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"The Emerging Church" - Review

Discussion in 'Books & Publications Forum' started by Deacon, Jun 29, 2003.

  1. Deacon

    Deacon Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Aug 23, 2002
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    Dan Kimball’s, “The Emerging Church, Vintage Christianity for New Generations,” Zondervan, 2003. (Amazon $10.49), is written primarily for church leadership. It provides an analysis of today’s changing postmodern worldview and offers tested responses that return the reader to the unchanging truths of the Word of God.

    In general churches do not seem to be drawing the youth of society in the numbers that we have had in the past. Congregations are getting older; the youth are moving on. In the past we would expect that they would eventually return to their roots and return to church. Yet in today’s postmodern culture those roots are not with the church but in other concepts, (such as pluralism, globalism, and mysticism). The postmodern culture of today no longer finds the church relevant in their lives. This search for relevance has lead some ministries to test a variety of service styles in order to attract the new generations back into the church. In some congregations the traditional service have been chiseled into a variety of forms and eventually laid aside for the Seeker Sensitive Model. In this book being ‘seeker sensitive’ means not expecting nonbelievers to act or think like believers until they are. But this is not a book on how to become a Seeker-sensitive church.

    Kimball reminds us that the church is not a place, it’s a people with a mission (the N.T. never says believers “went to church”). The church of tomorrow has to examine all aspects of their ministry to see what it is that they are projecting to the unsaved world. The postmodern culture is not looking for innovative ideas: Kimball suggests the way to engage today’s post-modern culture is to get back to the vital aspects of Christianity. He follows the lead of Rick Warren (in “The Purpose Driven Church”) in suggesting that we need to have a healthy grasp on what Christianity really is to effectively expect to draw others into our ministry. Gimmicks and less-than-authentic Christianity will not draw today’s culture.

    Kimball offers some suggestions for what a church can offer but realizes that every church has their own needs, and their own gifts or abilities. He does develop the idea of having multiple cells within a church to meet a variety of special cultural needs.

    There are enough controversial topics in this book to keep the Baptist Board buzzing for months. It’s a quick read but offers questions for further thought at the end of each chapter. And it will get you thinking!

    I'd rank it 2 of 4 stars [​IMG]