You are looking at Doug Pagitt’s next book, Church in the Inventive Age. It was found lost in The Local, an Irish bar in Minneapolis, close to the Minneapolis Convention Center, which just so happens to be where the PC(USA)’s 219th General Assembly is taking place right now. It’s not clear as to whether Doug might have lost it (if you don’t know, he lives in Minneapolis), or if someone had received an early copy and simply left it in the bar. Anyway, I got it. I’ve flipped through it. I’m really not sure if this is supposed to be public yet, but it’s the real thing, and here are all the details.
I know you can download Chapter 1 of Doug’s book here, but it seems like just putting up one chapter of a book is a little lame. Seems like since we are in the “inventive” age – we should be more creative with the way we share information and our ideas.
Here are a few excerpts that you might be interested in:
“I’m calling us to find our place in a swiftly shifting culture, to consider how we need to change what we think, what we value, what we do and how we do it. I’m calling us to be the church in the Inventive Age.
“We are not called to change for change’s sake. We are called to live faithfully in the time and place in which we live. Living faithfully may require us to make changes in what we do, but changing our practices is not the point. Change only matters if it’s based in an understanding of why that change is needed. If it’s not, the only change you’ll make is to trade one set of problems for another.
“When a culture changes, everything in the culture changes. Not all at once, but over time. The tensions we are seeing in American Christianity – declining membership in mainline churches, fractious relationships between evangelicals and mainliners, an untapped spiritual hunger among young adults – point to the discomfort change brings with it.
“We can’t pretend cultural change doesn’t impact the church. It does. It always has. Every church exists in the context of a culture. Every church has inherited a culture” (5-6).
And here is another excerpt from chapter 4:
“The implications for the church are just beginning to emerge. In the last 10 years or so, the values of the Inventive Age – the drive to create, the search for meaning, the sense of ownership, the open-source mentality that pushes the Inventive Age ever-faster into the future – have scattered across the landscape of American Christianity like seeds in the wind…
“The most obvious shift is the move toward smaller churches that facilitate connection. While the Information Age church gave us small groups as a means for developing deeper knowledge, the small communities of the Inventive Age come from a longing to find meaning through shared, self-generated experiences, to live out the faith in the company of a small community of friends…
“The role of the pastor is changing as well. The ability to teach and preach and lead is taking a back seat to the pastor’s capacity to create and facilitate open-source faith experiences for the people of the church.
“It’s far too early to know where all of this will lead. To be sure, the Inventive Age will have its share of mistaken notions, questionable practices, and bad ideas. But right now, at the dawning of the new age, it feels like a beautiful revolution” (32-33).
I knew the book was coming out this summer, but wasn’t really sure about the release date. I checked out the Facebook page for the book, and it says it is supposed to come out August 2010. I have a lot of respect for Doug, but seems like his ideas are worth being shared with more folks than might be able to pay for his book. I thought I’d put up some photos of the book so that you can get a look at some more of the content of Doug’s book.
I’m leaving for vacation in Hawaii in a couple hours, but when I get back, I might try and type up some more of the content. Until then – enjoy checking out these photos from the book (sorry the quality isn’t as good as it could be – I only had a few minutes this morning to snap a few shots).