An Emergent Manifesto of Hope by Doug Pagitt and Tony Jones (Editors)

An Emergent Manifesto, one of the latest and most important documents from the emergent camp, is a lot to digest. Edited by two key leaders in the movement, it contains twenty-five chapters, each written by a different emergent author. The diversity of the movement is evident from the background and ministries of these authors who each writes in his area of expertise. Topics covered vary widely, everything from theology to social justice. All the threads of emergent thought are found somewhere in the book, but if there is one central theme it is the kingdom of God. Emergent has taken a decidedly liberal postmillennial stance on the kingdom of God: the kingdom is on earth now but will progressively become more like the kingdom of heaven as the it is advanced through betterment of the world. As social injustice, disease, poverty, racism, war and ecological concerns are improved, the...

Adventures in Missing the Point by Brian McLaren & Tony Campolo

In separately written chapters, these contemporary authors criticize the evangelical community for missing the point on everything from evangelism to social action to women in ministry to homosexuality to truth to salvation to the Bible and virtually every thing in between. If you are a regular reader of McLaren you will discover that he is saying nothing he has not said before ad nauseum. His exaggerations, straw men and distortions are growing old and, hopefully, losing their punch with many—apparently even with his co-author, who consistently takes McLaren to task. Each chapter is followed by a response from the other author and this is when the book gets interesting. While McLaren basically “amens” Campolo’s chapters, Tony does not always return the favor. Campolo comes out with guns blazing on McLaren’s view of the Bible, truth, entertainment, postmodernism and leadership. Campolo offers stern, often biblical, corrections which is astounding given...

A New Kind of Christian by Brian D. McLaren

A New Kind of Christian is the best known and most popular book in a new genre of Christian literature, which is unashamably postmodern (see also our review of Blue Like Jazz). By this I mean not just that it is written for a postmodern culture (it is), in a postmodern form (the story format connects well with the postmodern mindset), or occasionally slips into postmodern error. This book is straight-in-your-face postmodern philosophy with a thin veneer of Christianity spread over it. It is a call for God’s people to abandon modernity and what McLaren believes to be a Christianity built on the foundation of modernity. McLaren will not accept for a moment the possibility that conservative evangelicalism, which is surely laced with modernistic tendencies, might possibly be resting on the foundation of infallible, unchanging Scripture. No, McLaren is willing to throw the baby (biblical Christianity) out with the...

A Guide to the Passion, 100 Questions About ‘The Passion of the Christ’ by the editors of Catholic Exchange

by the editors of Catholic Exchange For those who believe that a few grouchy skeptics, such as myself, have blown the Roman Catholic connection in Mel Gibson’s movie out of proportion, they should read this little book designed as a follow-up to the movie and written by a Roman Catholic evangelistic organization. This guide removes all doubt about the movie’s Catholic roots. In the introduction you will find these comments: As someone involved in the distribution and marketing of the film, I noticed early on the fervor with which many Protestant communities were preparing to use the film for evangelistic purposes. Websites sprang up featuring downloadable materials about Jesus and the Gospels. Marketing companies began churning out posters and flyers promoting the film and their own faith communities. Tracts poured into circulation making the case for Christ as the key to peace and happiness in life. Yet, for all...

A Generous Orthodoxy by Brian D. McLaren

A Generous Orthodoxy is probably the best explanation (if you want to call it that) of the emerging church. The subtitle says it all: “WHY I AM A missional + evangelical + post/protestant + liberal/conservative + mystical/poetic + biblical + charismatic/contemplative + fundamentalist/calvinist + anabaptist/anglican + methodist + catholic + green + incarnational + depressed-yet-hopeful + emergent + unfinished CHRISTIAN.” In other words, one who embraces a generous orthodoxy has an “orthodoxy” that is big enough to be generous, even accepting, of all branches of theology and Christian expression. McLaren declared from the outset that he planned to be unclear (p. 23) and, in that, he succeeded. He purposely opens doors he does not go through, raises issues he does not adequately address, and asks questions he does not answer. His ploy seems to be that we need to “dialogue” about these things a bit more; we shouldn’t be...

A Call to Spiritual Reformation by D. A. Carson

Throughout my life I have read dozens of the best Christian books on prayer, but when I am asked to recommend a good book on prayer I draw a blank. I could offer books filled with examples of great men and women of prayer; books that explain the details and puzzles of prayer; books that offer practical advice, all of which have some value. But none have ever brought satisfaction to my heart and mind. Then I read D. A. Carson’s misnamed book A Call to Spiritual Reformation. It is misnamed, not because prayer does not lead to spiritual reformation, but because it gives no hint that it is a careful examination of the biblical prayers of the Apostle Paul—although the subtitle gives it away: Priorities from Paul and His Prayers. Regardless of the title, A Call to Spiritual Reformation is hands-down the best book I have read on...