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malcolm chamberlain

musings about the emerging church, mission and contemporary culture...

God is at large, intimately involved in his world in ways that the church is maybe just waking up to!

joining the conspirators...

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

In preparation for a round table discussion with Tom Sine, that I'm involved in tomorrow, I've just read the first two chapters of The New Conspirators (I thought I'd better!)

The chapter 'Emerging, Missional, Mosaic and Monastic' is an excellent, and pretty up-to-date, overview of what Sine describes as 'four streams of renewal' in the church at present (the four streams being those in the chapter title).

Last Friday I was interviewed by BBC Radio Merseyside as part of the run up to 'Back to Church Sunday', and was asked if I was concerned by the state of the church and, in particular, by its decline. I said that I wasn't, because I was hearing so many stories of new life and (to use the phrase) 'fresh expressions' of church that were much more rooted in the realities of communities, cultures and real life. I mentioned that, for me, a faith that didn't touch base with, and affect, reality was a faith not really worth having!

For people who are concerned about the state of the church, the first two chapters of Tom Sine's latest book will come as both an encouragement and a challenge. An encouragement as you read of the many ways in which new communities of followers of Jesus are taking root and making a difference, and a challenge as your eyes are opened to these new realities and your existing church (and faith) paradigms are shaken, even subverted. The kingdom of God is, of course, so much bigger than what we've allowed it to become in our Christian sub-cultures, and Sine's book is a wake up call to join in with the missio dei.

I love the invitation at the start of the book to "become a part of something 'really, really small,' a quiet conspiracy that is destined to change our lives and God's world." (p23) I'm really looking forward to reading the rest of the book and to meeting and discussing with Tom Sine tomorrow.

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posted by Malcolm Chamberlain, 11:09 AM


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