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A New Kind of Conversation: Blogging Toward a Postmodern Faith [Paperback]

By Myron Bradley Penner (Editor), Hunter Barnes (Editor) & Brian McLaren (Contribution by)
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Item description for A New Kind of Conversation: Blogging Toward a Postmodern Faith by Myron Bradley Penner, Hunter Barnes & Brian McLaren...

In the midst of the cultural and intellectual upheavals of post modernity in Western society, evangelicalism finds itself in the middle of conversation about its own identity and future. Whereas other books addressing postmodernism treat the topic in a traditional book form-an edited volume with essays-the format of this book seeks to place the discussion in a form that is consistent with its content. Using the motif of the weblog , A New Kind of Conversation is an experimental book that enters into this conversation with five evangelical leaders and academics (Brian McLaren, Bruce Ellis Benson, Ellen Harourunian, Mabiala Kenzon, and Myron Bradley Penner), who are the primary bloggers. Originally posted on, people all over the world were invited to blog on topics relevant to the issue of postmodernism and evangelicalism such as: What is 'Postmodernism'? Evangelical Faith and (Postmodern) Others Postmodernism and Spiritual Formation What is a Postmodern Evangelical? The book is a condensed version of that conversation.

Publishers Description
Using the format of the weblog, A New Kind of Conversation is an experimental book that enters into a conversational theological exploration with five evangelical leaders and academics (Brian McLaren, Bruce Ellis Benson, Ellen Haroutunian, Mabiala Kenzon, and Myron Bradley Penner), who are the primary bloggers. Originally posted on, people all over the world were invited to blog on thefollowing topics: - What is Postmodernity - What is a Postmodern Evangelical? - Theology and (Non)(Post) Foundationalism- The Bible, Theology and Postmodernism- Evangelical Faith and (Postmodern) Others- Postmodern Apologetics- Postmodern Ministry- Spiritual Formation in a Postmodern Context. This book is a condensed version of thatconversation.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Paternoster
Pages   240
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.92" Width: 6.12" Height: 0.6"
Weight:   0.79 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 1, 2007
ISBN  1932805583  
ISBN13  9781932805581  

Availability  0 units.

More About Myron Bradley Penner, Hunter Barnes & Brian McLaren

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Myron Bradley Penner (PhD, University of Edinburgh) is pastor of Trinity International Church in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia. He previously taught at Prairie College and Graduate School and served as a human development worker. He is the editor of "Christianity and the Postmodern Turn" and coauthor of "A New Kind of Conversation."

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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Humanities > Religious Studies > Christianity
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General

Christian Product Categories
Books > Theology > Theology & Doctrine > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about A New Kind Of Conversation?

Conversation and Reality  Mar 29, 2008
:: Overview ::

Moving beyond the cliché title of this text, one is invited to join in at the heart of what is truly the oldest Christian conversation--maintaining faithful witness to Christ in ones context. John Franke's forward situates the book nicely in the whole of Church history emphasizing its particular form and relevance to our present situatedness in the postmodern turn.

The key for this text is its tasteful use of formatting, initializing with an article, called a blog, then followed by subsequent interactions and thought streams, called threads. This enables a nice interplay of the contributors with each other and those who participated from across the web. As a result, the book is sure to engage all levels of thinkers within the conversation who are each approaching from their own vantage point. The reader is methodically walked through eight blogs starting with the philosophical notions of postmodernity down to to their outworking in apologetics, ministry and spiritual formation.

:: Chapter by Chapter/Blog by Blog ::

In `Blog 1' Bruce Benson essentially establishes a postmodern centre, countering the most prevalent Christian objections and misconceptions, appropriately/cautiously directing them towards accepting necessary levels of critique and reception. The following `threads' shed light on many of the evangelical basis for approaching postmodernism while further articulating the proper understanding for Christian interaction. Brian McLaren, Myron Penner and Benson brilliantly interact with contributors enriching and refining the content of the first blog through historical and philosophical examples and clarifications.

`Blog 2' builds upon the first, moving towards an evangelical centre in which Myron Penner offers some necessary critiques and clarifications of what evangelical represents and ought to be--all the while maintaining a generally upbuilding tone and good aftertaste. Penner enables evangelicals to recontextualize our historical identity in being about the gospel, personal piety and scripture's authority while shedding a number of modernity's distortions--yet he is careful to leave open what exactly a `postmodern evangelical' may be. The ensuing dialog is priceless, as those of various generations and understandings begin to reveal their own reservations and experiences with modernism and postmodernism; this is exactly why this book was written and its format is virtually flawless paired with this content.

`Blog 3' is marked with the return of Benson, taking the conversation in to the realm of postfoundaitonal theology. The discussion quickly moves into semantics, however, it does not remain there and opens to a number of clarifications and difficulties in the realm of foundationalism and belief. There is some discussion on the nature of scripture as our authority and its interpretation, which although it does not necessarily add to the argument, it shows the concerns that are all related to this conversation.

`Blog 4' brings scripture to centre stage as Penner approaches modern evangelical understandings of inerrancy and interpretation in light of the postures and approaches that postmodernism presents. The `postpropositional' attitude put forth allows us to see God's speech acts beyond modern concerns while still recognizing the texts ability to speak. The subsequent discussion, including remarks from Scot McKnight (cool NT scholar), opens up understandings of how the text is known and teaches us. One of the most useful aspects of this is a thread on what sola scriptura might look like as we hold true to the intent of the reformers in light of our own situatedness.

`Blog 5' marks the introduction of Mabiala Kenzo, an African theologian, who expands the horizon of the conversation beyond the west and postmodernism to its ally and flourishing in postcolonial contexts. Postmodernism, for us in the West, is seemingly the lessons of deconstructing modernity as it presented itself in the colonial and emerging postcolonial context applied back on the West. These lessons, however, are not only for the West, but also, as the conversation shows, need to be a balanced and appropriated interaction in all contexts.

Penner in `Blog 6' brings the conversation into the realm of apologetics. He clearly articulates our current method of apologetics as being intricately connected with modernity (both the positives and negatives). Postmodern apologetics, however, maintains a level of rationality but it is necessarily personal and gospelcentric/holistic in its context and concern. The discussion intensely interacts with some of Penner's viewpoints, subsequently highlighting common misconceptions and supposed dichotomies of postmodernity and old/common readings of those who might offer a way through.

`Blog 7' calls the conversation into the congregation and the ministry that takes place there with Ellen Haroutunian. She calls us to an incarnational orthodoxy, which is essentially a heartfelt neo-pragmatism for our own era, formed around relationships while still holding onto a core conception of Jesus. The conversation talks about moving from talking about loving others into action, with some qualifying statements about how far we can and ought to take postmodernism and in what contexts.

Brian McLaren in `Blog 8' brings the book to a close in perhaps one of the most opening topics, Spiritual Formation or that which makes us more like Christ. He presents some of the confines that modernity placed on Christian development, which brought about the systems in which many of us have `matured' into our faith. He introduces some of the beneficial directions in Spiritual Formation that we can consider some long-term investments in (so to speak). The conversation peels away some concern over specific directions and very tightly/openly presents some ways deeper as individuals intricately integrated in community (the church) and in the world.

:: Analysis & Uses ::

First Off: I went to book the book on my book shelf and was seriously perplexed if it should go with my philosophy books or theology or spiritual growth... so I put it back on my desk, I guess the conversation continues on.

Secondly: This book seems to have its upbuilding uses for anyone who has joined the reality of maintaining faithful witness to Christ in ones context (that is, who is a Christian). Furthermore, in the classroom, no Christian introduction to critical thinking, philosophy, ministry or theology in this day should be taught without the accompaniment of this text.

Thirdly: This book brings to the table a number of significant points. However, as these authors show, it is not simply the words these contributors write but the lives that they live which transubstantiate this conversation into the reality of Christ--love of God and neighbour.

Lastly: Myron Penner has, yet again, successfully brought together some leading contributors of contemporary thought and it's outworking on the intricacies of postmodernism and Christianity as we adventure and thrive though the Holy Spirit and in Christ through this turn.

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