Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New book for the new year

The Grace Book Collective is now onto our fourth book since inception.
The Tangible Kingdom by Hugh Halter and Matt Smay
Here is an excerpt from the website:

Since the book’s release we’ve had quite a few people ask us, “So why did you write a book?” Most who asked were friends who knew we despised writing, so we understood why they were asking. Others, who didn’t know us, simply wanted to know what motivated our aim with this work.

As we mention in the book, our primary reason was to respond to the overwhelming requests we received from people going through our training (link to MISSO/MCAP page). Their inquiries usually sounded something like this:

“I wish I could just remember all the stories you told.”

“You seem to make complex issues simple so I can get it, I just don’t want to forget it.”

“I wish I could retell your training to my friends.”

At first we didn’t take it too seriously, but after a while we felt responsible to provide an easier way for people to transfer our thoughts to others. The book became the best way for us to remain in our missional context (link to Adullum) while helping others traverse the immense pitfalls and opportunities of our non-Christendom world.

But as we wrote the book, another reason emerged.

We understand that there are people out there in all types of existing church environments who know that things need to change. They may be secretly sneaking off to Starbucks to read those “dangerous emerging church” books (whatever that means), but they’re unable to help others understand what has gone so wrong in the Church and grasp the changes that need to happen.

Jesus said the Kingdom is near, at hand, within reach. We believe that, until He comes back, parts of His Kingdom can be seen and felt in the way that we live in this world. It’s a tall order – to seek peace, to turn the other cheek, to put others first, and to walk humbly – but it’s doable. More than that, we believe when we live like Jesus laid out in the Sermon on the Mount, it might just make a bit of the Kingdom tangible for those who haven’t experienced it yet.

So we wrote The Tangible Kingdom to start a conversation that will hopefully help us all understand the systemic issues related to mission, church, and our own discipleship. We wrote it to start a dialogue that we hope will bring conservative, emerging, contemporary, missionary, national, international and underground church leaders together to practice the missional way of life in any context, in any church, in any denomination.

The book is not lofty, and our story is real. Whether you’re a pastor, a church planter, or a young gun about to leave his grandpa’s church because the pastor has his head in the sand, this book is for you. Use it to start a dialogue… for yourself, with your friends, and even in your church.

To get a sneak peek of our story and The Tangible Kingdom, check out our online resources.

We also put together an ebook “remix” that has a sampling of some of the thoughts you’ll find in “The Tangible Kingdom.” Download it here.