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The Church in Emerging Culture: Five Perspectives (EmergentYS) [Paperback]

By Leonard Sweet (Editor), Andy Crouch (Author) & Michael Horton (Author)
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Item description for The Church in Emerging Culture: Five Perspectives (EmergentYS) by Leonard Sweet, Andy Crouch & Michael Horton...

A feisty, entertaining, and educational conversation about the shape of the church of the 21st century.

Publishers Description
What should the church look like today? What should be the focus of its message? How should I present that message? We live in as pivotal and defining an age as the Great Depression or the Sixties--a period whose definition, say some cultural observers, includes a warning of the church's influence. The result? A society measurably less religious but decidedly more spiritual. Less influenced by authority than by experience. More attuned to images than to words. How does the church adapt to such a culture? Or should it, in fact, eschew adapting for maintaining a course it has followed these last two millennia? Or something in between? These are exactly the questions asked in The Church In Emerging Culture by five Christian thinker-speaker-writers, each who advocate unique stances regarding what the church's message should be (and what methods should be used to present it) as it journeys through this evolving, postmodern era. The authors are: Andy Crouch--Re: Generation Quarterly editor-in-chief Michael Horton--professor and reformed theologian Frederica Mathewes-Green--author, commentator, and Orthodox Christian Brian D. McLaren--postmodernist, author, pastor, and Emergent senior fellow Erwin Raphael McManus--author and pastor of the innovative and interethnic L.A.-based church, Mosaic Most unique about their individual positions is that they're presented not as singular essays but as lively discussions in which the other four authors freely (and frequently) comment, critique, and concur. That element, coupled with a unique photographic design that reinforces the depth of their at-once congenial and feisty conversation, gives you all-access entree into this groundbreaking discourse. What's more, general editor Leonard Sweet (author of SoulTsunami and AquaChurch, among several other acclaimed texts) frames the thought-provoking dialogue with a profoundly insightful, erudite introductory essay--practically a book within a book. The Church In Emerging Culture is foundational reading for leaders and serious students of all denominations and church styles

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Zondervan/Youth Specialties
Pages   272
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.19" Width: 7.38" Height: 0.75"
Weight:   1.05 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 19, 2003
Publisher   Zondervan Publishing
Series  EmergentYS  
ISBN  0310254876  
ISBN13  9780310254874  
UPC  025986254872  

Availability  1 units.
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More About Leonard Sweet, Andy Crouch & Michael Horton

Leonard Sweet Leonard Sweet is a scholar of USAmerican culture; a semiotician who "sees things the rest of us do not see, and dreams possibilities that are beyond most of our imagining;" and a preacher and best-selling author who communicates the gospel with a signature bridging of the worlds of faith, academe, and popular culture. In 2006 and 2007, Len was voted by his peers “One of the 50 Most Influential Christians in America” by ChurchReport Magazine, and in 2010, he was selected by the top non-English Christian website as one of the “Top 10 Influential Christians of 2010.” His popular podcast, “Napkin Scribbles,” is widely quoted, and his weekly sermon contributions to have made that site the top preaching resource for pastors in North America. For nine years, he and his wife wrote the entire content for the weekly preaching resource Homiletics. In 2005 Len introduced the first open-source preaching resource on the Web, Len’s microblogs on twitter and facebook rank as two of the most influential social media sites in the world. You can find some of Len’s talks on his youtube channel, Founder and President of SpiritVenture Ministries (SVM), in 1995 Len launched Sweet's SoulCafe, a spirituality newsletter purchased by Broadman&Holman Publishing. Len is a popular and highly sought-after speaker throughout North America and around the world. In the past couple of years he has spoken in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, England, Wales, South Africa, South Korea, Iceland, Scotland, and most recently, China, Indonesia, and Latvia.

Author of more than 200 hundred articles, 1300+ published sermons, and more than fifty books, Leonard Sweet’s publications include the best sellers Soul Tsunami, Aqua Church, Jesus Manifesto (with Frank Viola), and Jesus: A Theography (with Frank Viola), as well as many other volumes that are revolutionizing the church’s mission. Len released multiple books in 2012, including Viral: Why Social Media is Poised to Ignite Revival; What Matters Most; the e-book, Real Church in a Social Network World; I Am A Follower; The Greatest Story Never Told: Revive Us Again. In 2011 Len published his first novel, The Seraph Seal (co-authored with Lori Wagner) with an innovative website, Several more books are scheduled for release in 2013/14: the ground-breaking preaching textbook, Giving Blood: A Fresh New Paradigm for Preaching (Zondervan), The Well-Played Life (Tyndale), Me to We ( ), and a new way to tell the scriptures, My Story, My Song (with Byounho Zho). Len published the first religion e-book on amazon: The Dawn Mistaken for Dusk in 2000.

Currently the E. Stanley Jones Professor of Evangelism at Drew University, Madison, NJ and a Visiting Distinguished Professor at George Fox University, Portland, Oregon, Len was Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the Theological School at Drew University from 1995 to 2001. Previous to Drew, Len served for eleven years as President and Professor of Church History at United Theological Seminary, Dayton, Ohio and is currently their President Emeritus. Prior to 1985, Len was Provost of Colgate Rochester/Bexley Hall/Crozer Divinity School in Rochester, New York when he was in his late 20s. Involved in leadership positions in the United Methodist Church, Len has been chosen to speak at various Jurisdictional and General Conferences as well as the 1996 World Methodist Congress in Rio de Janeiro. He also serves as a consultant to many of America's denominational leaders and agencies. He is a member of the West Virginia Annual Conference.

Leonard Sweet currently resides in Madison, in the state of New Jersey.

Leonard Sweet has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Emergent Ys (Paperback)
  2. Library of Living Faith
  3. Resonate

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1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Church Institutions & Organizations
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Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > Emerging Church

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Reviews - What do customers think about Church In Emerging Culture: Five Perspectives?

Decent introduction of topic  Jan 9, 2007
The book gives five different perspectives, from five different authors, on how the church should respond to an increasing post-modern culture. It is in a sense a modern day discussion of H. Richard Niebuhr's classic text Christ and Culture. The five perspectives are introduced by Leonard Sweet with a four quadrant matrix. The matrix represents the church's response to cultural change on two axes, change in method/form/style and change in message/content/substance. The four quadrants are then described with the following four phrases: preserving message/preserving methods, preserving message/evolving methods, evolving message/preserving methods, and evolving message/evolving methods. The five perspectives then deal with each of the four options (with two taking up the first option of preserving message and preserving methods.

List strengths of book.
The main strength of the book is that it covers the topic very well, with good dialogue going back and forth between the five authors. The topics are discussed with great thoughtfulness and insight. I especially liked the use of the matrix mentioned above, in the introduction by Sweet.

List weaknesses of book.
While the book was very interesting to read it shared little practical advice for the church to actually engage the culture. The book would certainly have been strengthened with examples of theory that was shared by each author. Additionally, I found the chapter by Erwin McManus to be the weakest of the five perspectives, it seem almost incoherent at times.
Dialogue on Christ & Culture  Aug 17, 2006
Here are six individuals, actually five participants and one moderator/editor who tackle between themselves the topic of what does Christ do in changing, emerging cultures.

As reviewers have pointed out, salient to this dialogue is the method exhibited of each of five providing essay, then other four comment as it seems at will. The essayist than at the end responds to this sprinkled comments.

Of course, one of my confession would lean towards Horton, who certainly wins the day with his comments seeking return to text and history, rather than inventiveness and questioning always from our cultural arrogance stance.

Useful to see contrasts. Too much of McLaren. Would like to seen more "orthodox" participants in line of Horton.
A little annoying, but mostly interesting...  Jul 7, 2006
Two comments have already been made, but I would like to reiterate. The light gray, italicized, 6 pt font used for interjections by other authors during an essay is hard to read. McLaren talks way too much, especially when he says the same thing over and over and takes EVERYTHING personally. He thinks his point of view is the only one worth having, and seems rather arrogant in his intellect.
Having said the few negatives, it is overall a good read. I would love to hear a more detailed view of what each author truly believes church should be like (which I know most of them have been published and anyone could read what they've written elsewhere). It also seems that the only real discrepancies are in their view of what "postmodernism" really is. As far as the actual workings of church, they could probably find a lot of common ground. But, they give very little actual advice on what church should be like.
Overall, it is an interesting book full of interesting ideas about the current culture. Leonard Sweet's introduction must be read to truly understand the rest of the book, but it gets a little too flowery at times.
Pass  Jun 2, 2006
If you're new to the postmodernism question, then this book isn't for you. Better to start someplace else. And if you been looking at postmodernism for a while now, you've probably already read other, more extensive works by the authors of this volume, so you don't need to read this book either. So basically, there's no good reason to read this book.

And if you were going to read it, you would have a hard time because of the way its laid out design-wise. Being postmodern and all, Zondervan tried to design the inside of this book as "with-it" as they could. Unfortunately, while I enjoy postmodern book covers, when that same style is applied to the insides of a book it can make for some very tedious reading. Much of the text is printed as a light shade of gray using an italic font, which, as any graphic designer reading this review will tell you, is a big no-no. It just makes for hard reading.

Oh, and future editions of this work should edit out Fredica Mathewes-Green's attemps at humorous commentary throughout Horton's piece.

nothing new under the sun  Dec 23, 2005
If you like to read Emergent Church authors as they pat each other on the back, buy this book.

If you like it when postmodern thinkers repackage the same old radical skepticism and pretend that it is utterly new and revolutionary, buy this book.

If you like to see the theological results of the decay of the Reformational justification-by-faith-alone understanding of the gospel, buy this book.

Michael Horton (one of the contributors) nails the issue at stake in this book--when salvation by grace alone is replaced with anything, even something good, the gospel has already been surrendered and lost. Horton repeatedly catches the other authors engaging in false dilemma reasoning, which explains why Emergents often take, and even relish, their extreme conclusions.

I take a decided stance for Horton's position in the book, and I do not pretend to be neutral because I do not believe in the myth of neutrality (how's that for being postmodern?). Yet, the book definitely remains a valuable exchange and worth a read for those who are unaware of the Emergent Church movement. My major complaint, as a conservative Reformed Christian, is that I find the Emergents reaffirming their own positions, sometimes without even addressing criticism from the others.

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