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Emergent Manifesto of Hope, An (ēmersion: Emergent Village resources for communities of faith) Hardcover – April 1, 2007
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From the Inside Flap
From the introduction by Tony Jones: "In a variety of voices, this group of friends is attempting to sing a song together. There are times, I'm sure, when the harmonies don't match, when someone seems to be singing out of tune. But that's really not the point for us. The point is that we're singing, and that we're singing together." This inaugural release of the ēmersion series brings together an unprecedented collection of voices from Emergent Village as they explore A People of Hope, Communities of Hope, A Hopeful Faith, A Hopeful Way Forward, and Hopeful Activism. Those voices include: • Brian McLaren on postcolonialism • Dan Kimball on theology • Sally Morgenthaler on leadership • Will Samson on mission • Karen Sloan on sexuality • Tim Keel on imagination • Carla Barnhill on parenting • Tim Conder on church
From the Back Cover
Engage the latest thinking of the emerging church Since the emerging church started grabbing headlines early this millennium, it has been labeled many different things. A movement. A conversation. A friendship. Some even call it a scandal. An Emergent Manifesto of Hope is a coming together of divergent voices into a collection of writings that will bring you into the latest thinking of the emerging church. You will have a front-row seat as both established leaders and up-and-comers in this influential international movement grapple with how to be faithful Christians in today's ever-changing cultural context. More than twenty-five contributors present honest, compelling, and at times highly personal reflections on topics like spiritual formation, social justice, sex, church and community, evangelism, racial reconciliation, postcolonialism, and the Bible. As you engage these reflections, you will come away with a deeper understanding of the hopeful imagination that drives the emerging church. And you will appreciate the beauty of a conversation that is continually being formed and, by its unique nature, defies one, univocal message.
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There is a lot to digest here, especially if with contributor Barry Taylor, you are worried that we are living in an age of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's "religionless Christianity." Tim Conder calls for Protestants to embrace the spiritual wisdom of the entire sweep of the Christian tradition, not just the early church and the Reformation. But Mark Scandrette shows that the Emergent Church is doing just that, as he catalogs characteristics of this movement: emphasis on community and communalism, even a new monasticism; flatter institutional structures and collaborative processes; advocacy and activism based on the social dimensions of the gospel; renewed interest in the traditional spiritual disciplines; new appreciation of the arts and creativity in church and living; openness to creation theology and sustainable living, among others. I love the question posed by Nanette Sawyer in her essay: "What Would Huckleberry [Finn] Do?" And if you're into that sort of thing, you can read Brian McLaren discuss postmodernism, which I did find interesting and helpful.
There's a lot more here, with contributions that focus on sexuality, race, living in real communities, orthodoxy and orthopraxy, social justice, working with offenders in the criminal justice system, and much more.
Tony Jones describes the Emergent Village--a particular organization and a stand-in for a larger community of faith--but also this book as a choir without a director, as a beautiful, good mess. This book is a good introduction to the good, the beautiful, and yes the messiness of the Emergent Church. But hey, that's pilgrimage for you.