I just want to mention a few books of interest.
Pagan Christianity, by Frank Viola and George Barna. This is an update of Viola’s former book that is receiving mainline attention despite its hard-hitting message of God’s original design and intention for his church. The thesis: “Most of what present-day Christians do in church each Sunday is rooted, not in the New Testament, but in pagan culture and rituals developed long after the death of the apostles.” A must read because of its well-documented message and broad circulation.
The New Conspirators, by Tom Sine. Sine takes a look at what he calls “a new generation of conspirators that won’t be satisfied with anything less than an authentic faith that makes a real difference in the lives of others…” He gives many examples of people (mostly young) who are re-imagining the form and shape of today’s church dividing them into four categories: emerging, missional, mosaic, and monastic. Sine challenges us to become creative in “giving imaginative expression to God’s new creation in the here and now.”
UnChristian, by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons. This book looks at the negative perceptions that are commonly held of Christians. “The primary reason outsiders feel hostile toward Christians… is not because of any specific theological perspective. What they react negatively to is our ‘swagger,’ how we go about things and the sense of self-importance we project.” The authors document the most common perceptions of present-day Christianity: judgmental, old-fashioned, too involved in politics, insensitive, boring, confusing, and more. This book is an excellent mirror for anyone who wants to engage our culture in a way that allows people to see the real Jesus.