Quick Poll: Best Books to Shape Contextual Ecclesiology

Written by Mark Van Steenwyk : August 9, 2006

I get to teach a course on applied ecclesiology again this year at Bethel Seminary. Last year I used Frost and Hirsch’s The Shaping of Things to Come, Craig Van Gelder’s The Essence of the Church, Alan Roxburgh’s The Missionary Congregation, Leadership, & Liminality, and David Fitch’s The Great Giveaway. This time around, I want to change up the readings. I’m definitely going to leave Van Gelder’s book out of the mix this year. It’s a great book but most of my students are decidedly low-church and Van Gelder’s book is more applicable to mainline folks. Any suggestions?

for further reading . . .

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8 Responses to “Quick Poll: Best Books to Shape Contextual Ecclesiology”

  1. b-nut on August 10th, 2006 3:48 am

    I’ll give the book question a think…but I really just wanted to let you know that I am home now and that I am not playing ‘hard to get’…at least for a week. See you soon neighbor.

  2. Nick Kennicott on August 10th, 2006 9:11 am

    If you can teach McLaren without endorsing everything he stands for as of late, I would reccommend “Church on the Other Side” - Also, I know it’s not a class on Church planting, but “Planting Missional Churches” by Dr. Ed Stetzer is very good and talks a ton about contextual ecclesiology.

  3. Laura on August 10th, 2006 12:53 pm

    Have you considered Darrell Guder’s Missional Church?

    I’m finishing it up right now. It covers both ecclesiology and North American cultural considerations.

  4. JVD on August 10th, 2006 9:59 pm

    An Unstoppable Force - Erwin McManus

    As a comment on the McLaren book, that book seemed to be repackaged to make it more ‘postmodern’ not a bad work, but the update was not impressive. JVD

  5. Kyle Potter on August 11th, 2006 7:54 am

    Haha, hopefully using a book in a course would never imply a full “endorsement” of anything.

    I loved Guder’s Continuing Conversion of the Church.

  6. Van S on August 11th, 2006 3:41 pm

    I’m wondering which would be better between “Missional Church” and “Continuing Conversion of the CHurch.” Guder had his hand in both books, but I’m not sure which would be better for a sort of theological intro to missional ecclesiology.

  7. Laura on August 11th, 2006 10:31 pm

    I’ve not read Continuing Conversion, so I cannot speak to that book. Two points in favor of Missional Church: the book was written as a truly collaborative effort by writers from very different Christian traditions, yet there is a clear consistency and consensus. Also, they do a good job of laying cultural and theological groundwork for the principles and suggestions at the end of the book.

    So, that’s my two cents.

  8. Kyle on August 16th, 2006 9:30 am

    I’ve only read a little of Missional Church, and I found Continuing Conversion to be less technical and easier to read - which is why I finished that one. *blushes*

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