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New Monasticism by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove

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Review of New Monasticism

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The Advocate

New Monasticism: What It Has to Say to Today's Church by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove

Reviewed by Dale Lewis

"...one of the most informative works to date on its subject."

Counter-culture Christianity is overwhelming the headlines in the evangelical world. There is a general dissatisfaction about the church as we are experiencing it now. If it is not talk about the emergent church, it’s the purpose-driven life or it’s new monasticism or . . .

Wilson-Hartgrove states that "Monasticism isn't about achieving some sort of individual or communal piety. It's about helping the church be the church." He believes the church offers New Monasticism stability, diversity and structure.

Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, an insider and leader of New Monasticism in America speaks from experience as he shares what new monasticism is and what it is not. New Monasticism is a “scavenger hunt” approach at Christian history and how this lifestyle prescribed by Jesus is a realistic possibility in today’s selfish and consumer driven world. Its impact on the contemporary church is clearly illuminated in these pages.

New Monasticism is not centered in a traditional monastery as you may have envisioned when you first heard the phrase. New Monastics are married with children, living in abandoned sections of society, committing to community, sharing incomes, serving the poor and practicing spiritual disciplines together.

The key tenets of New Monasticism include:

· God's alternative economy and financial practices for church
· Hospitality and active peacemaking
· A model for grassroots ecumenism

I’m intriqued by this old/new approach, and this book piqued my interest. New Monasticism is one of the most informative works to date on its subject. It is a must read for New Monastics or those considering joining the movement.

Dale Lewis now mans the front desk at the EFCA (The Evangelical Free Church of America) National Office in Minneapolis, MN. He was the graphic designer/pre-press production artist for over twelve years before being asked to step into this new role. Prior to that, he was the publications manager at his alma mater, Northwestern College in St. Paul, MN in the public relations office as well as the adviser to the college’s yearbook. He's a director/actor/writer for the Hope Church (Oakdale, MN) adult drama worship team and was the senior editor of the church newsletter. He's also written two collections of poetry, “Whispers of Assurance” and “On Life: Constant Communion Without Ceasing” as well as a devotional entitled “Eternal Education.” He and his family live in Oakdale, Minnesota.