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I'm Reading 'The Shaping of Things to Come'

30 November, 2003 8:22 AM

I've previously posted about The Shaping of things to Come but have finally got my copy of it and am about to delve into it.

I always like to read the first lines in books - here is the first paragraph from the intro:

'In this book expect to encounter revolutionary ideas that will sometimes unnerve you. We hope to reawaken the latent apostolic imagination at the heart of the biblical faith and to exhort God's people to courageous missional engagement for our time - living out the gospel within its cultural context rather than perpetuating an institutional commitment apart from its cultural context. In writing this book we are advocating a wholesale change in the way Christians are doing and being the church, and because of this ours is not necessarily a popular message. We've become disturbingly aware through personal experience and observation that those who advocate such a thoroughgoing re-calibration of the church will not always be met with open arms by the prevailing church leadership. And yet we feel compelled to lovingly challenge the church to dismantle many of the arcane institutional structures it is now beholden to and to bravely face the future with imagination and courage.'

This looks like a worthwhile read - its called 'The Shaping of Things to Come' - its written by Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch - it is published by Hendrickson and you can get it for as little as $13.60 (US) here.

I'm interested in what others who have read it think.



I've read through "The shaping of things to come" once already, and now I'm reading it through again. One word - brilliant. Another word - challenging. Ok, lots of words ...

They do present a very good case for the church in Australia, the USA, and elsewhere to adopt the attitude of a missionary organisation rather than a "church". They keep pushing for "contextualisation", and I thought their case was pretty good:

"To contextualize is to understand the language, longings, lifestyle patterns, and worldview of the host community and to adjust our practices accordingly without compromising the gospel. Many churches change the style of their Sunday services without any research into the host community. We often change things because we want the change, not because of a heart for cross-cultural mission in our own context."
(p. 85 - "The shaping of things to come")

Would those of the boomer generation who currently lead the church also find it convincing? I don't know ... I don't see how they couldn't, but then some people are far less open to change.

Anyway, well worth a read. Definitely 5 stars.

Darryl » 30 November, 2003 9:16 AM

The best I have read in the area - by far. Not a cheesy surface level skim, but a gutsy indepth, theological assault! As much as I have spoken with Al & Mike about this stuff I was still inspired and challenged when I finished it (which was last night!)

hamo » 30 November, 2003 7:19 PM

I'm tempted to ask Hamo to drop off his copy, now he's finished reading it, so I can read it but that's just being lazy. :)

For those Down Under, according to their website, Word is selling it at $19.95. They have a few copies splashed around the country.

Bulk Warehouse 0
Nunawading 10
Cheltenham 2
Sydney 5
Adelaide 3
Brisbane 4
Gold Coast 3
Perth 1 (I'm likely to grab that one tomorrow.)

Koorong are charging the same and have more copies.

West Ryde 25+
Blackburn 9
Woolloongabba 0
Leederville 14
Adelaide 5
Penrith 5
Toowoomba 2
Port Macquarie 2
Fyshwick 2
Hobart 2
Armidale 2

Rodney Olsen » 30 November, 2003 8:10 PM

Ordered my copy from Koorong a couple of weeks ago. Hopefully will arrive this week.....

Paul » 1 December, 2003 6:37 AM

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