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New Monasticism: What It Has to Say to Today's Church Paperback – May 1, 2008
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From the Back Cover
"It is my sincere hope that new monasticism will grow so strong and healthy and widespread that every follower of Jesus in every church has the opportunity, if not to actually live in a new monastic community, to at least have enough proximity and relationship to be influenced by it. This book can help that dream and prayer come true."--Brian McLaren, author of Everything Must Change
"This is the most informative work to date on its subject. Written in fluid, accessible prose and without pretense, it is also rich in personal and historical insights. The result is a book that is both beguiling and highly credible."--Phyllis Tickle, author of The Divine Hours
"This book demonstrates how embracing the lifestyle prescribed by Jesus is a realistic possibility in our present age. It also shows how countercultural Christianity can provide a needed critique of our self-centered, consumerist society."--Tony Campolo, Eastern University
"This book is a scavenger hunt into Christian history and the abandoned places of Empire where the Spirit is stirring today. It's like digging around in the dirt trying to find the pearl we buried, the pearl that is so beautiful it's worth giving up everything else in the world for."--Shane Claiborne, author of The Irresistible Revolution
"Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove is bringing things both old and new out of the great Christian storehouse! New monasticism is discovering what is always rediscovered--and always bears great life for the gospel."--Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM, Center for Action and Contemplation
Top Customer Reviews
I love these words that Wilson-Hartgove quoted from Eberhard Arnold: "We do not need theories or idealistic goals or prophets or leaders. We need brotherhood and sisterhood...We need to show that a life of justice and forgiveness and unity is possible today."
I agree with Wilson-Hartgrove that the Church today needs to follow the subversive practices of the prophets: "loving one another, welcoming the stranger, ...returning good for evil."
A toast to Wilson-Hartgrove's dream and mine: The way of life Jesus taught and practiced can become reality!
-Amos Smith (author of Healing The Divide: Recovering Christianity's Mystic Roots)
Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove brings fresh perspective to the age-old concept of living in Christian community in "New Monasticism: What It Has to Say to Today's Church". Starting with a strong historical foundation, the author explores ancient concepts of community through an informative study of the early church at Antioch, as well as more contemporary figures in the monastic movement such as Dietrich Bonhoeffer, St. Benedict, and Mother Teresa.
This book forced me to honestly examine the Bible's radical ideas and how its teachings should impact my choices as a 21st Century American. Wilson-Hartgrove begins with the convincing concept, beginning with Genesis and moving through Biblical history, that God's plan to save the world was not one person at a time, but through a people. From this premise, he boldly states, "If the Bible is a story about God's plan to save the world through a people, then my salvation and sanctification depend on finding my true home with God's people. Apart from the story of this people, I can't have a relationship with God. Without the church, there's no chance of becoming holy."
The focus of the book then shifts to an examination of the movement's current marks of distinction including: sharing economic resources; geographical proximity to other community members; peacemaking; and the active pursuit of "just reconciliation".Read more ›
This is the motivation for the book New Monasticism: What It Has to Say to Today's Church by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove. He points out many areas in which he believes the church is falling short of God's design and offers some possibilities for how to rethink our approach to these problems using monastic ideas, "a vision for society that is `so old it looked like new.'" The book was relatively short, only 140 pages, but it was filled with concepts and ideas that will challenge our ideas of church and community in North America and definitely for us here in the Bible belt.
In the first few chapters, Wilson-Heartgrove supplies us with a biblical perspective of God's community starting from the creation story in Genesis through the 1st century New Testament Church. He gives us the origins and history of monastic communities through the centuries including the new monastic movement he is a part of today.
In the remainder of the book, Wilson-Heartgrove shares with us the knowledge that can be gleaned from the practices and experiments of new monastic communities in the 20th and 21st centuries.
I struggled with this book. I had to keep reminding myself that this book has a message for the church today. Its purpose was not to suggest getting rid of churches in favor of communal living, but instead, what do these ventures in communal living have to say to churches about how they behave as a community? At times, it seemed the suggestion was to join a community where everything is shared or not. There was no in between. I'm sure that was not his intention, but it comes across at times that this is the only way things should be done.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was an inspiring and challenging book. The book mostly consists of stories of his experience with people who have identified as new monastics. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Caleb
New Monastics are pro-church not separatists. The love of God is worked out together and for the life of the world God loves. Read morePublished 14 months ago by G. Prior
I really gleaned a lot from this book. I read this book for a Divinity school class on intentional communities. There are such valuable lessons for community. Read morePublished on June 7, 2014 by Abdue Knox
This book wasn't what I expected. Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove is a relatively young man, apparently not much older than myself. Read morePublished on May 12, 2014 by B. Belschner
First, I'd like to propose an idea. I think that the church needs to ban itself from using the word "radical", except in it's most formal senses, such as the mathematical. Read morePublished on December 26, 2012 by audie
There is that temptation to ignore history and follow the nose of the press with every book tour and new release to come on national TV. Read morePublished on July 19, 2012 by Alan Webb
This is a WONDERFUL little book! It startled me to realise that not only did 'Relocate to the edge' sum up the whole glorious story of monastic renewal over the centuries, but it... Read morePublished on July 8, 2012 by Ian Mackay
This books reads like one long morass of white middle class privilege. In the first twenty pages or so he mentions America as a super power at least four times which makes me... Read morePublished on April 15, 2012 by Deepforestowl