I think i was a bit too harsh on Rex Miller, author of a great book called “Millenium Matrix: Reclaiming the Past, Reframing the Future of the Church . I quickly scanned his book in Portugal a few weeks ago and his book has been growing on me. I have also had some email banter with Rex and need to upgrade my opinion of his book.
I gave Rex a really hard time in my emails and he bounced back incredibly with great answers. What a good sport!!!!!
TSK – 2 things from your book that are haunting me (in a good way): 1. Documentary to Database. Database really is a good way to describe how we communicate – pulling information out of a mental database at the point it is needed, or at the request of listeners. Lev Manovich also said that database was the key cultural symbol of our new world.
MRM – I like this documentary to database description. I might add interaction and connection as a quality of that new cultural symbol.
2. Emerging to Converging. I like the word converging and your description of it seems sound and reasonable. Your description of the converging culture was also good, but i have a feeling you have not been seeing it in the present, or you might have referenced it in your book. Many of us are living what you say will dominate in 2010 – but then of course 2010 will not suddenly usher in a new world – there will be a trickle for many years before that, a trickle that becomes a stream.
The challenge with any attempt to synthesize 2000 years of history is that it just doesn’t change in the nice clean categories I’ve created. That one limitation of the modern mind set (reductionism) and a huge limitation of print media – categories and closure. I do make a reference in the book that these transitions begin well before the marked transition point. It is extremely oversimplified – but still useful for many who have never seen history from this perspective. If they spend time with the book and better understand the characteristics of our tools and communication tools especially then they’ll be able to develop a more nuanced and contextual view.
Your description of emerging church websites bugged me. you chose the very traditional side of emerging church (which looks a lot like traditional church) and displayed their websites – static brouchure types of websites. you did not mention the incredible renaissance of writing, the blogging communities, new media comminites that are forming a new way to be church. i felt that you were looking for the same thing, but younger and hipper, and you missed the radical differences going on.
Again – three and four years ago there weren’t many blog sites. They’ve exploded in the past two years. Here comes the business side – there is a lot more going on in the tech and business side of community, conversation and content development than in the church – even with the emerging communities. I still don’t see a lot of discussion about social justice, poverty, colonialism… or prophetic views. Still not much risk taking going on.
House church, also, seemed to be totally bypassed in your book. There are thousands of these in the emerging church – and they will be more and more influential.
House church is not something new. I was part of an 800 family house church movement in the 1970’s through the early 90’s. My big issue with house church is that most churches who employ it do it as a means to an end. Its not a genuine expression of their DNA. They just don’t want people to come in and then leave because they can’t get to know anyone. My second beef about home church is that I have to drive 30 minutes to go see people I only see once a week. I’ve proposed in the book a new view by encouraging people to meet in their homes with their neighbors regardless of what church they go too. One of my big themes is to rebuild community.
[to myself . . . . ahhhhh . .. good answers dude!]
Great to chat with you and congrats for such a excellent book!
Thanks and I look forward to a continuing dialogue.
The Skinny on the Millenium Matrix? It really is a great book, despite having a formal/executive/business flavor that some people, myself included, don’t respond to as well as others. The chart is superb. A decade of thought has gone into this book and it would be a great book to give to senior pastors and mission exectutives to prepare them for the future of emerging mission.