eager was I for Leonard Sweetís book, Postmodern Pilgrims
to come out? I preordered a copy of it from my local bookstore,
Amazon.com, and Chapters.ca to see who could get it here fastest
(for the record, despite having to go through Canadian Customs,
Amazon.com won, followed by the bookstore).
I eagerly flipped through the book I was initially
disappointed. As I took some time to read more thoroughly
through it, I realized that this book was a good addition to
my library and one that would serve the church well.
on the book to order
is expanding on some of the theory that he introduced in pieces in
his earlier books and especially in SoulTsunami. He takes the
concept of Experiential-Participatory-Image
driven-Connected (E-P-I-C) and turned it into a book with
each letter being expounded upon over a chapter.
strength of each chapter is his explanation of the shift from the
modern to the postmodern. From the rational to the EXPERIENTIAL,
representative to PARTICIPATORY, word base to IMAGE
DRIVEN, and individual to INDIVIDUAL-COMMUNAL. These section
of the book are good reading for any pastor and church leader to
illustrate that the times we are living in are not the ones that
they were educated in.
approach sums up each of Sweetís sections. Some good data and some
extraordinary real world examples to back up his theory on what a
postmodern culture is looking for in a church.
section also contains a series of excellent web interactives and
practices that allow you to experience first hand what he is talking
about first hand. These were also first class and in addition to
listing my site, I found several other sites that made their way
into my bookmarks (check out www.bellview.org - the cure for the
common church and www.joefellowship.com, their great e-zine). While
I didnít find this to be a problem, one of the comments that I got
back from SoulTsunami when I recommended it was that they felt it
was overly negative in some places (or I gave it to insecure readers
- you decide). Postmodern Pilgrims was more positive, focusing more
on the culture than on the failings of the modern church.
book was solid and as I mentioned in a web posting in the Next-Wave
forum, I bought several copies for use around Lakeview Church. On
the other hand, the book isnít ground breaking. While the
illustrations are new, there isnít a lot of stuff here that wasnít
in SoulTsunami. I was also a little disappointed in the amount of
writing that I recognized from Rev. Magazine and Leadership Journal.
While being very well written and fun to read, I felt myself wanting
more original ideas and thoughts.
that part of the book has to deal with being participatory and
connected, I was disappointed by there not being a webpage. Perhaps
I have been spoiled by www.soultsunami.com but interactive links and
the place to dialogue with other people who had read the book would
have been a great addition to the book.
have said before, this book is a great book to give to those who are
just exploring some of the challenges of ministry in the postmodern
age. If you have done your reading on it and have a grasp of what is
happening (like most Next-Wave readers (!?), buy the book for some
pretty good illustrations, take a look at the websites (you will
have to type them in yourself), and pass the book along to a friend.
a review of another Len Sweet Book, Soul
Salsa, click here)
Cooper is a pastor of spiritual formation at Lakeview Church in
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. He is married to Wendy and father
of Mark. He is addicted to Amazon.com, Fast Company, and thinks the
Toronto Blue Jays will catch the New York Yankees. He is online at www.jordoncooper.sk.ca.