Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Emerging Church - What the heck is it?

Emerging Church is still a hot talking point in many circles. Since it is a movement which has only had a name for about a decade I suspect we are going to keep on talking about it for a bit longer. The big question, specially for Australian Christians is, "What the heck is emerging/emergent church?!" There are no shortage of answers, but here is a resource which helps with an answer. Emerging Village has podcast a discussion from the recent AAR conference. It is in two sections here and here.  The panel consisted of Tony Jones (co-ordinator of Emergent Village); Scot McKnight ('Uber-blogger') and Dianna Butler Bass (an academic interested in flourshing mainline churhces). They are all insiders and don't give any compelling criticism of the movement. However I learnt years ago that in historical theology the first step is to get the thinker or the movement right, and in their own terms. We owe our contemporaries the same respect. I haven't listened to the whole two podcasts yet, but what I've heard so far has helped make sense of a few things for me. McKnight's take is that lots of the questions are post-fundamentalist. In Australia where fundamentalism has not been the same phenomena the emerging issues are not the same.

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