It just so happens that two of my friends have just written books about church, and I think you should know about them (both the people and the books they wrote!) I have not yet read either of them, but I guarantee you they will both add a lot of value to the conversation.
First, Kelly Bean is just a lovely person. A lovely person. She is kind and wise and she does a dizzying array of very cool things too numerous to espouse here. She has been pastor-hosting a house church for 24 years–twenty four years, you guys–and she’s done it in Portland, which is not exactly church central. Her new book is called How to Be a Christian Without Going to Church which is a provocative title on purpose, and you should read it especially if it makes you uncomfortable. It comes out this July and I can hardly wait!
Rob Hoch is a friend from Princeton Seminary and he’s now an associate preaching professor at University of Dubuque Theological Seminary. Rob’s a wicked smart guy, and his new book examines churches on the margins through the biblical theme of exile. It’s not a prescriptive book but a descriptive one, and I have a feeling it will provide a radical (and necessary) jolt to our culturally-accommodated views of church life. It’s called By the Rivers of Babylon: Blueprints for a Church in Exile and came out this past December.
I’ve got them both on order and look forward to reading them. Go and do likewise.