I have a very mixed view of the Emerging Church movement – especially as one who embraces ideals of Post-Modernity and Modernity and doesn’t feel “at home” in Emergent or mainstream Evangelical contexts. One the one hand I appreciate the willingness of push the status quo, the focus on Orthodpraxy (justice, reconciliation, grace, etc.), embrace of the trinity and narrative perspective of scripture, and their engagement with the artistic community. One the other hand, I deeply question the “Generous Orthodoxy” position of many in the movement, find the lack of engagement with non-White churches/communities frustrating, the movement from being reformative to divisive and have been turned off with the arrogance some more prominent individuals within the movement hold.
I just discovered this article from Shane Claiborne and found him speaking my thoughts.
First, I want to say I do not want to discourage those who have found renewed hope in Jesus and the Church through “emerging church” conversations and circles. And I am fully aware that there are all sorts of “emerging church” conversations happening, especially overseas, and some promising new signs of hope such as the indigenous (First Nation) youth movement that embraces the language of “emergence.” There are lovely things happening inside and outside of the great “emergence.”
If you are unfamiliar with the language of “emerging church,” it has become a very confusing trend within the contemporary renewal happening in the Church. A decade or so ago, a bunch of young, mostly white evangelicals started seeing similar conversations beginning to spark all over the place about the reshaping of evangelicalism, the rethinking of missions, and reimagining what it really means to be the church. See Article Here.
What are your response/thoughts? What role should the emergent church play in society and in world Christianity? What is/has been your engagement with the emergent church?