Emerging Churches: Creating Christian Community in Postmodern Cultures

Eddie Gibbs, Author, Ryan Bolger, Author . Baker Academic $19.99 (345p) ISBN 978-0-8010-2715-4

Mention "emerging churches" around a random selection of today's church leaders and half will have no idea what you are talking about while the other half are busy trying to plant one. This book informs the uninitiated while also helping overeager planters understand that these unique communities, as their name implies, emerge gradually, many times without the help of the institutional church. Fuller Seminary researchers Gibbs and Bolger spent five years collecting data in both the U.S. and U.K. and interviewing 50 leaders—most under the age of 40—to uncover important patterns among emerging churches. They emphasize the life of faith as Jesus demonstrated, employ a "going out" attitude toward the world rather than expecting people to "come to" their communities and consider all of life sacred. Also, these communities prefer relationships to meetings, so there may be no set worship gathering time or, indeed, no fixed place to meet. The authors paint emerging churches as attractive, hopeful and ever-evolving, populated by some of the most vibrant, open-minded and service-oriented young Christians. Readers who are attached to "church business as usual" will be shaken up by this book, while those ready for a change will find it energizing. (Dec.)

Reviewed on: 08/29/2005
Release date: 12/01/2005
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