The Postmodern Parish: I ran across this book about a year and a half ago. Author Jim Kitchens used to pastor Davis Community Church and is currently the pastor of Second Presbyterian Church in Nashville, TN. Kitchens book is good, I think, for anyone interested in the church emerging discussion, but may not have the evangelical (or even, fundamentalist) background that so many involved in the conversation have. I also met with Jim in Nashville at the 2004 Emergent Convention, and it was exciting to hear his heart and passion for the church, and for being to new ways of being the church in the world today.
Especially if you are a Presbyterian, I think this book will be a great help in attempting to discern ‘what is up with this emerging church talk.’ I think the other thing that is very helpful with Kitchens’ book is that he also gives some practical concrete examples of how his church in Davis worked through some of the issues that a changing culture brings. He particularly looked at the question of the ordination of gays and lesbians; his church went through a pretty intense process in discerning their role as a welcoming & affirming church, and how they found that Robert’s Rules was not something that was going to work for them.
Anyway, I commend Jim’s book to you, especially if you’re a mainliner (especially if you’re a Presby).