Christian Life in the Inventive Age

Doug Pagitt has completed his four-book cycle on the Christian faith in the “Inventive Age.” Doug coined that phrase to explain what he thinks is going on right now.

Back when we started what became Emergent Village, we talked a lot about the particular age that we are now living in. And we were highly influenced by the writings of Richard Florida regarding the rise of the “Cultural Creatives.” Florida argues that what America has to offer the global economy is not the return of blue collar manufacturing — sorry ObamaRomneyGingrich, it’s not gonna happen — but the uniquely creative ideas and products that have launched Apple, Disney, and thousands of other companies.

Back in those early days, we thought: If this is the future of the American economy, it should also be the future of the American church.

Doug was a leader in those conversations, and these books really bear the full fruit of his thinking over the past decade. With the publication last week of his book on evangelism — a book that he has been talking about writing as long as I’ve known him — the set is complete. They are:

Church in the Inventive Age

Community in the Inventive Age

Preaching in the Inventive Age

Evangelism in the Inventive Age

Get one, get ’em all. And connect with Doug online to converse with him about the ideas in these books.

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  • I read your blog often… I don’t always agree, but I am often inspired to think.

    But one thing which just continues to confound me is the overwrought America-centricism. It’s fascinating to see the origins of the Emergent church cast in that light. I confess: I just don’t get it.

    – Rhett (from New Zealand)

  • ME

    The future of the American economy is “uniquely creative ideas and products” and that’s what the future of the American church should be? Why?

  • I have other things that I am working, I don’t foresee being able to read Doug’s work. If he has been working on inventive technologies and theology for a span of four books, then I am sure that there is a good deal of insight to take away from his work.

    To Rhett: I don’t see an American talking about the direction of America as being excessive in their Americanism. I am pretty sure Doug and myself would rarely be on the same page, and it isn’t like someone, or country, can monopolize invention.

    On the manufacturing note, the old industrial manufacturing images are something that I’d like to see in the past. However, I don’t want manufacturing to leave this country. I would like to see advancement for the manufacturing operators as we move into an age of robotics, or whatever, but keep strong manufacturing sectors, and grow them if we can.

  • Lock, I’m not taking issue with Americans talking about the direction of America. It’s more the connection between that and the birth of the Emerging church… seems to me a fairly narrow focus.

    • Rhett, what both Doug and I are trying to do is speak into our context. It seems the ultimate act of Americocentrism to assume that’s what good for the church here is applicable everywhere.

  • Tony, the problem with placing all our marbles with the “creative class” is that this is a rather small slice of society. Apple is a huge company, but most of its employees work in Chinese factories at low wages in less than ideal situations.

    The fact is, the current economic turn around is largely fueled by increased manufacturing output — especially American built cars and auto-parts.

    Can we come up with a more balanced ecclesiology that is less either/or and that is more inclusive of the fullness of our communities?

    I like Doug’s message, but we need to be careful that the church doesn’t divide itself according to one’s ability to “create” or manipulate digital technology.

  • The Canadian turned American, James Camron, has now become or permanently moved to the great island of New Zealand. So, you mates bloody mates can tell the world to bugger off.

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