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Stirred, Not Shaken: Themes For An Emerging Generation [Paperback]

By Mark Feldmeir (Author)
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Item Number 136064  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   149
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.76" Width: 5.9" Height: 0.43"
Weight:   0.59 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 28, 2005
Publisher   Chalice Press
ISBN  0827234597  
EAN  9780827234598  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
As fewer and fewer GenXers and Millennials fill the pews of mainline churches, those who seek to speak to them are faced with three possibilities: write off these generations as lost and unreachable, which the church has done with great success over the last two decades; attempt to become more "relevant" with "fill-in-the-blank" sermons, which has proven little lasting success; or exegete the culture of these generations in order to discover the points of intersections between their stories and the story of Jesus. Mark Feldmeir shows preachers how to do just that. Feldmeir, himself a GenXer, argues for four hermeneutical themes that preachers would do well to explore with clarity and intention as they seek to speak to the emerging generations of GenXers and Millennials (those born in 1968 or later). These themes are ambiguity, suffering, reconciliation, and legacy. Feldmeir explores each theme both culturally and biblically, offering glimpses of how these themes are expressed through music, art, film, literature, and pop culture, and in the life of Jesus. He follows each thematic development with several model sermons to support and strengthen his argument.

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Preaching   [1493  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Sermons   [1585  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Faith is more than a feeling...  Dec 15, 2006

This book is intended to be a guide for those who preach in a post-modern culture. The author offers insights about what message will reach the GenX listener, to stir their hearts but not shake them up. The author seeks to answer the question, "What does it feel like to follow Christ in a post-Christian culture?"

The standout words in that question are 'feel like'. Is our message based on feelings? (Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!) While faith may include feeling, faith is much more than a feeling or set of feelings or lack thereof--Christian faith is believing in Jesus and doing His will, whether we 'feel like' it (which we often do) or not (which is also often the case). So, I think the author is on to something but he stumbled on it almost accidentally, in his assumptions, which are betrayed, in his use of the phrase 'feel like'.

His book is arranged around four key issues: Ambiguity, Suffering, Transformation and Reconciliation.

By Ambiguity the author means the juxtaposition of Christian faith and a culture that is antithetic or apathetic to it. While this is not a new theme (think for instance of the early Christians being persecuted by the Roman Empire, or the fledgling Protestant movement under attack by its opponents) it feels like something new to some. The reality is, Christians have always been called upon to live their faith even if the people around them are hedonistic, amoral and godless. A church that is faithful will say to all, not just to the GenXer but all, "It may not feel like it is good to stand out from such a crowd, but Jesus calls us to do just that, every day."

What about Suffering? Can it be that in the 21st Century Christians are still saying, "Don't ask me to suffer, Lord, because that is what you came to do for me--I expect to get from the cradle to the grave happy, healthy, un-harried and unscathed."? Apparently so. But the truth of the matter, which was spoken and incarnated by Dietrich Bonhoffer in the 1930s, is that "When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die." Suffering is part of the human condition and the core of Christian obedience. Suffering cannot be avoided, no matter how much one may insulate one's self from the world and its ways. Not if one wants to answer faithfully the question, "What Would Jesus Do?"

Transformation is what Christian faith is all about. We are to be transformed from unrepentant sinners to servants and friends of Jesus. This takes pain, work, prayer, persistence, stumbling and getting up again, listening, learning, growth, giving up one's preconceived notions and, yes, everyone's least favorite word: change. People who don't like these sorts of things (that would be all people on earth) do them, whether they feel like it or not, in order to be true to the Gospel.

Reconciliation is the theme of the Presbyterian Church (USA)'s Confession of 1967, a thoughtful and powerful statement of faith that would serve many Christians well, were more church members and clergy to read and apply it, no matter what their corner of Christianity might be.

As you see, the concerns Feldmer addresses prompted some dialogue on my part. Perhaps it will have a similar effect on you should you choose to read it.

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