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Out Of Bounds Church(emergent Ys) [Paperback]

By Taylor Steve (Author)
Our Price $ 14.44  
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Item Number 55245  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   176
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.99" Width: 6.02" Height: 0.46"
Weight:   0.52 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 28, 2005
Publisher   Zondervan Publishing
ISBN  0310259045  
EAN  9780310259046  
UPC  025986259044  

Availability  0 units.

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Item Description...
A creative and thorough exploration of what it can mean to be church in a postmodern world. This book ?posts? back from the creative edge of the emerging church. Weaving the life and liturgy of emergent Christian groups with biblical reflection and the riches of the Christian tradition, you?ll start to see what?s happening not only in your own backyard, but across the globe.

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More About Taylor Steve

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Taylor is the founding pastor of Graceway Baptist Church, in Ellerslie, New Zealand. He is completing a Ph.D. on the emerging church and has a first class Masters in Theology in communicating the cross in a postmodern world.

Steve Taylor was born in 1968.

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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 Out of Bounds Church - Writing from the Border Country  Oct 25, 2005
Given that you have eyes to see, and given that you are reading something of the world in which you live, Steve Taylor's opening statement, "We live on the fault lines of widespread cultural change," won't come as any kind of surprise, nor will the resultant challenges we face as churches in our, at once, global / local ("glocal") contexts.

Taylor writes, from within the church, both gathered and dispersed. He writes, as he himself says, from the "border country" between church and culture, and has an obvious commitment to ensuring that "the postmodern or emerging church" doesn't become "a fad." He contributes to this aim by articulating a missiology of the emerging church and by offering "theological resources to nourish, deepen, sustain, and strengthen what God is breathing."

That said; I would be concerned if mention of the so-called "postmodern or emerging church" limited this book's audience. It has wide appeal and usefulness beyond this particular church grouping.

Taylor writes with his senses attuned to "what's going on out there." He writes in order to help us do what Olive and John Drane (in one of the two forewords to this book) describe as finding "new ways of expressing and celebrating Christian faith in a world that is increasingly interested in spiritual meaning, whether that is demonstrated in the search for life-giving ways of nourishing [their] own lives, or as a concern about the apparently destructive capabilities of spiritual fanaticism."

They write (and I wholeheartedly agree) that Taylor's book "will speak to all who share these concerns, and do so in innovative ways that draw us deeper into the gospel story, and consequently, closer to Christ."

Taylor's book offers his readers a series of "postcards":

Postcards 1 & 2, "Beyond Romeo & Juliet", and "Edges of Culture."

Here we find commentary on the societal / cultural changes themselves and what some of those changes might mean for churches wanting to `gospel' Jesus Christ faithfully and creatively. His use of the contrast provided by Franco Zeffarelli's 1968 version of "Romeo & Juliet and Baz Luhrmann's 1996 version of the same movie, is compelling.

Postcards 3 and 4 ("Koru Theology" & "Creativity Downloaded").

The second set of postcards help us to think about and explore the metaphors of "beginnings," "birth," and "midwifery." They also remind us that God is Creator, and therefore the source of creativity, artistry, and re-creation. Taylor uses these postcards as a means of exploring, both the beginnings of possible responses to cultural change, and also in order to talk about birthing the kinds of communities that will fruitfully communicate and embody Christianity in the cultural milieu of our day.

Postcards 5, 6, 7, and 8 ("Spiritual Tourism" (traditionally rendered "pilgrimage"), "Redemptive Portals," "Missional Interface," and "Culture Samplers"

These offer possibilities and content for any church congregation seeking to become mission-shaped. There's much on offer: tourist spirituality, spiritual tourism at gathered worship, creativity as consumptive product, navigable space, souvenirs, spirituality2go, building community, pegging communities, ethical communities, festival spirituality, postmodern monasteries, DJ'ing and the sampling of biblical txt and culture, and ideas for creating well-lit pathways from church in the world, to church as a particular community being formed and shaped by the biblical txt, by sacraments, by Christian practices, and by God in their midst.

Postcard 9 ("Keep the Home Fire's Burning").

Recounts a wonderful story from Outback Australia and reminds us, in what is the final postcard, that "Ours is the task of being Christians today and following Jesus into the future." He tells us "we can't go back [but we can keep the fires of our Christian tradition alive]. We can't delegate. All we can do is be responsive to the wind of God [God's presence] in our culture. And that wind is inviting us to playfully birth redemptive communities of Christian faith that will confidently DJ, extending spiritual tourism to [Baz] Luhrmann's world. All we have is faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of these is love."

So, in the end, it's an innovative book. It does well at weaving together and engaging afresh with the metaphors, symbols, and narratives of Scripture and culture. It is a book that expresses, celebrates, and creatively gives away Christian faith. It is a book that will nourish Christian faith and encourage us to join in on what God is doing in the world. It is also a book that will helpfully provoke, prod, and invite us to step "out of bounds" in order to recover something of what it means for the gospel, centred on Jesus Christ, to again be a source of creativity, innovation, new-birth, passion, redemptive-freedom, and life in the much changed landscape of what many, myself included, would describe as the post-Christendom Western world.

My hope is that a thoughtful engagement, with "The Out of Bounds Church" in one hand, and the biblical narrative in the other, will help Jesus-followers to wonder and imagine how God might be inviting new and existing expressions of church to faithfully enact, embody, and communicate unchanging "good news" in a changed and still changing world.

I found it extremely useful in helping me to stretch, think, dream, and act in response to my invitation to follow Jesus into the midst of a landscape that is not the sixties into which I was born.

In its `weight class' I rate it very highly.
What's Going On Out There?  May 20, 2005
What do DJs, tourists, and postmodern philosophers have to do with church? Apparently quite a bit. This recent book by Steve Taylor, a pastor in New Zealand, is subtitled "Learning to Create a Community of Faith in a Culture of Change." Mr. Taylor draws from Karl Barth's comment about the task of preaching being to sit with the newspaper in one hand and the Bible in the other. "I sit on the fault lines of a cultural shift. In my right hand, I hold a video remote. In my left hand, I hold the gospel of Jesus... Ours is the task of communicating the gospel in an age of change." (19)

The book is in some sense a blueprint for how the church, or Christian communities, can apply the gospel to the changing culture. Each chapter is a postcard from an emerging church somewhere in the world. Each postcard highlights some activity that reflects the goals of emerging churches. Throughout the book there are also comments by different people in the margins that expand, footnote, or softly critique what Mr. Taylor writes.

Postcard 1 really sets the stage for the rest of the book. Mr. Taylor draws out the differences between Frank Zeffarelli's 1968 Romeo and Juliet and Baz Luhrmann's 1996 Romeo and Juliet. Each sought to translate Shakespeare's text into contemporary culture. The implication is that the gospel has not changed, but the culture has, and in order to communicate it effectively we need to re-translate it.

Mr. Taylor offers different perspectives on how this can be done. One is to view the church has continually being reborn. "If God is about birthing-and rebirthing-and we are to be about the things of God, then we, too, are called to acts that bring new life into the world." (50) "The belief in God's constant re-creation drives much of the merging church. IT is less a reaction against old forms and ideas and more a response to God's call for us to join in with the continuous birthing of his kingdom." (56)

Another approach offered is tourist spirituality. "Tourism can serve as a redemptive framework for postmodern mission, in which people are `tourists' on spiritual journeys and the church operates as `tour guide,' stimulating forward movement and nourishing the quest." (83)

Perhaps the most interesting and telling perspective is that of cultural sampling, applying the activities of DJs to the role of the church. For Mr. Taylor this means playing television commercials, popular music, showing art, reading poetry, reading scripture, and much more.

There were a number of things I liked about this book and several I didn't like. Usually I fall on liking a book or disliking it. I think Steve Taylor makes some good points about communicating the gospel in a global culture that is almost entirely different than it was 10 years ago.

His analysis of where the modern church is lacking is accurate in several areas. One that I appreciated was that of the place of art in a worship service. For some reason, we tend to consider the reading of scripture, liturgies, and songs as the only legitimate forms of worship in service. However, if God gave us abilities for creativity, it seems those would be appropriate for the worship from Christ's Bride as well. Mr. Taylor also has some good theological points that should not be missed, e.g. "Spiritual seekers can fall into the trap of picking and choosing a feel-good theology that doesn't have anything to do with the truth of living life with God." (82)

Contrary to what many critics of the emerging churches have argued, the Bible plays a role in Mr. Taylor's view of church. In many of his theological points he seeks to route his claims in the words of scripture. There are, however, a few problems with how scripture is used. One is its role in service, in which a few services that he describes leave the Bible mitigated to either being one voice among many voices (154) or having no role at all (55). Another problem is the way Mr. Taylor exegetes scripture. The most prominent example is his use of 1 Peter 3:1-7, which he uses to argue that Peter was "sampling from culture and from the way of Jesus." (141) Mr. Taylor assumes, without argument, that some of Peter's imperatives for how husbands and wives relate are items from the culture, and this enables him to dismiss several elements of what Peter says because "our world is not Peter's world" (143).

In contrast to Brian McLaren's A Generous Orthodoxy, this was a far more interesting read and a far more accurate description of what's going on in emerging churches. For anyone looking to find out what emerging church is all about, this is the book to read. It exemplifies the changes in methods for presenting the gospel that are happening, however, it never clearly presents the gospel. Mr. Taylor tells us we must remain orthodox and true to God, but what that means is wrapped up in metaphors of birthing and incarnation that are unclear at points. This is not a defense of emerging churches. However, it's mostly accurate as a description of the emerging church.

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