The Emerging Church conversation is, to say the least, a complicated phenomenon. The whole things has emerged almost simultaneously in various part of the globe during the past decades or so. Stuart Murray describes it as “an explosion from the grass roots”. As part of my PhD research I’ve come across countless attempts to define what is going on, some good and some not so good. A few common misconceptions are:

1. That Emerging Church is all about youth church
2. That its only a North American phenomenon
3. That its mostly concerned with postmodern epistemology, theological revision or edgy forms of worship
4. That its only a passing fad (it may be transitory, but a fad – its way more deeper than that!) 

 

Well, anyway, I’ve tried to compile a list of (in my opinion) essential reading for understanding what is going on. And by the way, if you really want to get your head around this thing, a lot of it has been happening on blogs and webcommunities for almost a decade now. I’ve listed some good places to start in my blogroll and links section. Oh, yeah, and heres my top 25 books (in no particular order):

1. The church in emerging culture, by Leonard Sweet (Editor)
2. The church on the other side, by Brian McLaren 
3. The Emerging Church, by Dan Kimball 
4. Houses that changed the world, Wolfgang Simson 
5. Organic Church, Neil Cole 
6. emergingchurch.intro, by Michael Moynagh 
7. Post-Christendom, by Stuart Murray 
8. Church after Christendom, by Stuart Murray 
9. Remebering our Future, by Andrew Walker and Luke Bretherton 
10. The new conspirators, by Tom Sine 
11. Listening to the beliefs of emerging churches, by Robert Webber 
12. An emergent manifesto of hope, Doug Pagitt and Tony Jones
13. A generous orthodoxy, Brian McLaren 
14. The complex Christ, Kester Brewin
15. Alternative Worship, Jonny Baker, Doug Gay and Jenny Brown
16. The great emergence, Phyllis Tickle
17. Liquid church, Pete Ward
18. Exiles, Michael Frost
19. The forgotten ways, Alan Hirsch 
20. The shaping of the things to come, Alan Hirsch and Michael Frost
21. Emerging Churches, by Eddie Gibbs and Ryan Bolger 
22. The out of bounds church?, by Steve Taylor
23. The Post-evangelical, by Dave Tomlinson
24. The McDonaldization of the church, John Drane 
25. The prodigal project, by Mike Riddell, Mark Pierson and Cathy Kirkpatrick

Well, these are some of the books that have shaped my understanding of the phenomenon. What you say, which ones have I left out that you would like to add to the list?

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