the permanent revolution

just finished Hirsh and Catchim “The Permanent Revolution – Apostolic Imagination and Practice for the 21st Century Church” and have to say it is a really good read. It is very accessible, and is peppered with a good range of examples, honest personal experiences, and diagram/charts. As a trainer, educator, writer and practitioner there is lots of really useful stuff for all disciplines I find myself moving between. I can many of the diagrams making their way into my presentations, as they are succinct and accessible.

The book draws on a range of theological, biblical, cultural and organisational texts to explore the APEST (Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Shepherd and Teacher), and in particular the Apostle role in the missional shift we are in and the challenges presenting the current church. There are a good range of challenges to the thinking and practical ways to apply the concepts used.

I really like the interaction between organistional theory and how they explore the state of the current church in the introductions and later the use of systems and movement theory which has some important stuff to stay to the emerging project.

On the downside much of the stuff I had come across before, I first came across Fractal theory in the early 90s and have been using it ever since, the work around imagination will be familiar to people who know Brueggemann, the contextualistion / missio dei work is rooted in Bosch and earlier writers, you can see John V Taylor peppered through the book, as are BEC’s rooted in liberation theology where many of the current ideas around missional communities come from. However to have it all in one place and set against the current context so well is excellent. I would also have liked to have seen more challenges and deeper exploration around issues of inculturalation, particularly the reciprocal nature of mission and how this impacts the role of the apostle and problems this raises as they seek to move forward in the current in-between time.

Overall a good book that I have already recommended to my students on the Church and Mission modules and one that I will keep coming back to.

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