Sunday, October 11, 2009

my Out of Bounds Church? book on Jesus Creed

I’m stoked to have my The Out of Bounds Church?: Learning to Create a Community of Faith in a Culture of Change book described as “well-known” in a brief mention on Scot McKnight’s Jesus Creed blog, in a discussion on church and culture, with specific reference to the emerging church.

For the sake of clarity, I have left the following comment:
Scot and Jim,
While I welcome the discussion, and was glad that Jim referenced my book in his (as it is a part of the book I was most pleased with), I don’t think my book, Out of Bounds Church? is quite being described fairly above. In the PDF mss, I felt Jim was fair in his treatment and it’s probably just the inevitable brevity of a blogpost, but for the record can I note that …

In OBC book I myself propose a “third way” that is beyond two poles of either accommodation or relevance. I suggest the metaphor of a DJ – who, within a community, samples from multiple places to create a new mix. I argue this because we are now called to be Incarnational in a culture that is well beyond unitary categories.

I suggest this is what the apostle Peter is doing, say in the household codes (1 Peter 3), where he is “sampling” from culture, yet in a way that expresses a new, and redemptive hermeneutic. With nods to Miroslav Volf and his impressive work around Christ and culture.

I stress that a DJ can only exist in relation to an audience, and thus the act of DJing is a deeply communitarian act. (cf the description above of “individual creation.”)

Can I also say how important context is in all of this. Jim finishes with a wonderful story of deep mission in his book. What struck me, reading it, was how the couple described had been IN church before. While I celebrated the redemptive life they have found, it reminded me again of how churched the US still is, and in that sense how it is such a unique context for doing and talking about mission.

For more on the DJ image, check out some visuals here; and some resources here;

For more reviews of Out of Bounds Church?, you could try Len Sweet here; Greg Hughson here; Tom Sine’s review here: Fuller Seminary review here; Scot’s original review here; Malcolm Chamberlain here and a fanhere.

Posted by steve at 03:52 PM

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