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May 10, 2005


Steve McCoy

Really great list Kevin. Thanks for doing a lot of hard work for the benefit of the rest of us.


Can I borrow these? I will get them back to you when you get back from Canada.

Bruce Chant

Great list Kev.

Marty Duren

Thanks Kevin,
I ordered about 8 of them today.

andrew jones

good list, and great to see Bosch take his rightful place on top.

now what about a list of web resources for geeks?


Thanks Andrew.

I'm hoping to make a few additions to the list sometime in the coming weeks (adding some pdf documents that I've found online and a few other books that I've read). And, if I get really ambitious between my summer and fall classes, I may put up a separate web site just for these resources.

As for the geek factor...I have a short list of web resources compiled, and have asked for any help folks are willing to provide.

Andrew, I would assume that someone like you has a good list compiled-- I would love to see it.

D. Goodmanson

Nice list.

"Trinitarian Doctrine for Today's Mission, Lesslie Newbigin [I have not read this]"

I have, it is only a small pamphlet...

Mike Croghan

Thanks for the outstanding list, Kevin!


Have you not read "The Shaping of Things to COme" by Frost and Hirsch? Its the best book on the Missional church available, and its not even on your list....

Kevin Cawley


Apologies for differing with you on this one. I have read the book and don't think it offers anything different or better than the books I have listed above. I don't see it making this list anytime soon.

Van S


I also am one of those folks who thinks you should add Shaping of Things to come...why don't you think it is up to snuff? And why do you include "Radical Reformission" which wouldn't be one I'd think would make it on most folks' missional lists?

Kevin Cawley


Your note on the Driscoll book is valid. I initially put the majority of this list together for a friend, and I had talked with him about Driscoll and A29. I agree that it doesn't add anything new to the discussion-- and though I don't think that the Essence of the Church really adds anything to the discussion, it is better written and more helpful in my opinion.

I have for some time been meaning to update and change this list a bit (get rid of the horrible 'graphic' bars as well as set this up with my Amazon associates #, which I didn't have at the time.)

As far as Frost and Hirsch's book, it was a book that I fluctuated between loving and despising when I read it this summer. I blogged about the book a few times here that I know of and a few other places as well.

Perhaps these are really superficial reasons, but I have three things come immediately to my mind that I found unhelpful about the book:

1) The seemingly unending way they piled up adjectives made their argument muddy for me-- missional prophetic incarnational messianic-- and it appeared to me that the book was trying to appeal to a trendy niche. I thought that this made the book less clear than it could have been. Using the word 'missional' 378 times doesn't necessarily make a book good reading for missional ecclesiology.

2) They hold out specific examples as positive, even paradigmatic, that are suspect.

3) The whole horse whispering paradigm-- I think is based on confused categories, sloppy reasoning and is therefore utterly unhelpful. To be quite honest, my annoyance with that section is what has stayed with me after reading the book. There could have been tons of positive stuff, but that stuck in my mind and drove me nuts.

Granted, that's nit-picky, but I'm not expecting all the readers of my blog to even be able to read all the books I have listed-- and I have to draw the line someplace. I have nothing against the authors, just didn't think it was that great a book.

Would this book be in your top ten? Top five? What makes it necessary for the list?

Van S

Kevin...I like the book largely because it is more accesible than the GOCN stuff. I agree that it is sloppier. It isn't as thoughtful or profound as many of the other books on your list. But it is more accessible and it provides some pretty decent touching points for real ministry. It may be reaching for trendiness a bit too much, but I think that is actually a sort of strength. I find that it fill a gap between some emerging stuff out there and the more thoughtful, erudite stuff out there. And since most would-be pastors and church planters I know don't really want to delve very deep, I think the book does a great job getting them deep enough to really think through things better than they would if left to themselves. Does that make sense?

Kevin Cawley

This is why if I had a choice in recommending a book to someone, I would recommend The Essence of the Church over The Shaping of Things to Come. It too avoids the technical approach that some of the GOCN books do, and is clear and concise. My (now) wife read the book several years ago and loved it.

Rev. Glauner d. S. Pereira

A helpful service, Kevin. Consider adding "The out of bounds church? Learning to create a community of faith in a culture of change", by Steve Taylor (

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