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Grand Rapids, MI

Embarking Blog

...on the journey towards restoration of all things

The Future of Evangelicalism 10

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Recently I've been reading a fabulous book by Tom Sine called "The New Conspirators."  Tom wrote the books Mustard Seed Conspiracy and Mustard Seed vs. McWorld, both of which have been very influential in my own life and thinking along the way.  Tom is from a much different generation than I am, but I love how he resonates along with people like Scot McKnight and Robert Webber with the so-called "Younger Evangelicals" (Webber's term).  Thinking about what McKnight in the last post I put up, listen to Tom Sine in his new book and notice the similarities:

...my passion is for discovering what God is doing in these turbulent times, and how I can be much more a part of it. [p. 18]

...much of the focus, language, and programs of traditional institutional churches no longer connect with post-denominational, post-Christendom, post-Christian and postmodern culture. [p. 19]

Though God works in all generations, as my wife Christine and I wander the world, we see the Spirit of God working largely through the vision, creativity, and initiative of a new generation - through emerging, mission, multicultural and monastic streams - as well as in traditional churches that are hungry for a more authentic, vital, mission-centered faith.  This book is written to invite you not only to support what God is doing through these renewing streams but also to join this conspiracy of compassion... Those involved in these streams almost always tend to be more outwardly focused, seeking to engage urgent needs in their communities and the larger world. [p. 20]

Sine mentions people I've also learned a great deal from like Alan Roxburgh, Alan Hirsch, Brian McLaren, Shane Claiborne, Scot McKnight, Eddie Gibbs, Ryan Bolger, John Stackhouse, Leslie Newbigin, Steve Taylor, Walter Brueggeman, NT Wright, Marislov Volf, and many many more.  He speaks about issues of consumerism, kingdom, environmental stewardship, war & peace, and visions of a new reality.  (an whoa... one of the best biblical descriptions of heaven I've read that drew me to tears while sitting in a coffee shop when I read it... cf. pp. 104-108)

I also love the 4 emerging trends he mentions:  emerging church, missional movement, new monasticism and hip-hop.  I loved this because 3 of the 4 have resonated deeply with me (I've just had little exposure and connection to the hip hop church culture, but I bet I'd love it, too).  Anyway, his book is worth reading and discussing and it's great to have a guy with his breadth giving some credence to this new generation of thinkers envisioning a new reality in our new emerging culture that is both consistent with and yet somewhat different than the previous incarnation of church in an earlier historical culture.


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