Closing the book on 2007

Have you wrapped up your reading for 2007?

What was your favourite book for the year?

Mine would have to be Exiles: Living Missionally in a Post-Christian Culture by Michael Frost.

We live in a time when more followers of Jesus are living outside the church than ever before. People who are still very keen to follow Christ are giving up on going to church. Frost asks why this is happening and looks at new ways of creating authentic communities of faith.

Earlier this year I had the pleasure of interviewing Michael Frost about the book and we looked at just what is meant by the term post-Christian culture. We also talked about Mike’s use of the term exiles. Are we really exiled in a foreign culture? How do we thrive in a post-Christian culture while staying faithful to Jesus? How much should we engage with the current culture? How much do we stand up against the existing culture?

My interview was broadcast on 98.5 Sonshine FM. You can listen to the interview by clicking the play button on the audio player below.

Also this year I interviewed Alan Hirsch about his current book, The Forgotten Ways. I still haven’t finished reading it and so I’m looking forward to some more good reading over the next little while. It may well be next year’s favourite read.

So I guess that 2008 will start with reading the rest of The Forgotten Ways and then getting stuck into a range of other bits and pieces.

One of the books I’m hoping to read is Shantaram a novel by Gregory David Roberts. It’s set in India and is about the size of a house. While I’m not normally one to tackle such large books, I’ve read too many good reviews to ignore it. I’ve read reports from several people who booked tickets to visit India simply due to the picture painted through the book.

I’m also looking forward to getting stuck into Messy Spirituality by Mike Yaconelli. The book was sent to me by Tony Sheng as explained in my post You’ve Got Mail.

So what have your favourite books been in 2007? What books are on the reading list for 2008? Are there any books you think I should add to my 2008 reading list?

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The Forgotten Ways

forgottenwaysI read The Shaping of Things to Come by Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch some time ago. I imagine that most people who have read the book have continued thinking through the issues it raises a long time after they’ve filed the book away on their bookshelf.

Both Frost and Hirsch have since written new books. Michael Frost has written Exiles while Alan Hirsch has released the book The Forgotten Ways.

The Forgotten Ways: Reactivating the Missional Church, covers some of the same ground as The Shaping of Things to Come which makes it worthwhile as a follow up or as a stand alone book.

The Shaping of Things to Come asked a lot of deep questions and pointed us towards possible directions. The Forgotten Ways seeks to build on the ground already covered but helps to plot a way forward for the missional church.

Introducing the book on the website of The Forgotten Ways we read a couple of questions that set us up for what the book is looking to answer.

How did the number of Christians in the world grow from as few as 25 000 one hundred years after Christ’s death to up to 20 million in AD 310?

How did the Chinese underground church grow from 2 million to over 100 million in sixty years despite considerable opposition?

In The Forgotten Ways, Alan Hirsch reveals the paradigmatic insights he discovered as he delved into those questions. He then translates these findings into the context of the contemporary Western church.”

I had the great pleasure of speaking with Alan Hirsch about his book and his understanding of missional church last week. My interview with Alan will be broadcast on 98.5 Sonshine FM both tonight and tomorrow night.

To listen to the interview online simply press the play button on the audio player at the bottom of this post.

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