C21hurch Course Booklet

Home Multimedia Church C21hurch Xpressions Café Topical Bibliography

The course notes for the C21hurch course can be found here. Each session is reasonably self-contained (except for sessions one and two which are covered by just one section in the booklet). The bibliography, which is quite extensive, covers all sessions. The links below will take you to individual sessions, in plain text and with a link to a pdf.

If you would like a pdf of the whole course, click here.

Sessions One & Two - A Past but No Present: 21st Century Worldview

We look at some of the scientific and intellectual trends which underpin many contemporary attitudes. We skim lightly over quantum physics, complex systems, the power of culture, postmodernism, and similar stuff. Then we look at contemporary culture with an emphasis on technology, Web 2.0 (Wikipedia, Facebook, Second Life, World of Warcraft, and so on), conspiracy culture (we never went to the moon, the CIA bombed the twin towers, the church is covering up the truth about Jesus, and so on), blame culture, liberation movements, sex, advertising, and much more.

Session Three - Contemporary Spirituality

We look at the spirituality of those who do not go to church (what they believe, what they think of church, what they think of Christians), take a brief excursion into alternative (‘new age’) spirituality, and end with a look at (and listen to) rave spirituality.

Session Four - “I See You Are Very Religious”: Postmodern Evangelism

We explore how we might do evangelism and mission in a postmodern world. The first three sessions had some solid ground—now we are into frontier territory. We will explore a number of approaches; they may trigger something which will be just right for your situation.

Session Five - A Kaleidoscope of Meaning: Reading the Bible Today

The 21st century rejects authority and tradition so how can we read and study the Bible in a way which is both authentic to our understandings of inspiration and also relevant to contemporary society? We will look at a range of approaches, from Lectio Divina to Remembered Bible Study.

Session Six - Perspectives on Preaching

In a multimedia age, can preaching survive? We will suggest that preaching can and will relate to contemporary people if it focuses on story, testimony and performance. We will then explore ways of putting these principles into practice by means of approaches such as narrative preaching.

Session Seven - Worship on the Edge

Many people don’t come to church because they find the worship old-fashioned and incomprehensible. Is it possible to find ways of worshipping which connect with postmodern culture? We will explore scripture-based liturgy, alternative worship, liquid worship, and other approaches which offer real opportunities for authentic engagement with God for the unchurched.

Session Eight - The Emerging Church

Tom Sine has characterised the new movements in the church as Emerging; Missional (Fresh Expressions, etc.); Mosaic (multi-cultural) and Monastic. In the last session we review what we have done by looking particularly at the emerging church and what is sometimes known as the new monasticism.