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Coffeehouse Theology: Reflecting on God in Everyday Life [Paperback]

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Item Number 90349  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   233
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.18" Width: 6.32" Height: 0.64"
Weight:   0.55 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 29, 2008
Publisher   Nav Press
ISBN  1600062776  
EAN  9781600062773  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
SUBTITLE: Reflections on God in Everyday Life

Publishers Description
Theology should breathe life and unity among God's people, but today's culture creates a barrier of ignorance and misunderstanding in the study of God. Author Ed Cyzewski seeks to build a method for theology that is rooted in a relationship with God and thrives on dialogue.

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More About Ed Cyzewski

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Ed Cyzewski obtained his MDiv from the Biblical Theological Seminary. During his studies there, he began to investigate the new things God is doing in the church, including Christianity's interaction with postmodernism, and has been seeking ways to help the church thrive in a shifting culture. He blogs on theology at and on writing at He also serves as the chair of the Northshire Nonprofit Network.

Ed Cyzewski was born in 1979.

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General   [31520  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General   [8607  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
The Best Introductory Text to Contemporary Theological Issues  Nov 12, 2009
In Coffeehouse Theology: Reflecting on God in Everyday Life, Ed Cyzewski offers a welcoming introduction to how laity should begin to work out theology and doctrine in a postmodern context. Providing a succinct and fast-paced introduction to the cultural changes that have shifted the way Americans think from The Modern Age to the plethora of possibilities that make up our current cultural context, Cyzewski navigates the turbulence of contemporary philosophical discussions and misinformation and enters into a stirring discussion of how every member of the Church must do theology and not know theology.

At the center of this book is the shift from "knowledge" to "understanding." Whereas the Scientific Method has influenced our culture to think in terms of data, knowledge and absolute Truth the postmodern age does not question the veracity of these claims but instead the knowability of such claims---in other words, Cyzewski works out the "postmodern age" much like the postmodern philosophers since the 1950s would want it to be: a realization that we cannot know everything so we must be humble. When we do theology contextually, that is by being humble enough to realize that we are biased by our culture and our traditions and that there are different biases and different traditions in other cultures, we move from the battle of knowing doctrine and to a conversation like one would have in a coffeehouse (civil, polite, understanding, and loving). As Cyzewski notes,

"Doing theology in a postmodern context challenges us to read Scripture with an awareness of how our culture influences who we are and how we see the world, while dialoguing with Christians from history and around the world. This process involves reading Scripture, and then rereading Scripture in light of what our traditions and global believers teach us."

At its worse, the framework for theological conversations since the Reformation has not been ecumenical but divisive, and Cyzewski is right to call the Church to task for conducting its theological discussion as a fight and not as a coffeehouse conversation. Cyzewski reminds us that, "if love for God and for one another guides us while we form theology, then we will be wary of accumulating knowledge as a matter of pride." This forms the paradox of theology in the postmodern context as opposed to The Modern Age, and gets to the heart of the shaking science-based foundations on which Modernism approached theology:

in the Modern Age more theology meant more knowledge and more divisiveness.
in the Postmodern age more theology means more understanding and more love.

As the belief that man can obtain all knowledge is slowly thrown into the wastebasket of intellectual history, we are reminded that in our humility we should look at theology not as a finite project, one that will lead us to all knowledge concerning God and the Church, but as an infinite project where "contextual theology ends up being an ongoing process, a conversation we have between the Bible and the influences of our culture, traditions, and global Christians."

Informally written, well paced, and easy to digest, I sincerely recommend Coffeehouse Theology as an excellent introduction to theology in a postmodern context and especially for book clubs or small group meetings. It is sure to spark excellent conversations about how to have theological conversations!
Great Contextual Theology Book!!!  Jul 7, 2009
Book Review: Coffee House Theology by Ed Cyzewski

Coffee House Theology is a wonderful book that engages a conversation with the postmodern Christian mind in asking questions about theology. I felt it was more of an introduction to contextual theology than an in-depth study. It left me wanting more depth from this writer. The book gave a clear description of what contextual theology is about... I love this statement "Our local settings and cultural values-in other words, our context-influence how we read God's Word." Pg. 19 The Global viewpoint of our view on God and scripture was insightful. On pg. 62 Ed raises an important point about culture, "Every culture has opportunities and challenges."

The author Ed Cyzewski (MDiv Biblical Theological Seminary, BA Taylor University) is a freelance writer and speaker who has contributed to numerous magazines and book projects. He blogs at the Christian Post, as well as his personal blogs on writing [...] and theology ([...].

My favorite chapter was Chapter 3 titled "Mission why the church needs theology" by far is worth the price of the book. I love this excerpt taken from pg 34--"Instead of asking how we can get people to church, mission asks how we can get church to the people." It would be great for the author to write a book using only Chapter 3!

To compare The Andy Griffith Show to the Real World on MTV was a great analogy of how modern and postmodern viewpoints exist and clash. I was challenged to reinvent the way I dialogue with nonbelievers in this new postmodern world. I appreciated his clarity in that sometimes the Word of God will be prophetic and go against the grain of culture. The goal as stated on pg. 101 was to be relevant and prophetic. I had to repent from this truthful statement "We can't hope to keep the church precisely like its early predecessors anymore than we can keep bell-bottoms or togas in style."

Being a conservative orthodox Christian I had concerns over several liberal ecumenical undertones. Chapter 11 dealing with catholic and charismatic experiences was for me extrabiblical. I would not discount the book for this as I believe the church needs to begin dialogue in a postmodern world today more than ever! This book begins that needed discussion. The end of every chapter had a web link to the author's blog to further study that chapter out...that is just too cool!

Jason Rigby
Tired of Systematic Theology books? Read this.  Jul 2, 2009
Recently a friend pointed me to NavPress suggesting that I might write a review on a new book they published called, Coffeehouse Theology. The last thing I wanted was to read another systematic theology book, but as I looked closer I recognized that this was a book about the study/need/role of theology in our lives, and not another book full of it. I thought it might provide me the opportunity to process some of my systematic angst so I asked them to send me a copy. The book has helped me process, so has the author.

What I want, maybe need in my journey more than authoritative experts are people that will be sincere, honest, and humble. I found that the author, Ed Cyzewski, fit this description. We have had several discussions about what he wrote, what he didn't write, and what others have written down. This book really does a good job at helping a student understand what has already taken place in the study of God and lays out hope for a healthy steps moving forward.

One of the best things this book offers its readers is the chance to understand contextual theology, of really coming to terms with how the environment impacts a readers understanding of scripture. Ed also does a fantastic job of walking through the major cultural changes throughout history and explains in a simple way of how those shifts have impacted our theological understanding and practices. Finally, Ed ends the book with great examples of how we need conversation, diversity, and love permeating our study. Without it we just have dogma, and I think that study has taken us just about as far as it can.

Grab some friends, a few copies of the book and get yourself out to a coffee shop today. Ed's given you some great food to digest as you fellowship together.
Great book on today's hot topics!  May 18, 2009
Great resource guide for how Christians can respond to today's hot topics. We used it for an Adult Bible Study group on Sunday mornings at our church - purchased a copy for each person/couple. Each topic includes viewpoints from 3-4 resources, including biblical references, followed by the author's perspective, and some good discussion questions. Perfect for small group discussions or a mid-sized group to generate an exchange from various viewpoints, linking current social and political issues with the bible.
Great Overview of Contextual Theology  May 4, 2009
I was really prepared not to like Ed Cyzewski's Coffeehouse Theology, Reflecting on God in Everyday Life. I don't even really know why. I guess I just wasn't in the mood to read a theology book. Theology literally means "words about God." Theology books come in two main types: books that tell you words about God and books that help you with a framework for your own words about God. This is the latter. I wasn't expecting that and I have to say I was pretty impressed. The author has not broken any new ground in this book, but he does a pretty amazing job of introducing the concept of contextual theology in a way that I believe is understandable to the average lay person.

Contextual Theology makes some people nervous. They believe that it has to do with changing the message of the gospel and scripture to match the current context. Cyzewski clearly points out that we can't help but contextualize our understanding of God. We all see God through some "cultural lens" and if we better understand that lens, we are better equipped to understanding how it shapes and/or distorts our image of God.

Many of us want to read and trust scripture as it is, but we fool ourselves if we don't believe that our understanding of God and our reading of scripture is affected by the fact that we are Americans living in 2009. If we truly want to do justice to what God is trying to teach us; if we really want to do theology, we need to come to terms with what we bring to the table. We can't just expect to leave who we are behind while we enter God's presence and then pick it up on the way out. "Christians who claim to be separated from culture face the danger of not noticing its influence on their thinking." (p.122)

I don't know if the author would agree, but I see his methodology as very Wesleyan. As United Methodists, we believe that we bring three things to the table when we study scripture: tradition, experience and reason. Cyzewski speaks instead of a "web of beliefs." (p 104.) He mostly focuses on the tradition part and experience and reason, in his model, become context. The main point of agreement here is that we never do theology or study scripture in a vacuum. Theology is a conversation with voices past and voices present.

There is a discussion guide available for the book. I think that would be a fantastic group study. Theology is a conversation. This would be a great conversation starter.

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