I love the Dock Book Group!
Another great gathering last Saturday – in the slightly unusual setting of the middle of a basketball game (the Odyssey Pavilion was being used by teams practising for a big tournament in the Arena over the weekend), we spent a happy lunchtime putting the world to rights and discussing our latest book, Exiles by Michael Frost.
By general consensus this was the best Dock Book Group book yet… a fiercely intelligent, honest, and very challenging call for Christians to let go of the comfortable trappings of ‘Christendom’ (the assumption that church is at the centre of culture and that society should revolve around Christian values) and wake up to a new reality.
How’s this for a quote to hit you between the eyes – from the very first page!:
This book is written for those Christians who find themselves falling into the cracks between contemporary secular Western culture and a quaint, old-fashioned church culture of respectability and conservatism… It seems that the church is still hoping and praying that the ground will shift back and our society will embrace once again the values that it once shared with the Christian community. But for many of us, and for those to whom this book is written, this hoping and praying is a lost cause….Christendom is over and we too need to get over it.”
We liked it so much that we’re sticking with Michael Frost for the next book group. If you want to track down the book, it’s called The Shaping Of Things To Come by Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch (you can find it on Amazon here) and we’ll be meeting to talk about it at 12:00 on Saturday 16th October.
Again this isn’t one for the faint-hearted – there’s pie charts and stuff! – but for anyone interested in the shape of the church in the 21st Century, Michael Frost seems to be essential reading.
I’ll sign off with the opening quotation (yep, I’m still on page one), attributed to Hans Kung:
A church which pitches its tents
without constantly looking out for new horizons,
which does not continually strike camp,
is being untrue to its calling…
[we must] play down our longing for certainty,
accept what is risky,
live by improvisation and experiment…