Practical. Spiritual. Fun. – ein sehr geiles Buch von Dave Schmelzer

14 Jul

Not the religious type ist das beste Buch, was ich dieses Jahr gelesen habe. Dave Schmelzer leitet eine sehr dynmische Gemeinde in Boston, direkt in der Nähe von Harvard und MIT. Dort zeichnet sich ein ganz anderes Bild als im ländlich-konservativen Amerika und Dave hat eine Antwort gefunden, auf das Lebensgefühl und die Fragen in diesem Umfeld eine Botschaft zu finden. Wer Emerging Church Bücher liest, ist oft genervt von dem destruktiven Ansatz, der Kritik und der Frage: und jetzt? In diesem Buch treffen knackige Konzepte auf viel Lesespass und Lebensweisheit. Also: wärmstens zu empfehlen für den Sommerurlaub!

Mein Amazon-Review:

This book is a pleasure to read. Dave Schmelzer used to be a playwright and atheist, and he uses his skills to play out thoughts on the universe, God and happiness. As a now-pastor of a large church in Boston he understands the need to treat with respect those who hold different views from him and lay out his thoughts in easy language and relevance for everyday people.

At the beginning of his book, Dave starts with a theory of Owen Barfield on the progression of human society. Initially, humans were caught up in “Original Participation” where we saw the entire world connected to us, including the gods in the sky and in the bushes. Next, we moved to “non-participation” where we got outside of the world and looked onto is as objective, dispassionate observers. According to Barfield, we will move to a third phase, the “final participation”, which merges the first two stages and engages the rationalists with a universe that is personal and active.

Dave builds his argument on this insight: people are much more interested in being “on to something” that is satisfying than ending up in discussion on what is right and wrong (which both his opponents – religious people and skeptical atheists – major on; and for which they pay the price of self-righteousness and sort of a gloomy vibe). Dave adds his insights from pop psychology (M Scott Peck’s 4 stages), sociology (bounded vs centered sets), and movie theory (Joseph Campbell’s hero myth) to his conversational writing and his many insights into Boston’s academic culture.

The strength of this book is in the mix of smart concepts presented in a fun way, paired with a lot of personal stories of how they work and the focus of “being on the something”. For Dave, this a shockingly positive and loving God that is accessible and helpful to ordinary people. While smart books in the past (CS Lewis, GK Chesterton) were good in adding perspective and helping to dissect arguments, Dave moves on to propose a life that adds valuable experience to good thoughts. While great books help us see the world in a new light, this 174-page fun-read actually proposes something we can do (not in a self-help 7 step way) and therefore is the best book yet I have read on faith journeys in an intellectual environment.


Eine Antwort to “Practical. Spiritual. Fun. – ein sehr geiles Buch von Dave Schmelzer”

  1. vineyardfilstal 18 Juli, 2008 um 1:27 pm #

    Hallo Marlin – Danke für den schmackhaften Tipp … habe es mir eben in amazon bestellt. Lasse dich wissen, wenn ich fertig bis 🙂 Marcus

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