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The Emerging Church: Vintage Christianity for New Generations Paperback – March 3, 2003
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'Being tested in the laboratory of his own effective ministry, Dan continues to learn and to model a passion for the unreached souls of emerging generations. He deserves honest and thorough evaluation. Read this book at your own risk. To many it may look threatening, but it may open your eyes to reality and to a refreshing hope for our children and grandchildren.' -- Howard G. Hendricks
'Dan Kimball has given followers of Christ and those who care about the future of his church a wonderful gift with this book. Grounded in missional theology and shaped by the hands-on practice of ministry, his book is an essential field guide for leaders seeking to understand the transition now underway from an old to a new world and the emergence of a new church. Read it, learn from it, ans share it with others.' -- Carol Childress
'It is rare for a church leader to bring both clarity of thought and passionate emotion to the needs of the future church. Dan Kimball does both, and he speaks as somebody who actually lives in the trenches. I'm grateful for his wisdom.' -- John Ortberg, Author
'Dan Kimball has the ability to form a balanced critique of the modern evangelical church that is both gentle and forceful. This book will open a lot of eyes, and the church will be better as a result.' -- Tony Jones, Author
'Dan does a wonderful job of contrasting the modern-Christian and post-Christian worlds, and then gives what I find to be very practical ministry principles that can be contexualized in any setting.' -- Daniel Hill, Pastor
'In his research and ministry to post-seeker-sensitive emerging generations, Dan Kimball is emulating the apostle Paul: 'I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel.'' -- Luis Palau, Evangelist
'As a pastor who understands both today's culture and the importance of biblical foundations, Dan has set forth for any emerging-church leader a pathway that's safe to travel. His leadership insights are engaging and challenging for anyone who desires to introduce our world to the clear truth of the gospel.' -- Paul Allen, Executive Editor
'What I appreciate about this book is that what you are reading is coming from a practitioner. I have had the privilege of working with Dan for many years, and I have seen him live out and learn and put into practice what he writes about in his book. He isn't just a theorist.' -- Chip Ingram, President
'We constantly come into contact with youth workers, pastors, and church leaders who want to understand the postmodern shift and its implications for their churches but are intimidated by most of what's written on the subject. Dan's book distills complex ideas into bite-sized chunks that are understandable without being simplistic. And he doesn't stop there: he offers practical discussion of real-life implications for their ministries.' -- Tic Long, President
'While many Christians curse the 'darkness' of postmodernism, and others imbibe its values, Dan Kimball helps us see realistically how the church today can communicate with and reach the emerging culture around us. Anyone who wants to join the force that is forging a new approach to ministry needs to listen to this pioneer.' -- Gary Tuck, Ph.D., Professor
'The future of the church in North America hinges on innovators like Dan Kimball and the ideas presented in this book. Vintage Christianity can be applied to new and existing congregations to help reach the next generation.' -- Bob Buford, Founder
'Dan Kimball shines a spotlight (or more precisely, lights a bank of candles), illuminating the mystery-laden 'postseeker' world. Churches dare not ignore the perspectives and preferences of the emerging generation as they take the gospel into the future.' -- Marshall Shelley, Editor
'Cool hair, bright mind, passionate heart -- Dan Kimball belongs to the tribe of men and women who creatively advance the cause of Christ. His commitment to mission and context lays an important foundation for any conversation about style and innovation.' -- Erwin Raphael McManus, Cultural Architect
'I am inspired and thrilled whenever I see a church leader wrestle with how the church can more effectively reach a generation in a shifting culture. Dan Kimball's ministry and learning will stretch and challenge all of us who long to lead the bride of Christ to its greatest potential.' -- Nancy Beach, Director of Programming
'Dan has the courage to model revolutionary thinking and the wisdom to encourage reconciling action. This book is both a blueprint and a blog of transformation.' -- Spencer Burke, Creator
'Dan Kimball has done an effective job of communicating the kind of essential information and practical examples that will inform and inspire both those who are beginning to engage the emerging generation as well as those who've been in the trenches for years. Creative, accessible, inspiring...this is vintage Dan Kimball.' -- Dieter Zander, Confounder
'Dan is a practitioner, not merely a theorist. He is no armchair strategist. He is on the front line of reaching this generation. This is a practical book. Howeverm it moves beyond merely presenting methodology to addressing fundamental issues. The book offers a biblically based approach to ministry but clearly states there is not one way to do ministry. Some of what is presented is new and innovative. Then, Dan breathes new life into a centuries-old method of communing with God.' -- Les Christie, Chair
'I have served with Dan for 10 years in high-school ministry, in Graceland, and now in starting Vintage Faith Church, and I am privileged to call him a close friend. This book will open your eyes to the incredible opportunities for kingdom influence that the emerging church has in post-Christian America. The coolest part of this book to me is that it all has really been lived out in the context of our local community, vintage-faith style.' -- Josh Fox, Pastor of Worship Arts
From the Back Cover
Â·Samples and photos of emerging church worship gatherings
Â·Recommended resources for the emerging church
The seeker-sensitive movement revolutionized the way we did church and introduced countless baby boomers to Jesus. Yet trends show that today's post-Christian generations are not responding like the generations before them. As we enter a new cultural era, what do worship services look like that are connecting with the hearts of emerging generations? How do preaching, leadership, evangelism, spiritual formation, and, most of all, how we even think of church need to change?
The Emerging Church goes beyond just theory and gets into very practical ways of assisting you in your local church circumstances. There is no one right way, no model for us all to emulate. But there is something better. Dan Kimball calls it Vintage Christianity: a refreshing return to an unapologetically sacred, raw, historical, and Jesus-focused missional ministry. Vintage Christianity connects with emerging post-seeker generations who are very open spiritually but are not interested in church.
For pastors, leaders, and every concerned Christian, Kimball offers a riveting and easy-to-grasp exploration of today's changing culture and gives insight into the new kind of churches that are emerging in its midst. Included is running commentary by Rick Warren, Brian McLaren, Howard Hendricks, and others.
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My only real complaints about this book are in its visual layout and its lack of a warning when it comes to respect for Scripture. The margins are filled with little boxes for other authors to comment on the topics, for definitions of key terms, and for one-sentence summaries that are never all that helpful. I think the intention was for these boxes to make the book more conversational, but the effect is that of a junior high science textbook, and it gives this important subject a certain juvenile tone that doesn't serve it well. Also, Kimball's personal convictions are clearly Bible-based and supported with plenty of Scripture, which may be why he never warns the reader of the dangers of some emerging/emergent groups that do not hold Scripture in nearly as high a regard. Other than those minor points, though, I recommend this book as an introduction to the emerging church.
The author is Gen X with a skewed view of the Millenial generation. These two generations are very different with very different cultural identities and attitudes. Of course, Christianity is going to have a slightly different culture, but to be honest Christianity tends to react to culture instead of paving a new culture.
The emerging movement is a non-movement, in that emergents do not agree to on one set of definitions or have a leader to represent them. So how do you write a book about a non-movement? You really can't.
The need for having a firm Biblical foundation before reading this book is great because though the ideas and concepts are quite engaging and exciting, some of them can be easily carried out in excess and without the proper motivation, setting, and emphasis.
Kimball also has a habit of generalizing and stereotyping which sound convincing but aren't necessarily true. In addition to that, his criticism of the Seeker movement is rather passionate, but in the end his model is very similar, for it is also focused (on one level) at attracting people to church, though since this attraction is played out in a postmodern setting it looks, feels and behaves quite differently than the modern Seeker movement.
What I think is good about this book (as I thought the same about his corresponding Emerging Worship) is that Kimball raises issues and difficulties facing the church at present. These issues must be dealt with, but not necessarily the way Kimball demands they be. The primary problem with his solutions is that not every church is in California, and nor are all the high school and college age church members completely up to their heads in postmodern thought. Pastors and ministry leaders should read this book not because it has all the answers, but they need to see if the issues are relevant to their body of believers as well as if any of the solutions proffered by Kimbal might be able to minister to their people in their respective settings.