The Center for Applied Christianity
* Clericus means clergy, the body of all people ordained for religious duties
February 15, 2013
       December's Book of the Month |  The Future of Religion: Traditions in Transition [Kindle Edition] Phyllis Tickle (Author), Elder Quentin Cook (Author), Reza Aslan (Author), Jennifer Hecht (Author), Gavin Flood (Author), Sarah Pike (Author), Alister McGrath (Author), Jonathan Sarna (Author), Charles Prebish (Author), Kathleen Mulhern (Editor)|In the coming decades, as final conflicts over the authority of the Bible are played out, people will seek out churches in which Christians pursue their faith as an ongoing journey in the company of others—not as assent to an unshakable fact or set of interpretations—and churches that seek to serve God and each other in the world we live in.
       The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical by Shane Claiborne |  If my book reading back in 2007 were to be envisioned as a hot-fudge sundae, Claiborne's book would have to be the cherry on top.  This book has been the seminal reading that inspired me to make my sabbatical at Rutba House back in February to investigate the possibility of establishing a new monasticism life-style for ex-offenders.
       Everything Must Change: Jesus, Global Crises, and a Revolution of Hope by Brian McLaren | A very special book and one of the books my wife gave me for Christmas, back in 2006. It followed me around every where I went so I could read from it when I found myself stuck: in a doctor's waiting room, waiting on a long train to go by or for count to clear in prison. This book is quite a challenge to the status quo and an encouragement for us all to be change agents in the world like Jesus told us to be - the salt and leaven of this world.
       Exiles: Living Missionally in a Post-Christian Culture  by Michael Frost | This book is well written and I had difficulty putting it down. Frost gives all of us exiles trapped in a post-Christian world a vision of hope and a future richer than we can even now imagine or hope for.
       The Church of the Perfect Storm by Leonard Sweet  | Exerpts from this book make good sermon material. I have not been disappointed with any book written by the Reverend Doctor Leonard Sweet and the Storm is yet another fine example of the  expertise of my friend and mentor, Leonard I. Sweet.
       The New Friars: The Emerging Movement Serving the World's Poor by Scott A. Bessenecker  | This book is another book on the new monasticism that I read in 2008. The New Friars puts a global perspective on the whole new monasticism experience. I look forward to finding out more about this when I take my sabbatical in 2011.
       The Revolution: A Field Manual for Changing Your World by Jim Wallis, et. al | Another book on my list of books to read and will post a review when I have finished reading the book. . I have been a disciple of Jim Wallis since the early 90's when my friend Francis MacNutt gave me one of his old Sojourners magazines to read.
       Always Open: Being an Anglican Today by Richard Giles |  Being an Episcopalian, this book's title has quite an appeal for me. I hope to read it sometime soon. If I get a chance to do so, I'll review it here.
       The Voice of Luke by Brian McLaren I  don't know about you, but I still have much to learn from Doctor Luke. I can't think of a better Anam Cara to travel with me and guide me along the way than Brian McLaren.
       Dancing With God: Anglican Christianity And The Practice Of Hope by Jay Emerson Johnson | This book was a fast read and a very enjoyable one for me. With all the turmoil we Anglicans are experiencing these days, it is good to be reminded to practice hope and to dance with God. Recommenced for anyone interested in understanding why the Episcopal Church is the Energizer Bunny of post-Christian churches.
       The Original Jesus: The Life and Vision of a Revolutionary by Tom Wright  | When I was ordained, I was given a ton of books by this good, Anglican scholar and bishop by many of my friends at St. Mark's, Ortega. My book shelves ought to be able to hold one more example of this great teacher of the faithful's labors. I'll have a review  if and when I have finished reading the book
       Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul: 101 Stories to Open the Heart and Rekindle the Spirit of Hope, Healing and Forgiveness (Chicken Soup for the Soul) | by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Tom Lagana
       Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God | by Francis Chan,  and Danae Yankoski  | Does something deep inside your heart long to break free from the status quo? Are you hungry for an authentic faith that addresses the problems of our world with tangible, even radical, solutions? God is calling you to a passionate love relationship with Himself. Because the answer to religious complacency isn't working harder at a list of do's and don'ts- it's falling in love with God. And once you encounter His love, as Francis describs it, you will never be the same.
       New Monasticism: What It Has to Say to Today's Church by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove | Wilson-Hartgrove, a 20-something North Carolina pastor who is part of the New Monasticism movement, has captivated my attention  big time with his book. Reading this book has inspired me to investigate the  new monasticism life-style deeper when I take my sabbatical. Hopefully, I will get to spend some time in one of these communities during my time off from ministry so that I will have a better understanding of the ins and outs of living in community. New Monasticism could be a godsend for ex-offenders struggling to adjust to life outside the razor wire, especially those who are today's lepers and are classified as America's most unwanted. I highly recommend Hartgrove's book for anyone interested in finding out more about the New Monasticism movement.

       Practical Justice: Living Off-Center in a Self-centered World by Kevin Blue | All of us who are believers in Jesus Christ know that there is injustice in the world. Some of us have been seeking ways to counter the effects that this reality has had on ourselves and those whom Jesus loves the most -"the least of these." Mr. Blue's book gives us ideas on what living an off-centered live in this self-centered world might look like. The book sure made  me rethink  some of my old ideas that I thought were on the same wave length as the Lord's, but thanks to this book, I now know that that  was not the case. This book is a good reality check for all of us who are trying to live our lives as off-centered disciples
       School(s) for Conversion: 12 Marks of a New Monasticism (New Monastic Library: Resources for Radical Discipleship) by Rutba House | This is another book about New Monas-ticism and is written to be a resource for those interested in living in community and participating in the radical new/old life-style of being a twenty-first century disciple of Jesus. It's different from most books in that it is edited by the members of Rutba House, a community in North Carolina which includes Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove as one of its members.
     I spent the better part of July reading Schools for Conversion and was even able to use portions of the book in a few of my sermons. This book has motivated me to plan my sabbatical study (February, 2011) in this new monastic community.

       The New Conspirators: Creating the Future One Mustard Seed at a Time by Tom Sine | This book explores the lively edge of Christianity in the U.S. and the U.K. Sine, who wrote The Mustard Seed Conspiracy in the early 1980s, has always championed Christian subversives and exiles who act in small but significant ways to care for the poor and marginalized.
       Creating Uncommon Worship: Transforming the liturgy of the Eucharist  by Richard Giles | This book has been in my       possession for a  little over two years. It's loaded with many good ideas for enlivening and increasing the whole congregation's participation in the Eucharist. I have found it to be a good and practical addition to my pastor's library. It has also been a welcomed addition to my toolkit for developing lesson plans for inquirer's classes
       The Emerging Church: Vintage Christianity for New Generations by Dan Kimball, Rick Warren , Brian D. McLaren, Howard Hendricks , Sally Morgenthaler, Chip Ingram, Mark Oestreicher | Winner of the 2004 Christianity Today Book Award, this book explores the cultural changes impacting churches and offers practical advice of how they can creatively reach emerging generations. Some of the 'spiritual' things that were removed from churches are the very things that post-Christian generations are connecting with and find attractive in a church.
       Church in Emerging Culture: Five Perspectives by Leonard Sweet,  Andy Crouch, Brian D. McLaren, Erwin Raphael McManus, Michael Horton and Frederica Matthewes-Green | Another book on my list of books to read by 2012. Leonard Sweet is not only my friend but also a trusted guide through the post-Christian church maze. Any book Leonard has had a hand in authoring is a book worth reading.
       The Shaping of Things to Come: Innovation and Mission for the 21 Century Church  by Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch | Reader reviews describe this book thusly: Passionate.. idealistic.. imaginative... seminal.. incisive.. visionary.. these are some of the words that come to mind as I consider my six weeks living with "The Shaping of Things to Come." A gripping exegesis of culture, church and history, with some careful theological reflection along the way, Frost and Hirsch contribute to the dialogue on innovation and mission and end up with re-imagining eccelesiology against the backdrop of emerging culture. - Amazon Readers Reviews
       The Relevant Nation: 50 Activist, Artists And Innovators Who Are Changing Their World Through Faith by Heather Zydek (Editor) The Relevant Nation reads like a modern roll call of faith for those under 40.  You will be pleasantly surprized and blessed to meet some of the country's leading innovators who are deeply commited Christian.
       The Missio Dei Breviary  by Missio Dei and Mark Van Steenwyk |'s Editorial Review by Tony Jones, author of The New Christians: Dispatches from the Emergent Frontier and national coordinator of Emergent Village: "My friends at Missio Dei stand at the forefront of a great renaissance in Christianity. They are living in community among some of the forgotten people of our culture. And they are reaching back into the treasury of prayer given to us by churchly ancestors. I highly commend their breviary for your use, both personally and corporately. It is contemporary and ancient, simple and poignant; it is beautiful."
       Announcing the Kingdom: The Story of Gods Mission in the Bible by Arthur F. Glasser, Charles E. Van Engen, Dean S.              Gilliland | According to one reader; "There are some real gems in here, but I would assert that Glasser has served the Kingdom and us in a larger fashion by developing the theme of the Kingdom of God that runs throughout Scripture, and, hopefully, empower the People of God for participation in the missio Dei."
       How to Do Good After Prison: A Handbook for Successful Reentry  (with an Employment Information Handbook) by Michael B. Jackson , Ron Kenner |
       The Tangible Kingdom: Creating Incarnational Community (J-B Leadership Network Series) by Hugh Halter and Matt Smay
       The Twenty-Piece Shuffle: Why the Poor and Rich Need Each Other by Greg Paul
       God in the Alley: Being and Seeing Jesus in a Broken World by Greg Paul
       Finding Our Way Again: The Return of the Ancient Practices by Brian McLaren
       Rejesus: A Wild Missiah for a Missional Church by Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch
       Listening to the Beliefs of Emerging Churches: Five Perspectives by Mark Driscoll, John Burke, Dan Kimball , Doug Pagitt, Karen Ward and Robert Webber
       Search & Rescue: Becoming a Disciple Who Makes a Difference (Hardcover) by Neil Cole (Author)
       11: Indispensable Relationships You Can't Be Without (Hardcover) by Leonard Sweet
       The Vision And The Vow: Re-Discovering Life and Grace (Paperback) by Pete Greig
       Beyond the Emerging Church: The End and the Beginning of a Movement (Paperback) by Thomas Hohstadt (Author)
       Soul Revolution: How Imperfect People Become All God Intended (Paperback), John Burke  Review Burke, founder of       Gateway Church in Austin, Tex., and author of No Perfect People Allowed, asks powerful questions in his second book: “What drives us to strive so hard? What are we really after? What do we long for?” Burke believes our deepest longings are fulfilled through relationships with God and others, and he provides a way to create those relationships through a 60-day experiment in faith. He says that willingness is the key to staying connected to God at least once every 60 minutes for 60 days. His book offers a roadmap for the “60-60 Experiment” through loving God, loving people, building character and demonstrating God's love to the world. Burke uses Bible texts and real-life examples liberally, as well as action steps with each chapter to make principles personal. He encourages accountability, yet eschews traditional groups that encourage participants to “try harder” because “we can never become all that God intends just by trying harder.” Connecting to God creates genuine change, he says. This is a thorough, well-written and challenging book. (Oct.) — Publishers Weekly  
       The Fidelity of Betrayal: Towards a Church Beyond Belief (Paperback) by Peter Rollins
       Mandate to Difference: An Invitation to the Contemporary Church (Paperback) by Walter Brueggemann
       A Vision of the Possible (Paperback) by Daniel Sinclair
       Planting Mission-Shaped Churches Today (Paperback) by Martin Robinson
       Becoming the Answer to Our Prayers: Prayer for Ordinary Radicals (Audio CD) by Shane Claiborne and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove
       Re-Mission: Biblical Mission for a PostBiblical Church (Paperback) by Andrew Perriman
       The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith by Timothy Keller
       The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better (Hardcover)  by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett I first heard about this book back in September 2009 when Thom Hartmann commented on it on his radio show. I found the book  to be chock full of useful  material for sermons.
       Inhabiting the Church: Biblical Wisdom for a New Monasticism (New Monastic Library: Resources for Radical Discipleship) by Jon R. Stock, et al.
       Follow Me to Freedom: Leading As an Ordinary Radical  by John Perkins and Shane Claiborne
       So Beautiful: Divine Design for Life and the Church (Paperback) by Leonard Sweet Ph.D
       The Orthodox Heretic: And Other Impossible Tales (Hardcover) by Peter Rollins
       Ubuntu: I in You and You in Me (Paperback) by Michael Battle, Desmond Tutu (Foreword)
       Ancient-Future Evangelism: Making Your Church a Faith-Forming Community [Paperback] | Robert E. Webber (Author)| From the Back Cover |How can evangelism produce not only converts but also disciples who grow in faith and become active members of the church? In Ancient-Future Evangelism, Robert Webber presents a model of evangelism and discipleship firmly rooted in Scripture, attested to in the history of the church, and authentic to the postmodern world in which we live. Webber surveys evangelism throughout the centuries, tracing the development of the ancient process of Christian formation. He translates that process for the twenty-first century, presenting four stages-conversion, discipleship, spiritual formation, and Christian vocation-that can easily be adapted to various church traditions. He also suggests three practical rites of passage to accompany this "ancient-future" practice of making disciples. Webber then underscores how the four-fold process of faith formation is interwoven with three theological themes: Christ as victor over evil, the church as witness to God's salvation, and worship as a witness to God's mission accomplished in Jesus. "A simplistic and reductionistic understanding of salvation has led to an obsession with conversion to the detriment of discipleship. Robert Webber provides a helpful framework to all who desire a deeper perspective on this significant subject. Every Christian disturbed by the lack of depth in the church should read Ancient-Future Evangelism."- Appianda Arthur, president, Global Leaders Initiative, Colorado Springs Robert E. Webber is Myers Professor of Ministry at Northern Seminary and the president of the Institute for Worship Studies. He is the author of a number of books, including Ancient-Future Faith.

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