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Church in the Inventive Age (Christianity Now) [Kindle Edition]

Doug Pagitt
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Many books seek to predict the future of Christianity, but few help us grasp the opportunities of the current situation and equip us to navigate the present. Doug Pagitt, author, radio host, and pioneering leader, does just that, offering fresh, optimistic insights and practical suggestions. According to Pagitt, the last two centuries can be divided into four epochs: Idyllic, Industrial, Informational and now-Inventive. The Inventive Age - our currently reality - presents distinct opportunities for how faith communities think, what they value, and the tools they use. Pagitt offers leaders in Christian communities (and beyond) essential frameworks for participation in the Inventive Age.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Doug Pagitt is the founder of Solomon's Porch, a holistic missional Christian community in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and on e of the pioneering leaders of Emergent Village, a social network of Christians around the world. He is also co-founder of an event and social media company and author of a number of groundbreaking books: A Christianity Worth Believing, Church Re-Imagined, Preaching Re-Imagined, and BodyPrayer.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1063 KB
  • Print Length: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Sparkhouse Press (August 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #579,741 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Be encouraged August 17, 2010
Church in the Inventive Age confronts people of Christian faith with the challenge of embracing change. Willing spirits content with volatility in life will be affirmed and encouraged. Wary souls may be pushed into zones of discomfort and uneasiness. It's all good! Author, Doug Pagitt, boldly engages readers with a conversational style as he walks through the history of American society and shares how our culture has progressed thru 3 distinct ages in the last 200 years. He tells how the Agrarian, Industrial and Information Ages have brought us to the brink of what the author dubs the Inventive Age. The dawning Inventive Age, Pagitt proclaims, is upon us and will continue to progress at breakneck speed whether we are ready for it or not. The book reminds that every cultural age brings a shift in what we think (head), what we value (heart), what we do (aesthetics) and how we do it (tools). Pagitt contends the church must decide how we want to fit into today's culture. He challenges us to consider asking ourselves how we may develop components needed to live well TODAY. In sharing practical ideas for encouraging new forms of Christian community that foster people's ability to "make, connect, create and facilitate" Pagitt extols the church to boldly live out our call to be the people of God in this place and time. He taunts leaders to engage people in ways that uphold creativity, purpose, influence and possibility. Now is clearly the time for churches to welcome new ideas, to plug new people in and show them how to contribute here and now to a community alive with faith in Jesus Christ. Let's go!

Maggie Mraz,
church planter
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Book in the Inventive Age August 30, 2010
If Pagitt's book is about the church in the "inventive Age," one could also argue that his book is a book of the Inventive Age. It reads like a long essay (it took me about 45 minutes to read it cover to cover), and has many pull quotes inserted throughout that offers a lay-out similar to print journalism. It's the first book from sparkhouse, the Inventive Age subdivision of Augsburg Fortress (an Information Age institution).

It also reads like a sermon. It offers an analysis of the situation (especially reflections on culture and change), helps you chart where you are (Agrarian Age, Industrial Age, Information Age, or Inventive Age, which he also charts as rural, urban, suburban, global, see page 35), and then moves to encouragement to action, either as a church "for," "with," or "as" the Inventive Age (see comparison chart on page 108).

In this sense, Pagitt's book is not unlike Niebuhr's Christ and Culture, and compares favorably to it. It is shorter, very clear, and up to date. Leaders of congregations are more likely to read it (it takes about as much time to read as to watch a movie--Niebuhr's book takes two or three days to read well).

The other reason Pagitt's book compares to Niebuhr is that, although Pagitt says that churches that are informed by previous eras still can and should exist in the modern era (he offers great advice on how to be Agrarian, Industrial, or Information Age churches given the new cultural situation), finally he does prefer and encourage the Inventive Age, just as Niebuhr ultimately prefers Christ transforming culture.

Best pull quote from the book that summarizes his overall argument?
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I asked all my readership team to read it. I think Doug really sums up the various aspects of how ages and ministry relate to each other, and also how the current age can affect ministry. Great read - and quick!
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
In summary, I liked the book. When understood who it is for (church practitioners, lay leaders) and what it is trying to do (help folks think about how their church runs/moves, not just what the church does) it's a great book. I quibble with massive historical generalizations, however, unless the book was 400 pages you couldn't do any better (so I leave it at that).

The strength of the Inventive Age is in its "inventive" four church distinctions (I don't think I've ever seen that) while giving churches the freedom (or okay) to operate in their "age." Too often "how to do church" books shift from the descriptive to the prescriptive (i.e., this is how its done, but THIS way is how it should be done) without celebrating where churches are and what they are doing and how God is working with and through them. Yet, it still maintain good advice for folks without being overbearing. The author understands the complexities of doing church. This is good.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Doug is at it again! August 17, 2010
Just click on 1-Click and get the book. If you know Doug, then the rapid pace, laser light approach will not be a surprise. If you are new to Doug, then hold on to your seat for a look into the future. Doug starts with defining "Invention" as creating the future from a completely new perspective. The United States is in a fourth cultural age: the Inventive Age. The church must move past improvement - tweaking what is - or innovation - throwing grenades over the wall and seeing what happens. Change is already the old normal. The future is coming at us fast and furious. How will churches jump in and not just survive, but thrive? I began my Doug Fix with his book, Reimagining Spiritual Formation. Am always challenged. If you are a church leader or someone who cares about the health of the church into this century, the book will matter to you.
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More About the Author

Doug is a speaker and consultant for churches, denominations and businesses throughout the United States and around the world on issues of postmodern culture, social systems and Christianity.

Doug has worked in churches, for a non-profit foundation and owns three businesses in Minneapolis.

Doug's current professional endeavors include pastoring a Holistic Missional Christian Community in Minneapolis - (, speaking and writing ( and owner of JoPa Productions ( host of Doug Pagitt Radio (

He is seeking to find creative, entrepreneurial, generative ways to join in the hopes, dreams and desires God has for the world.

Doug is married to Shelley and the father of 2 young adults and two teenagers.

Doug has a BA in Anthropology and a Masters of Theology from Bethel Seminary.

Doug is the author of A Christianity Worth Believing (Jossey-Bass 2008),
Church Re-Imagined (Zondervan 2004),
Preaching Re-Imagined (Zondervan 2005), and
BodyPrayer (Waterbrook 2005).
He is the co-editor of An Emergent Manifesto of Hope (Baker Books 2007).

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