblical truth.  This was an interesting read to say the least.

Top 5 Ideas:

  1. Mark Scandrette wrote, “The emerging church is a place where people have felt the freedom to explore questions and experiment with new forms of lifestyle and corporate practice” (23).
  2. Heather Kirk-Davidoff wrote, “I stopped wondering about how to draw younger folks into my church and started focusing on how to draw my congregation out of its building and into relationship with the world outside its doors…I wasn’t motivated by a desire to save people from the jaws of hell, and I wasn’t motivated by a desire to grow my church.  I was motivated by my desire to be in relationship with people who were in many ways different from me” (35).
  3. Tony Bronsink wrote, “In the erosion of Christendom, the Western church institution threatened by freedom often appeals to its commitment to opening practice or story by restricting one or the other of practice or story” (66).
  4. Tim Conder wrote, “The existing church must find its way into the emerging culture to retain its missiological credibility or perhaps even to survive” (103).
  5. Adam Walker Cleaveland wrote, “One of the joys (for some) and frustrations (for others) of Emergent is that it is very hard to say, ‘This is what Emergent believes about X.’  There is great diversity of theological and methodological beliefs within Emergent” (126).