Join me today as we talk with Alan Hirsch. Alan is a respected author, professor, editor and co-founder of numerous missional organizations and movements. His most recent book is The Permanent Revolution: Apostolic Imagination and Practice for the 21st Century Church.
1. What big issues or concepts are you currently thinking about or working on?
Actually, I am starting a Ph.D. I want to explore the contours of what a distinctively apostolic imagination looks like. Try to articulate the sensibility, modes of thinking, spirituality, and approach to tasks that is unique for apostolically inclined individuals. This is not as theoretical as it sounds, because I believe that this is the very way of thinking we need to retrieve if we are going to successfully negotiate the 21st Century.
2. What book are you reading right now and what are you learning from it?
I am loving James K.A. Smith’s Desiring the Kingdom. He gives us a well articulated philosophy of how to really form disciples and educate the church. I wish I had a copy of this years ago.
3. Other than the Bible, what book has been the most foundational for your ministry?
I tend to think more of authors that are influential rather than singular books. C.S. Lewis, Martin Buber, Soren Kierkegaard, Lesslie Newbigin, Augustine, Abraham Heschel, Stanley Hauerwas, John Yoder, and Helmut Thielicke all feature highly.
4. Where do you go to explore new ideas? What kind of environments inspire you?
Mostly conversations with key leaders and observing/experiencing churches where it is all happening. Regarding reading, I am mildly dyslexic (strange eh?) so I have to be very selective in my reading because of time commitment. I have no time or capacity for faddish, poppy, writings. So I avoid those. I go for the classic texts and best thinking. I try to discover which books are the best in any field and try to read them.
5. Just for fun: what’s your favorite coffeehouse beverage?