Posts Tagged ‘ books ’

The Emerging Church – Does Anyone Still Care?

This post is for all my readers who still care about the Emerging Church . . . I hope both of you enjoy it. But seriously, folks, I’ve got some thoughts. Over the past few months, I’ve seen a number of blog posts, tweets, and Facebook status updates along the lines of “I used to affiliate with the emerging church, but I’m not so sure I do any more.” Granted, most of them are much more cleverly worded, but it would seem that the thrift stores in many U.S. cities will soon be receiving higher than normal donations of tea light holders, dark-rimmed glasses, English flat caps, and Celtic cross wall hangings. The bandwagon is getting a little lonely. As someone who has run in these circles for over ten years now, and has at various times felt a bit of ambivalence about my own involvement, I can understand the […]



Review: The Outsider Interviews

I just finished a quick read through The Outsider Interviews, by Jim Henderson, Todd Hunter, and Craig Spinks.* It’s billed as a “DVB,” meaning that it’s a book and a DVD together. The DVD has a large number of video clips that are referenced throughout the chapters of the book. I would guess that if this were to be published a year or two from now, the iPad and Kindle versions of the book would integrate the video clips straight into the text. While I read about half of the book away from a TV or computer, I was able to read the other half while sitting next to my computer, and followed the cues to watch the clips. The content of the DVB was largely driven off of the authors’ interaction with material presented in the book unChristian, by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons. That book presents a lot […]



How to Watch TV (and other media), part 2

Yesterday, I began to frame up an approach to interacting with media in our lives . . . notice that I said “interacting with” and not “consuming.” There’s a big difference. I’ll admit that there are definitely times when I consume media – I sit down in front of a television or computer screen with nothing in mind other than to have nothing in mind, and be entertained. But more often, I’m interacting with media, in the sense that I’m asking questions that go below the surface of the story that’s being told on screen – like yesterday’s question – “Who’s paying for this show?” To put things another way, while sometimes I do watch television, most of the time I “read” television. In an effort to further define things, here’s another good question for you to ask: Question 2 – What narrative is being advanced? One of the hardest […]



Reading: A Habit I’ve Returned To

Yesterday, I spent a few minutes updating my Books page. Over the past few weeks, I seem to have gotten my reading mojo back, after a pretty long hiatus. After a few years of reading like mad for school, I was forced to basically stop reading in order to focus on writing my doctoral dissertation, which took most of my time between August 2008 and March 2009. Once I crossed that finish line, I went almost completely dormant in the literary sense. I’m not sure if it was burnout, but I apparently felt the need for a break. I read very little in what remained of 2009. Even while flying all over the world, spending a ridiculous amount of time on airplanes, I only managed to read one book on my smart phone’s Kindle app. But as quickly as my book lust went away, it seems to have returned. This […]



What I Wish I Was Reading

Traveling for three months straight presents some pretty big challenges to a guy who likes books.  They tend to be heavy.  So, I can’t carry a library all over the world with me.  Instead, I’m having to either look for Amazon.com Kindle edition books that I can download to my smart phone, or see new titles I’d like to be reading, and sigh wistfully.  I’m sure there are a number of others I could mention, but here’s the list of books I wish I could have with me as I travel, as well as the one I’m currently in: Theology in the Context of World Christianity, by Timothy C. Tennent.  I’ve just started the Kindle edition of this book.  The introduction is good at providing a rationale for looking at theology from a global perspective.  Case studies of how theologians in different regions of the world would approach a given […]



Quick Take Review: The Next Evangelicalism

Last week I got a chance to sit down with a book that’s been getting a bit of buzz in the circles I run in.  It’s called The Next Evangelicalism: Freeing the Church From Western Cultural Captivity, by Soong-Chan Rah.  I believe it’s a very important book, and one that I hope will find its way onto many seminary course readings lists – and not just in specialty classes like “Multi-cultural Worship.”  Rah has some good words to share, but they will be put to best use in a broad marketplace. The book is an uncomfortable read, especially for a white midle class USAmerican dude.  I have attempted to sensitize myself and the people I have influence with to issues of race, power, and control, but I know I’ve fallen well short of ideal.  There’s still a lot more to be done in my own heart, as well as in […]



Reading again

I’m either proud or ashamed to say that I completed reading my first book of 2009 earlier this week.  Proud, given that it’s the fist book I’ve finished in the past three or four months.  Ashamed, because at this point in the year for the past three or four or five years, I would have completed five or six books.  I guess I could be even more embarrassed to say that even the book I finished was a piece of popular fiction.  But there’s no shame in that for me. After a long slog of research and writing, which took me out of the reading-entire-books-at-a-time game, I’m looking forward to some more normal approaches to books.  I’ve just begun my reading list for the year (which you can check out here, if you care).  There only only a few there, and I’ll certainly add to the list.  Truthfully, I haven’t […]



An Irishman, a Puerto Rican, a Texan, and a Californian walk into a pub . . .

Yesterday was a fun, thought-filled (thought-full?) day with friends.  Church of the Apostles hosted a couple of theology pub dialogues with Peter Rollins from Belfast, Ireland.  I got a shout this past weekend from Ryan Sharp, who was interested in coming up from Portland for it – he jumped on a train, and I picked him up from the station.  We grabbed a quick bite, went to the Fremont Abbey for the talk, then went out afterwards to the Greenlake Zoka with Eliacin for some de-brief chat.  So there you have it – an Irishman (Rollins), a Puerto Rican (Eliacin), a Texan (Ryan – though he’s not a proud Texan in the way most are), a Californian (moi), and a pub (well, sort of – they didn’t have any actual “pub fare” for the afternoon thing we went to). Pete Rollins is the author of How (Not) To Speak of […]



Giving people what they don't want (yet)

In a world where people believe they are not hungry, we must not offer food, but rather an aroma that helps them desire the food that we cannot provide.   Peter Rollins, How (Not) to Speak of God, p. 37



Control Freaks Celebrate!

I was reading some juicy bits from Roland Allen’s genius work from nearly a hundred years ago.  He’s got the control freaks of Christendom pegged in a big way.  Sadly, we’ve not made much progress. Speaking of spontaneous movements of people choosing to follow Jesus, he writes: By spontaneous expansion I mean something which we cannot control. And if we cannot control it, we ought, as I think, to rejoice that we cannot control it. For if we cannot control it, it is because it is too great not because it is too small for us. The great things of God are beyond our control. Therein lies a vast hope. From The Spontaneous Expansion of the Church and the Causes Which Hinder It.  Available as a web page here.