Christ & Culture : Reloaded

when I thought it couldn’t get any better this week, a pre-ordered book wrapped in corrugated brown with a swooshed smilie on it approached me after dinner: Church in Emerging Culture: Five Perspectives.. now this is THE watershed book of our times!! Having enjoyed the privilege of having met 4 (of the 6), hung out with 3, dined with 2, see 1 regularly, the people that put this collaborative effort together did a tremendously phenomenal work: can you imagine this, having them in the same room — Leonard Sweet , Andy Crouch, Brian D. McLaren, Erwin Raphael McManus, Michael Horton, Frederica Matthewes-Green — talking + interacting with each other, well, it happened, and this book is a snapshot of that dialogue (and captures it well visually: interspersed montage photos, chapters with interjected comments by each other, incredible introduction)..

while being tempted to rip through the book, bubble it to the top of my priority list, and inhale it like the best of stuff, I’m going to let it simmer and seep into the fibers of my emerging perspective.. so, I gave in & stayed up, watched the game up to the 11th hour, tragically inevitable end.. sigh.. [being in blog time, the rush to get the earliest timestamp is one of those I-blogged-it-first-right-here braggin’ rights; so did I make it?]

after skimming, touch + go, around 20% of the book, a couple of thoughts emerged: (1) wonder why they didn’t get Tim Keller to rep’ the reformed voice, that would’ve been sooooo good; (2) why didn’t they identify each perspective representative with the quadrant of the message vs. method matrix.. while not identifying them compels you to read the texts, it sure made it hard work..

and, just found Frederica’s chapter online (without interjections), courtesy Brad Boydston; and from Frederica‘s essays list, her response to the dialogue that ensued

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  1. Elijah says:

    cool, thanks for the heads up. You’re the first blog I’ve seen that’s written about it!

  2. Darryl says:

    I’ve heard great things about this book, and can’t wait to pick it up. tells me it will take 4-6 weeks to get in. I don’t think I can wait that long!

  3. Andy Crouch says:

    DJ – I can tell you that the reason the chapters were never explicitly associated with the different “quadrants” was that several of us authors were quite suspicious of the “methods” and “message” dichotomy implied by that typology. (In fact, one could argue that a distinction between “methods” and “message” is of the essence of one particular position…) So we settled for using it as a rough-and-ready guide to whether we had gotten some sort of “ideological” diversity, and then Len came up with his much more creative (though also somewhat controversial) typology of gardens, glens, parks, and meadows. 🙂

    I look forward to hearing more of your thoughts on the book. Hope you’ve recovered from the game on Thursday–I think I’m almost there.



  4. Anonymous says:

    Hey Clifford: Yes, I think the 5 perspectives book is still watershed, and unfortunately doesn’t get enough airplay. I often refer to it now as descriptive of my own personal understanding of theology, when people ask me for my own perspective on theology and emerging church. In that, I find it comforting (rather than disturbing, for many people, I think) to know the Gospel can be understood and lived and presented in more than one way.

  5. Here it is 1/7/2005. Do you still find this book valuable or have the issues morphed?

    Thank you for your reply