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Emergent Manifesto of Hope, An (emersion: Emergent Village resources for communities of faith) [Hardcover]

By Pagitt Doug (Contributor)
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Item description for Emergent Manifesto of Hope, An (emersion: Emergent Village resources for communities of faith) by Pagitt Doug...

Many have heard of the emerging church, but few people feel like they have a handle on what the emerging church believes and represents. Is it a passing fad led by disenfranchised neo-evangelicals? Or is it the future of the church at large?
An Emergent Manifesto of Hope represents a coming together of divergent voices into a conversation that pastors, students, and thoughtful Christians can now learn from and engage. This unprecedented collection of writings includes articles by some of the most important voices in the emergent conversation, including Brian McLaren, Dan Kimball, and Sally Morgenthaler. It also introduces some lesser known but integral players representing "who's next" within the emerging church. The articles cover a broad range of topics, such as spirituality, theology, multiculturalism, post-colonialism, sex, evangelism, and many others. Anyone who wants to know what the emerging church is all about needs to start here.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Baker Books
Pages   320
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9" Width: 6.2" Height: 1.2"
Weight:   1.25 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Apr 30, 2007
Publisher   Baker Publishing Group
ISBN  080106807X  
ISBN13  9780801068072  

Availability  0 units.

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1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > Leadership
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Ministry
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Ecclesiology
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General

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Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > Emerging Church

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Reviews - What do customers think about Emergent Manifesto of Hope, An (emersion: Emergent Village resources for communities of faith)?

excellent discussion generator   Mar 10, 2008
We read the Manifesto of Hope as a community of women and enjoyed our discussion every week. The topics are interesting and stimulate honest and intimate personal and communal reflection. I highly recommend reading The Manifesto as a group within your faith community.
Helpful/Inspiring Voices of Hope  Oct 31, 2007
The Emergent Manifesto of Hope is the 'pilot episode' of a book-program known as emersion, a partnership between Baker Books and Emergent Village. The goal is to give the world more literary works on "the generative friendship of missional Christians sharing the love of Jesus Christ to the world" (creating a community which Tony Jones, in his introduction, termed a beautiful good mess)

It'll help to compare this book with an earlier similar-looking book, Stories of Emergence. In fact, one could almost say that Manifesto is Stories' sequel. If Stories was about life-journeys, Manifesto is about life's next-steps. If Stories focused more on what went wrong with faith previously lived/experienced, Manifesto offers tips on what to do right.

Whilst it would be very easy to finish the whole book in less than a day (which, by the way, makes it an excellent gift for Christians friends who don't read much but whom you KNOW can 'deal with' an innovative take on faith) , it's best to read this book s-l-o-w-l-y and let the words sink in. Especially if you've more or less 'signed-up' to the Emergent program, this book reads like a dear heart-warming letter from friends, which is in essence what it is - an assortment of friendship in writing.

And don't be fooled by the seemingly 'low-intensity' feel as you browse through it. Because whilst the language may be simple, the ideas, stories and concepts are far - very far - from the been-there-done-that-ism that often is the mark of 'light reading'.

I was half-worried I may be flipping through it the way an undergrad might flip through a pre-college book - I'm so glad I was more than half-wrong.

The chapters are divided into:

- people of hope (on emergent culture, everyday living)
- communities of hope (on new questions and ways for the future)
- a hopeful faith (on Christianity and a "God of Good Hope", incl. a chapter by Brian McLaren)
- a hopeful way forward (on theology and its practice)
hopeful activism (on socio-political action)

, which (hopefully) makes it relevant to all areas of Christian/Emergent thinking and concern.

For those who've cut their teeth against anti-Emergent folk, Tim Conder's chapter on the Emerging/Existing Church Matrix reads like a coach's pep talk to respect and understand one's opposition without at all slowing down our game nor, most importantly, playing dirty.

For those feeling uneasy, fatigued and frustrated about the way church is failing to strike a chord (in both its members as well as its non-members), a section with a name like Jailhouse Faith by Thomas Olson would be both timely and encouraging (in a sober kinda way), comparing church goers to prisoners. Olson urges us to make the church a place where, "every person is able to stop pretending, a place of ruthless honesty and unconditional love where no one is allowed to fly underneath the radar."

For theological iconoclasts, Dwight Friesen's Orthoparadoxy and Barry Taylor's The End & Beginning of Faith - both wickedly worded, eh? - should give enough food for some fun yet serious doctrinal mischief (smile), if not conceptual fresh air and the reexamination of one's overall purpose in theologising, e.g.

"The theological method of orthoparadoxy surrenders the right to be right for the sake of movement toward being reconciled one with the other, whilst simultaneously seeking to bring the fullness of convictions and beliefs to the other." (Friesen)

"The future of faith does not lie in the declaration of certainties, but in the living out of uncertainty." (Taylor)

And I was also surprised by Karen Sloan's piece on Emergent Kissing which explores the sexual masks put on together with our 'Sunday best'. Although not entirely new, I can't recall the last time I read/heard something like:

"By doing no more than removing the pastor...avoiding any larger process of healing for the church community, the church allows (the) pattern of sexual sin to be repeated every few years. Though well-intentioned in wanting to respect the privacy of individuals...the church has (thus) missed an opportunity to be authentic about brokenness and to experience genuine healing.

"Where there is intense pressure to be perfect, it becomes very difficult to be honest about sin."

Of course, one simply must read Brian McLaren's piece on postmodernism and post-colonialism, where he expresses mixed feelings about the former but full-hearted support for forging,

"a historic convergence of Christians from the West with our sisters and brothers rom the global South and the East too - the descendants of the colonized who are beginning to articulate the gospel in their own idioms, not just echo the conventional Western translations of faith."

He insists that,

"Where we go from here, we must go together, not as colonizers and colonized, but as reconciled brothers and sisters in Christ, with a new humility, a new dignity, and a proper confidence."

There is material which can benefit many kinds of seekers/leaders/thinkers, and most of which I haven't yet read. But, like an enjoyable vacation, not rushing only adds to the pleasure. And I guess you can tell this is less of a 'book review' and more of a "Read it!" note (smile).

I'll close with a worthwhile passage from Heather Kirk-Davidoff, minister and climate scientist, about evangelism:

"It became my regular practice to go to the bar one or two times a week and have conversations with people I didn't know. I was astonished by how easy it was to talk about 'spiritual' issues. People told me about theirhopes and their fears, their relationships and their identity struggles. It was hard to explain to my congregation (or to my family) what I was doing, and so I started inviting people to come along with me.

"I stopped wondering about how to draw my congregation out of its building and into relationship with the world outside its doors.

"(Developing) and tending to relationships are perhaps the key spiritual disciplines of many adults..."

Nurturing relationships as a spiritual discipline? Now why didn't I think of that?
It's all about the friendships  Aug 26, 2007
Recently I got given a gift card to Borders and was finally able to go out and buy a book instead of relying on the trusty old library. So I picked up a book that I've been wanting to read but that the library didn't carry and to which I was not privilege with an advanced reader's copy (I'm not complaining). I've been curious to read it because it is the first book that Emergent has released in their new line of books. And I thought the format would be perfect for just this type of entrance into the publishing world.

The book is made up of 25 authors who each wrote a chapter for the project with general editors, Doug Pagitt & Tony Jones, providing intermittent thoughts and transitions between sections.

These 25 authors represent a diverse group of people that are, Protestant and Catholic, male and female, mainline and evangelical, clergy/pastors and lay leaders, authors and bloggers, black, white, hispanic, and Native American. This is the book's strength. It's diversity of authors and thus it's diversity of perspective. My only complaint in this regards would have been to had a more diverse ethnic presence and a sampling of thoughts that come from outside of the American context. But I also realize that with anything new, it takes time for diversity to establish itself.

As far as the book itself . . . it's a great introduction to what makes Emergent what it is and what sets it apart from other denominational or organizational structures. Namely, friendships and conversations. This context of friendship and conversation is what funds the theological imagination and hopeful practices of the church emerging. Instead of Emergent creating a movement focusing on doctrinal statements (defining whose out) . . . they have been a part of a friendship that has organically created itself in the form of a conversation about the dynamic tension between God, culture, theology, ecclesiology, and practice.

True to form, I don't always find myself agreeing with everything written or shared. But true to form, I count myself privileged to be part of an extended friendship where agreeing is less important than belonging.

I suppose, as what should be expected, the best chapters are written by the "professional authors". Brian McLaren's chapter on the direct, inseparable ties of colonialism and postmodernity is borderline brilliant. Sally Morgenthaler has an excellent chapter on leadership in a flattened world that was equally insightful. And Tim Keel wrote a beautiful piece about leadership needing to come from the artists at the margins. Rudy Carrasco has a nice chapter on inner-city work and the primacy of social justice. Samir Selmanovic has a chapter on inclusiveness that left me entirely frustrated and yet intrigued to stretch and think wider. My friend Adam Walker Cleaveland shares his thoughts on why he has chosen to stay within the system and structures of the church, which was a challenge for me to think about. And Nanette Sawyer had a very good chapter on Huckleberry Finn and the relational ethics of Jesus (which is very much in the vein of what I wrote here).

Honestly though, there are some chapters that aren't that great from a readability/literary skillz standpoint. But even in those chapters you get the deep sense of humility and friendship that pervades all that these authors are bound by. For an introduction into the church emerging with it's growing diversity and generative friendships . . . I couldn't recommend a book more highly.
An informative, thought-provoking, occasionally inspiring, sometimes challenging reading  Jun 9, 2007
"An Emergent Manifesto Of Hope" is the collaborative work of Bethal Seminary's Dough Pagit (Pastor of Solomon's Porch in Minneapolis, Minnesota) and Fuller Theological Seminary's Tony Jones 9formely the minister to youth and young adults at the Colonial Church of Edina in Edina, Minnesota). "An Emergent Manifesto Of Hope" is a compilation of the diverse and divergent voices of pastors, students, and thoughtful Christians focused upon the issues involved in the emergence of Christian communities. Addressed in articulate essays, articles, and other writings include spirituality, theology, multi-culturalism, post-colonialism, sex, evangelism, and other issues of contemporary significance to active and participating Christians. The result is an informative, thought-provoking, occasionally inspiring, sometimes challenging, and always very highly recommended reading for Christian men and women of all backgrounds and denominational affiliations.
Multi-faceted jewel well worth the read!  May 13, 2007
The Manifesto of Hope is a collection of essays by a plurality of voices who associate with the Emergent Village. The diversity helps to reveal what many of us already know--The emergent village conversation among friends is anything but homogeneous. While some who desire conformity, and certitude may find this diversity frustrating I found it to be very refreshing. There is plenty here to connect with people from all areas of contemporary Christian thought. The book is designed to spark further conversation and does that well. The careful reader will find some things that they agree with and other things that inspire new ways of thinking. From contributions from some more conservative perspectives to some that push the edge of the envelope, there is plenty to fund your theological imagination. Perhaps the best thing about the book is that in addition to some well known names in the Emergent Village friendship, it introduces us to several new names that bring a depth and dynamic to the conversation as a whole.

Of course, this book may not be for everyone. Critics of Emergent Village will no doubt find plenty here to confirm there suspicions, and many will leave comments that make you wonder if they even read this book. My hunch is that if they would read it to engage in the conversation they would be pleasantly surprised that there is much here by several authors that they would probably be in agreement with. All in all this is a great introduction to a generous, Christian, conversation among friends.

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