different streams of conspirators

March 28, 2008

On my “to-read” list I have Tom Sine’s The New Conspirators. Haven’t heard about the book before 5 minutes ago, and the name Tom Sine has no meaning whatsoever. What immediately convinced me to read the book was the BLURP found on Andrew Jones’ blog:

God is doing something fresh through a new generation of “conspirators”. This new work can be seen in at least four different streams:
1. the emerging,
2. the missional,
3. the mosaic (multicultural church plants)
4. the monastic.
In this book Tom Sine present some of the innovative new models that are being created by those ministering within these diverse streams.

Talking of differing streams seem interesting. I’ve been uncomfortable with the equating of emerging with missional or monastic for quite some time. I’ve seen the renewed interest in missional churches in places which won’t easily fit the emerging conversation, which got me into the difficult question, is the missional church then the emerging church? Thus I would have to call people emerging that won’t like to be called emerging? Don’t know if anyone can follow that paragraph, but that was my thoughts.

You can find a review on the book here as well.


8 Responses to “different streams of conspirators”

  1. arthur Says:

    cobus. let me borrow this when you are done, ok? i haven’t read it (obviously), but Sine’s book, “Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger” was hugely significant when I read it years ago. One of those books that drastically changed the trajectory of my faith and life because it talked about Christianity actually making a difference.

  2. Cori Says:

    It is interesting seeing these as four streams.

    Perhaps at some level it doesn’t matter who or what is or isn’t included or labeled as part of the emerging conversation or not?

  3. Cobus Says:

    I think what I hope would be of value is that by distinguishing between different streams we can work with the self-description people use, rather than work with labels we give them. For example not giving someone the label “emerging” if they would rather see themselves as “missional”.

    The other value would be to not only consider those who are “emerging” as the only ones with something to say, but noticing that many other people, with differing points of view, can contribute to what is currently happening on in the conversation on how we are church in this day and age.

  4. Cobus Says:

    Book isn’t available at Kalahari yet, but you’re welcome to borrow it once I’m done with it.

  5. attie Says:

    Cobus: I think you make a valuable point when you say that we should label people or churches as they label themselves. I know of a lot of churches that are 100% missional but will not call themselves emerging, and the other way round.
    By the way Scot McKnight is a friend of the emergents, but also critisize them when necesarry. He will be coming to South Africa in May.
    What I know of the emergents as well as the missionals and mosaics is that all of them struggle to be the church God called us to be and none of them would claim to have the final answer. That is wonderful.

  6. Cobus Says:

    I heard about McKnight’s visit, hope to be meeting him. Willem said he will be organizing something.

    I think we need to “label” things, give groups names, if we don’t, there is no way we can have a conversation. We would be lost in the complexities of explaining who every individual is without linking them to a group.

    The challenge is to use labels and names in such a way that everyone is comfortable with the label they recieve, and that the conversation is actually helped along, and not strangled by labels.

  7. eliacin Says:


    thanks for your nice words about Tom’s book. i’m a friend and co-conspirator with Tom. The book is pack with stories and examples of people in the 4 streams.

    You can get the book at http://www.msainfo.org

    arthur – Rich christians in an age of hunger was written by Ron Sider (a good friend of Tom).

    community catalyst

  8. cobus Says:

    But postage on international books is getting so expensive that I’d rather wait till it’s available in South Africa

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