Exiles: Living Missionally in a Post-Christian Culture

exilesEvery now and then I get to record a radio interview that I want to listen to over and over again. One such case is my interview with Michael Frost about his current book, Exiles: Living Missionally in a Post-Christian Culture.

Mike has so many good things to say and he says them so well.

He previously wrote The Shaping of Things to Come together with Alan Hirsch. ‘Shaping’ is a book aimed at church leadership giving leaders ideas on reshaping church for the current culture. It was a great read and so I was very keen to get copies of Exiles and Alan Hirsch’s current book, The Forgotten Ways when I heard that they were available.

I’m currently working my way through Exiles and thoroughly enjoying it, so it’s wonderful to be able to spread Mike’s message to a wider audience through the interview.

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. What does that say about the people that are ‘dropping out’ and what does it say about the church?

In the interview with Michael Frost we look at just what is meant by the term post-Christian culture. We also talk 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 will be broadcast on 98.5 Sonshine FM this Sunday night and then replayed on Monday night. You can hear the interview by clicking the play button on the audio player at the bottom of this post.

If you missed my earlier post, I interviewed Alan Hirsch about his current book, The Forgotten Ways, a couple of weeks back and thoroughly enjoyed the conversation.

If you’ve read Exiles I’d love to hear your thoughts. I look forward to your comments.

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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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Life Under Construction


I’ve been thinking recently about growing up and seeing cranes across the city skyline.

When I saw huge cranes constructing huge buildings I used to think how untidy they made the city look. I used to look forward to the day when the city would be finished so that the cranes would be gone. I wanted my beautiful city to look neat and complete.

As I grew older I realised that there would always be cranes. Old buildings pass their usefulness and are replaced by new buildings. The population grows and new facilities are needed. It’s all a necessary part of progress.

I think a lot of us feel the same way about the struggles in our lives. We look ahead to the time when all the cranes will be gone, when the construction will be finished and we can enjoy a ‘neat’ existence. It’s not going to happen this side of eternity.

In every area of our lives we need to realise that the struggles and disappointments will always be there – it’s part of our progress. If we ‘put our lives on hold’ until the struggles are sorted, we’ll never learn to live.

Living is all about what we do with those setbacks, how we cope with them, and more importantly, who we turn to to help us through.

Of course there is coming a time when the cranes will be taken away and the construction will be over. Once the building is all done we have an eternity to enjoy paradise with our Lord. I’m looking forward to resting from all the building.

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Bight Me

When we cycled past the Great Australian Bight last year we stopped to have a quick look at the cliffs. I was once again reminded of one of the great lessons God taught me on one of my first visits by bike.

Many years ago on our way to Canberra by pushbike, we stopped for a quick peek. Being someone who’s afraid of heights I wasn’t too keen on getting too close to the edge.

From a safe distance back I could see a spectacular view across the ocean and some of the other cliffs.

When I finally plucked up the courage to move slowly forward I got to the edge – on my hands and knees mind you – but I got there. The view was so much better because I could look down and see the surf pounding the rocks. I could see a lizard running through the cracks in the rocks. I could look straight down and see the rock-face disappear before my eyes. I was up close to the action and the view was no longer just ‘nice’ it was breathtaking, exhilarating.

I could have thought – no that’s not for me – and to this day I would never have known what I’d missed. I would still think I’d seen the most spectacular view. It was only when I moved away from my comfort zone and got close to the edge that I realised what it was all about.

We need to move out of what’s comfortable when we serve God because it’s only when we can rely on nothing else but God that God can truly work.

As we seek to serve God we can do one of two things. Do our very best for God and hope that it’ll be good enough – or let God do his best through us – knowing that nothing less really is good enough.

It’s scary when we’re not in control and we don’t know where God will lead us next but it’s a fantastic ride.

God is calling each of us to participate in his plans for this world. Not if we feel comfortable about it but calling us to be involved – relying only on the fact that we know the God we serve – and we know that he will equip us for every task.

Are we listening? More importantly – are we obeying?

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