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The Convergent Church: Missional Worshipers in an Emerging Culture [Paperback]

By Mark Liederbach (Author), Alvin L. Reid (Author) & Ed Stetzer (Foreword by)
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Item description for The Convergent Church: Missional Worshipers in an Emerging Culture by Mark Liederbach, Alvin L. Reid & Ed Stetzer...

This thought-provoking volume seeks to understand and evaluate the currents of the ecclesiastical scene. Authors Alvin Reid and Mark Liederbach combine the strengths of conventional Christianity with the best contributions of the emerging church to envision a "convergent" church. This new model attempts to move beyond the antipathy that has developed between conventional and emergent groups and urges Christians to honestly consider the best that each camp has to offer. Reid and Liederbach find biblical support for their new model of convergent Christianity in the ministry and teachings of the early Christians in Acts, and draw helpful parallels between the early church and the modern church.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Kregel Academic & Professional
Pages   288
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.9" Width: 5.9" Height: 0.7"
Weight:   0.9 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 1, 2009
Publisher   Kregel Academic & Professional
ISBN  0825436451  
ISBN13  9780825436451  

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More About Mark Liederbach, Alvin L. Reid & Ed Stetzer

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Mark Liederbach is associate professor of Christian Ethics at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina. He holds a PhD from the University of Virginia.
Seth Bible is director of Student Life at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary where he also received his MDiv and PhD.

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Reviews - What do customers think about The Convergent Church: Missional Worshipers in an Emerging Culture?

Engaging the EC and honestly wrestling with their questions  Mar 20, 2010
This is a solid book which fairly evaluates the Emerging Church (EC) movement. The authors sift the questions proposed from the EC and attempt to converge the questions with an evangelical perspective. In my opinion, what Liederback and Reid have done is not so much converged evangelical thought with the EC, but taken seriously their problems of evangelicalism and explained how to rightly understand the questions, correct the errors and apply sound doctrine. I found they were more or less calling evangelicals back to the foundational principles of evangelical orthodoxy and orthopraxy, not necessarily converging with the EC crowd. With that said, here is a brief outline of the book.

Part1: Where we are and how we got here. The authors introduce their readers to a brief history of ideas. They move from Rene Descartes, David Hume, Immanuel Kant and follow up with postmodernism and post modernity. They explain postmodernism is formulated in higher areas (i.e. institutions) and works itself out through culture, music, malls, TV... They demonstrate that these philosophical underpinnings have permeated what is today called EC.

Part 2: Converging on missional worship & part 3: living out missional worship. They evaluate worship, mission and doctrine. They do a fine job of interacting with first hand sources from Bell to McLaren. I imagine most readers are interested in their perspective on doctrine, so rather then regurgitating the information, I will simply quote them. When answering the EC questions on doctrine they comment, "Perhaps the problem lies not so much in the content of knowledge but in the shallow nature in which we teach it, the lack of discipleship that cultivates the will to employ it, and the absence of the shepherding and accountability necessary for us to develop the conviction and character to make our stated beliefs match up with our actual practice." Wow, how is that for an in-house review! This is why I think the authors are calling evangelicals back to their roots. There is also a chapter on ethics (Lierderbach teaches ethics at Southeastern Baptist) and relies heavily on the works of John Frame.

All and all, this is a fair book that takes the EC questions seriously and doesn't just beat them over the head without first intellectually taking an in house look at evangelicalism as a whole. For a good understanding of evangelicalism, I would recommend reading Dr. Llyod-Jones "What is an evangelical?" Unfortunately, the term itself has become slippery, but Liederback and Reid do a fine job with defining things.
A short review  Jul 17, 2009
Liederbach and Reid have written an excellent critique of the current "emergent church movement" and how to couple new ideas with traditional theology - hence the term convergent. The book is divided into 3 parts. Part 1, "Where we are and how we got here," includes a general history of philosophy. Part 2, "Converging on Missional Worship," includes an assessment of how philosophical thought has effected the church, particularly assessing the emergent church. Part 3, "Living out missional worship," is the application portion of this book - how the church should step into and engage the culture using proper doctrine and ethics. This is an excellent and solid work. While this is Liederbach's first published book (Reid has published at least 4 others), it is solid in its foundation and is an excellent text for ethics and evangelism.

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