Christian Unity … Think About It (Part 6)

In our last article about Christian Unity, we looked at one of the founders of the Emergent/Emerging Church – Tony Jones. In fact, the E/EC movement had its beginnings at his family’s cabin in the north woods of Minnesota at the turn of the 21st century. Jones is a professor at Fuller Theological Seminary and United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities and the theologian-in-residence at Solomon’s Porch in Minneapolis.

Prior to Tony Jones we learned about Brian McLaren, a man Time Magazine named as one of the 25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America in 2005.

We move now to a third founder and leader of the E/EC movement – Doug Pagitt.

Doug Pagitt

Doug Pagitt is a pastor at Solomon’s Porch in Minneapolis, host of the Doug Pagitt Radio program, author, speaker, and owner of JoPa Productions.

Pagitt’s first book about E/EC was in 2004 with Reimagining Spiritual Formation: A Week in the Life of an Experimental Church. That church was Solomon’s Porch, described by Pagitt as “a holistic, missional, Christian community in Minneapolis.”

Other Pagitt books include –

2005 – Church Re-Imagined: The Spiritual Formation of People in Communities of Faith (Emergentys)

“The Spiritual Formation of People in Communities of Faith. This book isn’t about quick-fix methods or bulleted, how-to lists. And it’s certainly not a dry lecture about a heady theological topic. Instead this book is about striving, about trying, about experimenting with the idea that the old ways of approaching spiritual formation may not be the only avenues toward living lives in harmony with God in our day. Inside these pages you’ll spend a full week with Solomon’s Porch—a holistic, missional, Christian community in Minneapolis—and get a front row seat at their gatherings, meetings, and meals. Along the way, you’ll also discover what spiritual formation looks like in a church community that moves beyond education based practices by including worship, physicality, dialogue, hospitality, belief, creativity, and service as means toward spiritual formation rather than mere appendices to it. Specifically, you’ll get a glimpse into the lives of six people from Solomon’s Porch and track their growth through their journals as they wrestle with various approaches to spiritual development. Church Re-Imagined is ideal for thinkers, pastors, church leaders, and anyone else seeking fresh ways of experiencing life with God.”

2005 – Preaching Re-Imagined: The Role of the Sermon in Communities of Faith

“Are we preaching too much, engaging too little? What is the role of preaching in the postmodern Church? Author and pastor Doug Pagitt looks at the kind of preaching that ‘creates followers of God who serve the world well and live the invitation to the rhythm of God.’ He introduces you to an approach to engaging with the Bible with a focus on three questions: -What kind of communities are we forming? (Sociology) -What story are we telling? (Theology) -How can we tell it more effectively? (Communications) These questions are asked through the introduction of Progressional Implicatory Preaching—an innovative way of catalyzing an open dialogue with active participants. Envision Preaching Re-Imagined as an agent in the creation of Christian communities, and take a hopeful look toward new approaches to encouraging the spiritual formation of your church body.”

2008 – An Emergent Manifesto of Hope [written with Tony Jones]

“Since the emerging church started grabbing headlines early this millennium, it has been labeled many different things. A movement. A conversation. A friendship. Some even call it a scandal.

An Emergent Manifesto of Hope is a coming together of divergent voices into a collection of writings that will bring you into the latest thinking of the emerging church. You will have a front-row seat as both established leaders and up-and-comers in this influential international movement grapple with how to be faithful Christians in today’s ever-changing cultural context. More than twenty-five contributors present honest, compelling, and at times highly personal reflections on topics like spiritual formation, social justice, sex, church and community, evangelism, racial reconciliation, postcolonialism, and the Bible. As you engage these reflections, you will come away with a deeper understanding of the hopeful imagination that drives the emerging church. And you will appreciate the beauty of a conversation that is continually being formed and, by its unique nature, defies one univocal message. “

2009 – A Christianity Worth Believing: Hope-filled, Open-armed, Alive-and-well Faith for the Left Out, Left Behind, and Let Down in us All

“A Christianity Worth Believing offers an engaging, ‘come-with-me-on-a-journey-of-exploring-the-possibilities’ approach to what it means to be a follower of Jesus in our day. Written by Doug Pagitt a leading voice in the Emergent conversation–this beautifully written book weaves together theological reflections, Christian history, and his own story of faith transformation. Pagitt invites readers to follow him as he tells the story of his un-churched childhood, his life-altering conversion at age 16, his intense involvement in the church, and his growing sense of unease with the version of Christianity he was living. On page after page, Pagitt lays out his journey toward an authentic, passionate expression of a faith that feels alive, sustainable, and meaningful.”

2013 – BodyPrayer: The Posture of Intimacy with God [written with Kathryn Prill]

“It’s possible for prayer to become so routine that it’s almost meaningless. Head-oriented prayer can focus on getting the words just right, while leaving out the rest of who you are. BodyPrayer helps you become fully engaged in prayer as you connect with God using more than mere words.
By practicing various postures of prayer–many of them identical to those modeled in Scripture–you will open your life more fully to God. Body prayer involves all of who you are as you enter into communion with God, either individually or with other believers.

Join Christians throughout history who used their entire being as a prayer–in expressions of joy, gratitude, and entreaty, as well as worship and devotion to God. This biblically based guide will help you practice a richer, more meaningful expression of prayer–one that involves your body as well as your soul. This is prayer that goes deeper than words. Engage your physical senses in a spiritual discipline…If your spirituality lacks passion, you can find new life in the ancient practice of body prayer. When you adopt postures that express the burdens of your heart, you bring all of who you are into God’s presence. BodyPrayer invites twenty-eight ways to involve your entire being as you connect with God. Whether you pray in submission with forehead touching the ground, or in exaltation with arms outstretched and eyes raised to heaven, you will find new spiritual vitality in prayer that expresses all of who you are.  Avoid the recitation of empty words and move your prayer life into the realm of whole-life engagement. When you use your body to express what words often fail to say, you are drawn closer to God. Body, soul, and spirit.”

2014 – Church in the Inventive Age

“Many books seek to predict the future of Christianity, but few help us grasp the opportunities of the current situation and equip us to navigate the present. Doug Pagitt, author, radio host, and pioneering leader, does just that, offering fresh, optimistic insights and practical suggestions. According to Pagitt, the last two centuries can be divided into four epochs: Idyllic, Industrial, Informational and now-Inventive. The Inventive Age – our currently reality – presents distinct opportunities for how faith communities think, what they value, and the tools they use. Pagitt offers leaders in Christian communities (and beyond) essential frameworks for participation in the Inventive Age.”

2014 – Preaching in the Inventive Age

“What kind of communities are we forming? What story are we telling? How can we tell it more effectively? Pagitt takes on these questions and investigates the goals and roles of preaching in the Inventive Age. From the book:  ‘I find myself wanting to live with the people of my community, where I can preach … but not allow that to become an act of speech making.  Instead, I want it to be a living interaction of the story of God and the story of our community being connected by our truth telling, our vulnerability, and our open minds, ears, and eyes – all brought together by the active work of the Spirit of God….”

2014 – Evangelism in the Inventive Age

“We live in changing times of significant cultural change. In the Inventive Age (the cultural turning following the Agrarian, Industrial, and Information ages) how people think has changed. This has created a new context for Evangelism. Previous methods not only do not work, they are often counterproductive. Evangelism in the Inventive Age is not a “next-level” resource for those who are already comfortable and confident evangelists, but is a book for the rest of us. For most Christians the issue of converting other people or sharing their faith is a troubled endeavor. Very few are in a comfortable place of natural invitation, faithful integration, and hopefulness in sharing faith. This book will create a new perspective on evangelism for the ordinary person who has extraordinary questions. Evangelism in the Inventive Age is for those who have deep questions about the validity of evangelism and for whom evangelism does not come naturally.”

2014 – Community in the Inventive Age

“The Inventive Age (the cultural turning following the Agrarian, Industrial, and Information ages) provides opportunities for reshaping all institutions and communities. Doug Pagitt brings to life ten Inventive Age characteristics as they are experienced through the community of Solomon’s Porch – a holistic missional Christian community in Minneapolis. These ten characteristics of Inventive Age culture will serve as a guide for those creating new faith communities and making changes in existing ones.”

2015 – Flipped: The Provocative Truth That Changes Everything We Know About God

“We all have stories in our heads about God, humanity, life, and the meaning of it all. One of the most common—and misleading—stories is “If I’m faithful in doing this, then God promises to do that.” Jesus didn’t believe it and neither should you. God does not insist that you play by the rules before he will respond to you. A careful reading of the Bible will free all of us from trying to make a deal with God, inviting us instead to live in God.

How would your life change if you flipped your understanding of God? Doug Pagitt takes a new look at provocative statements made by Jesus, Paul, and the prophets. Jesus turned the tables on religious assumptions every time he began with “You have heard it said, but I say to you…” Paul quoted a pagan poet when he revealed the truth that we live, move, and have our being in God.

Come along on a journey of discovery and change, leading to a flip in your view of where God is and where we are in relation to God. Set aside the rules of religion and know the freedom of living in God.”

[Emerging Unity will continue …]

Copyright © 1990-2016 GraceLife Ministries

“Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

GraceLife

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