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Alan Hirsch responds to Dan Kimball

12 Dec

Here   responding to this

For the Record I think both are right…Because we live in an interesting time. But the Crux of the argument is Missional V. Attractional (but not really because Dan is Missional as well)..anyhoo I just love this quote from Alan:

If we stick with the prevailing measures, we will miss the level of incarnational engagement with quantitative measures alone. How do we measure that? Incarnation takes time and loving presence (witness) among a people. Working with post-Christian folks ain’t easy because we have lost our credibility and have to work darn hard to regain it. I think there is much work to do here.

You have no idea how that resonates with a pastor in an urban area that is post-Christian, and post-American in a lot of senses (i.e. people from Sierra Leonne do not respond to the same things as Middle Class Americans).  It resonates because we are committed to reaching this community no matter how long it takes and whether we are sucessful according to someone else’s abacus or not.

Alan ends by saying:

The only other thing I will say is that we as believers, live by a vision of what can be…we cannot allow ourselves to be constrained by pragmatics alone. Vision precludes that and is driven by holy discontent to see a greater manifestation of the Kingdom.





The Tangible Kingdom

1 May

I am reading the Tangible Kingdom by Hugh Halter and Matt Smay.  Like Hirsch’s “The Forgotten Ways” it is one of those books that totally blows you paradigm.  I am loving it.  I have this dream for American where the church abandons rote Americanism and truly begins to pursue Jesus again.  This book gives a glimpse of what it would look like for that to happen.  Beyond that if you want to know how unique this book is consider the fact that on the back it is endorsed by both Driscoll and McLaren.

A Book tag From LayGuy…

8 Jan

One book that changed your life.

There are several to choose from but I think I will go with “A Theology as Big as The City” By Ray Bakke. (and the Radical Reformission, and the CCDA handbook by John Perkins, and Grace Matters by Chris Rice)

One book you’ve read more than once.

There are all kinds of books I have read more than once, including everything by John Grisham…but in the non-fiction realm I would say “The Forgotten Ways,” by Alan Hirsh, which by the way also changed my life! It completely captured my heart and reignited my vision…Reading this book was like waking up from amnesia for me…I was trapped in all the crap of church and this book helped me to remember who I was and who God was….

One book you’d want on a desert island.

Most of what I read is ministry related…and if I am stuck on a desert Island alone I will not need those…(it is hard to be missional when you are alone). I think that on the Island and excepting the Bible I think I would choose something light, so I am going to break the rules and bring the “Sackett” series by Western author Louis L’amour and “To Kill a Mocking Bird” by Harper Lee .

Two books that made you laugh.

Let’s see this is once again a bit obscure perhaps but they should not be. A guy named Bill Butterworth wrote two books: “Butterworth Gets his Life Together” and “Butterworth Takes a Vacation”, they are very funny.

Oh and the “Pineapple Story” by a missionary in New Guinea..he came to my church when I was little, it is funny and convicting …Parts of the “Gospel Blimp” are ironically funny too.

One book that made you cry.

How is this for indecisive: The are no Children here by Alex Kotlowitz , The Corner by David Simon and Edward Burns, Ordinary Resurrections, Letters to a Young Teacher, Amazing Grace and Savage Inequalities by Jonathan Kozal…and probably a bunch of others…

One book that you wish had been written

“Pastoring Successful and Missional Multiethnic Churches in the Godwin Heights Neighborhood of Wyoming Michigan in 3 Easy Steps.”

One book that you wish had never been written.

Anything by Tim Lahaye, with the exception of the tome he wrote on the joys of “marital bliss” if ya know what I mean, and even that one only gets a pass because he decided against working that scary left behind theme into his sex manual. (Though in my opinion this would be an extra scary time to be “Left Behind,” busy one minute, naked and alone the next…frightening.)

One book that you’re currently reading.

I am always reading a bunch at’s the ADD in me…But I am reading “Organic Church” by Neil Cole the most.

One book you’ve been meaning to read.

Unceasing Worship by Harold Best, I own it, I just have not yet read it.

Be Subversive

28 Dec

I am temporarily abandoning my pursuit of the writing project below. Not because I do not feel it is worthy, as I certainly do, but because I feel as though there are things that are more worthy. I have decided to put my energy into leading and loving a truly missional church. While the other would have been fun and in some sense constructive I am not sure it would be more constructive then spending the bulk of my time trying to introduce post-Christians to the one thing they really need: Jesus. I am just feeling a real call right now to living out a radical Christology. I am excited and called greatly to the concept that Christianity rightly understood and lived looks little like the model that good ole’ Constantine has foisted upon us. I am tired of hearing people argue for the mainstream nature of Christianity. Christianity that is in any sense mainstream has lost it’s true power and center. We follow a King who after all challenged people to deny themselves and take up their cross, he them took up a cross himself and for us died there, he also you might remember rose from the dead. None of these things fit well into mainstream American life. I do not want to be mainstream, I want to be subversive. The truth is that Jesus is incompatible with so much of our American lives, not only that he is a threat to them. Allegiance to anything apart from Christ must be questioned. In this sense Jesus and his kingdom are a threat to the rule and the reign of our day (they understood this once upon a time and killed him for it). He is also a threat to our naturalism, subjectivism and consumerism (and a host of other ism’s). All of these must be taken down. I don’t want a mainstream faith I want a subversive one! The joy of it all is that this subversive faith has been at the center of missional movements for all of Christian history, see the apostolic church (the real one with Peter and Paul, not the oneness petecostal posse) or the Chinese Church for instance. They live out a subversive, faith and people meet Jesus, really that is all I want to be about.

On that note I recommend this book “The Forgotten Ways

Radically yours,