Thursday, May 06, 2010

An "Emerging Church" Book Review

After completing my article for The Expository Times, "'I Hate Your Church; What I Want is My Kingdom': Emerging Spiritualities in the UK Emerging Church Milieu," I was asked to write a book review of Bruce Sanguin's (2008) The Emerging Church: A Model for Change and a Map for Renewal. My review, entitled "Making an Emergent Future Present," will appear in about six months.

This is not really a book written about or for what I consider to be the "emerging church" - and the reviews from within what I call the "emerging church milieu" agree (here's one by Jonathon Brink on Emergent Village). This is about progressive Christianity (see Gordon Lynch's great overview and analysis of the broader "progressive milieu"), or, as Sanguin's website describes it, "evolutionary Christian spirituality." It is a book about progressive Christianity and modern science, rather than about emerging Christianity and postmodern thought or theology. The science he appropriates in this book (spiral dynamics) will be deeply troubling to many within the emerging church milieu. However, his work is nonetheless theologically and politically interesting.