Lots to think about after The Great Emergence Event here in Memphis. I met some great folks, enjoyed the presenters and was challenged to think more deeply about church, call and community. More to come later, but until then, here are the books that I am going to suggest for some of you where were not able to be there*.
Take This Bread: A Radical Conversion by Sara Miles // I have read this book and absolutely love it. This tells the story of Sara who found faith and started a food bank at St. Gregory's Episcopal Church in San Francisco. Powerful stuff. At the event one of her quotes was about knowing if you are in the house of God. It was basically, "How you know you are in the house of God is because there is always at least one person that the institution would consider to be inappropriate and there would be least one person with whom you need to reconcile."
Great Emergence, The: How Christianity Is Changing and Why by Phyllis Tickle // This is by far the best book that explains from an historical perspective what is going on today in the life of the church. She argues that we are in the middle of a new reformation, something that happens every 500 years. She lays out how we have gotten to where we are and then what she thinks will happen next and by whom. She challenged those in the emergent conversation for the past 10 years to explore what is next. It is time for the conversation to move into some stage of maturity and that the mainline emergents will play a big role. She posits that the biggest question that we face is "From where does authority come?" I think she is right on and will blog about this more later.
Leadership: Embracing a Paradigm of Narrative, Metaphor, and Chaos by Tim Keel // Tim is the pastor of Jacob's Well in Kansas City and blogs here. I have not read his book, but thought his brief presentation was interesting, so I think I'll pick it up. This seems like a book for those in leadership within a congregation.
The Fidelity of Betrayal: Towards a Church Beyond Belief by Peter Rollins // Peter is a pastor in Ireland who I have heard about lately, but have not had much interaction. His presentation was profound and moving, so this book jumped onto my list. He tells some amazing stories about how church must have strong beliefs, but we must not kill each other with them.
If you are only going to buy one, buy this one.
Salvation on the Small Screen? 24 Hours of Christian Television by Nadia Bolz-Weber // Nadia, who blogs at sarcasticlutheran was was part of the event offering some great insights from her book throughout the event. Now normally I would have thought this was shameless book promotion, but in this case, it was so good, I didn't mind a bit. I have been to events where they have tried the same thing and I was just grossed out. This book is about Nadia's reflections about self, life and faith as she watched Christian TV for 24 hours. If you are only going to buy one, buy this one.
Honorable mention goes to my friend and all-around awesome person, Nanette Sawyer who is the pastor at Wicker Park Grace in Chicago. You may also want to pick up her book, Hospitality the Sacred Art: Discovering the Hidden Spiritual Power of Invitation and Welcome.
So there you have it. Again, I'll blog more in depth about the event
itself later particularly about questions of institutional authority,
racial ethnic involvement in the emergent movement and possible next
steps for emergent type mainliners.
*If you were not able to be there, you can always read through the live #tge Twitter Stream.