Sep 112009

Blue Like Jazz book coverI’ve just finished reading Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller. It’s one of these books you often find referenced in all sorts of blogs and websites. It also seems to be a ‘love it or hate it’ book depending on which side of the liberal/evangelical divide you sit on (a bit like The Shack, I suppose). But it’s been on my wish list for a while and so I spent some birthday vouchers on a copy.

It’s not a ‘big read’. It only took me a couple of days to get through it. It’s written in a light, very conversational tone so it skips along at an easy pace and engages you in the unfolding story. That story is Miller’s faith journey as he questions many of the religious baggage he carries as well as much of his behaviour and attitude towards himself and others. For that reason it’s very much about ‘experience’ and it has been heavily criticised for just that. In a sense it is very self-absorbed with faith growth being about growing as an individual and reconciling many of the big questions about relationships and life through a very personal lens. In essence, it starts with ‘self’ and aims God-ward. Continue reading »

Jan 152009

This is the one and only taught course I’m doing this semester and the only class is on Friday mornings (first one tomorrow). I’ve been looking through the course information to decide on which tutorial to try and nab and which essay to go for. None of the essay titles particularly leapt out at me except one which sparked off a thought.

The topic is short and to the point – “‘The post-modern social context requires new approaches to ministry.’ Discuss.” So, I’ve decided to have a go at this one and, in particular, look at the emerging church movement. The obvious (to me) flow of the essay would be:

  • What issues does post-modernism raise?
  • Is emerging church a response to post-modernism?
  • If so, what are its characteristics?
  • Are these characteristics a genuinely ‘new’ approach to ministry?
  • Is this what is required?

That’s it practically written. It just needs padded out a bit now. But, I do need some good resources on emerging church, why it ‘is’, and what its distinctives are. So, if anyone has any pointers to resources, or can identify a ‘typical’ expression of emerging church that I can use as an example, then that would be much appreciated.