Understanding our Emerging Culture

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One of the dangers of church and Christianity is that we end up self referencing (something we all do with most areas of life). We read and listen to the same few people all referencing each other about the same conclusions, reinforcing what we already believe and know.

What can start out as an exciting exploration of new horizons of thoughts and ideas with emerging church can quickly becomes a stagnant pond of the same few people, books, blogs etc. The same few key speakers, with the same few key books, and same dust jacket references/recommendations.

If we want to incarnate a church for our emerging culture I think that once we have gotten some basic key books, talks and conversations under our belt, we need to really engage with our culture, to reference it directly and with immediacy.

There are few ways I try to do this. Once a month on my day off I might go to Borders and pick up maybe 20 magazines and 20 books from all over the shop and any sections I walk past. I then spend a few hours surveying the books and magazines over some coffee.

There are a few key magazines I go to regularly for an overview of culture, art, writing, music, movies, politics, economics, science etc:

Wired Fast Company Harvard Business Review Eve Empire Time The Economist The Spectator The Week The Times Literary Supplement BBC Focus Prospect Magazine Edge T3

What do you do to avoid too much self referencing?