Monday, 17 September 2007

contemplative activists

Intelligent church, intelligent book.

The sub-title (A Journey Towards Christ-Centred Community) describes what the book is about – and what our churches should be about.

Chalke quotes Phil Wall stating that we are ‘called to be contemplative activists’. I suspect that most Christian churches in the UK are likely to be comfortable with either half of that description, but bringing them together? If we’re honest that’s very uncomfortable.

Whatever situation your church is in I’d be astonished if you didn’t find something in this book that makes you wince. The ‘ouch’ factor is high.

The chapter headings alone will serve to identify gaps in our mission – intelligent, inclusive, messy, honest, purposeful, generous, vulnerable, political, diverse, dependent, transforming church. If you think that your church is able to model Christ in each of these areas, don’t bother to read this book – although you might want to have a look at the chapter on honest church!

It’s well worth reading – although expect to be challenged. Whether you change – is up to you.

“The shape of the way we do church – our traditions, our meetings, our buildings, our liturgies, our governance, our dress and countless more of our cultural preferences – can no longer be allowed to determine the shape and style of our mission and so limit what our communities and our society as a whole can see or know of Christ. It is time to do church differently.”


That Hideous Man said...

Sounds very interesting. I am on the last chapter of Simon Jones' book which we have discussed over on my blog. I will have finished it in a day or two - and would like to read 'the intelligent church'. Want to swap!?

Incidentally, I have just got an e-mail saying that Chalke will be in Perth on Sept 30th (pm) at the Nazarene church.

KJ said...

wow. I need to read this book. Thanks for talking about it.

Thanks, also, for your latest comment about my "Question." I totally agree. I appreciate your thoughts.