The Emerging Church: A Model for Change and a Map for Renewal By Bruce Sanguin



The Emerging Church

A Model for Change and
a Map for Renewal,


By Bruce Sanguin.


Copperhouse/Woodlake, 2008
205 pages. $24.95 CAD.
ISBN #978-1-55145-566-2



Review By Wayne A. Holst



My Comment

I like two key things about this book.

The first is that the author is not afraid to remind his
readers in mainline churches that there is much in their
spiritual heritage needing to be revisited and returned to
prominence in congregational life. Personal transformation
(we used to say ‘conversion’) is one. The power of prayer
is another. In our desire to be relevant we have lost touch
with the spiritual wellsprings that made our congregations
meaningful to many in the past.

At the heart of renewal is the basic Christian truth that
people and their communities can change. Our ancestors
understood this and we need to rediscover it too.

The second thing I like is that the author is conversant
in the thought and paradigm understandings of modern
science. This too is something we have been lacking.

Many of us have been educated and live in a world that
is shaped by science, and yet our spiritual awareness is
too-much dependent on outmoded ways of understanding
modern reality. I believe that much of the confusion and
struggle of modern Christians stems from the fact that

there seem to be few guides to help us be scientific and
spiritual at the same time.
Sanguin helps us to be both. He demonstrates, for example,
that it is natural to believe in God and evolution. He does
this authoritatively and refuses to get us lost in technicalities.
In other words, he blends scientific and spiritual profundities
in ways we can understand.
Traditional Christians try to call people back to old paradigms.
This creates significant confusion, even dishonesty, in the
hearts of many who wish to be  faithful yet open to
contemporary groundings and soundings of the Spirit.

Sanguin builds on the theological ground-work of teachers
like Marcus Borg and Matthew Fox as well as Brian Swimme
and Thomas Berry. He offers us helpful consolidation and
integration of thought.

Hopefully, I have convinced you that this is an important
volume, even though it’s now been out there for two years.

Buy it from Woodlake:

Dr. Wayne Holst teaches religion and culture at the University of Calgary and co-ordinates adult spiritual development at St. David’s United Church in that city.


Colleagues List, Vol. V. No. 35, April 24th , 2010



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