Monday, February 28, 2005
A Bible for the Emerging Church?
I was invited to be a consultant of sorts on behalf of the Emerging Church today for the Livingstone Corporation, a kind of ideas ministry that works together with Christian publishing companies on various products. They wanted my advice on how to revamp a Daily Devotional Bible they did a few years ago to be more attractive to an Emerging Church audience.

It was an interesting conversation. I was impressed with the people there, at their openness to new ideas and willingness to considered possiblities outside of the typical evangelical comfort zone (for example, how about using things like lectio divina, the liturgical calendar, ancient prayers, artistic rather than propositional approaches to truth, etc.) I tried to give them concrete suggestions for how to translate the values of the Emerging Church into a devotional Bible that would actually be useful to people within the EC. We focused a lot on ideas of ancient spirituality, practices of spiritual formation, and incorporating art (i.e. visuals, hymns, prayers, etc.) into the text and the devotionals. I also recommended that they tap respected names in Emerging Church circles (e.g. McLaren, Jones, Miller, Sweet, Foster, Lamott etc.) to write for it and lend their endorsment to it. We also talked issues of layout and design that would appeal to a postmodern audience without being too cheezy or gimmicky or look like they're just trying to be "hip" and "cool".

Of course, all this begs the question of whether you can even market a devotional Bible to the Emerging Church in the first place, given that most ECers tend to dislike marketing targeted at them, and are often cynical of the idea of devotional bibles in the first place. But I didn't try to discourage them from the project. At least their trying to be sensitive to the Emerging Church, which is more than I can say for a lot of evangelical ministries.

Anyway, I tried to put in a good word for my EC friends... so if Spencer Burke gets a call to advertise this Bible on the Ooze, or Emergent gets a call about partnering with Livingstone to put it out, or Tony Jones gets a call about writing devotional inserts for them, they'll have me to thank. :)
posted by Mike Clawson at 9:26 PM | Permalink |


At 3/04/2005 09:35:00 AM, Blogger Erin

That sounds like a really neat project, Mike. I agree - it'll be interesting to see how people respond to the devotional Bible. I also think it's cool that they're trying to be aware of that audience. I'd definitely be interested in at least checking it out; I think that'd be way cool.

You're definitely a good person to give input...if they had asked someone like me, I wouldn't have known what to say (I'm not so good on suggestions!). : )


At 3/15/2005 10:36:00 AM, Blogger Love4theWord


Guess I'm not emerging or Pomo cause I would be interested in purchasing that bible when it came out!




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