Emergent – Lutherans?

Emerging Leaders Network
so this is what fellow Lutheran Karen Ward is up to with her friends! We’re pretty aware of the spirit of Luther, “here we stand!” then “Now it’s time to walk ahead together” Here’s what they are up to:

“ELN seeks to be a community of friendship, discernment and theological conversation among emerging Lutheran leaders.

ELN connects leaders who are currious about and committed to sharing principles, practices and imagination for mission and ministry in the emerging cultures.

We seek to explore faith and life in our times, not within the familiar strictures of a modernist “organization,” but within an organic and networked community of missional friendship and spiritual discernment, rooted in the lutheran theological tradition.

This site itself will be a ‘living active and breathing thing…’ a breeding ground which will follow, explore, and possibly lead the church into the emerging future.”

Lutheran – Emergent: What can one say to the other?
I must say there’s a lot worth checking out inside that cowboy hat! My “intuitive” feel is that there maybe some untapped perspectives that can be gained from how the Early German Pietist sought to bring renewal within the post-Luther-Melancthon heavily Scholastic Lutheranism …

Here’s some things I could relate to … even though we’re miles apart,

“Lutherans also have a hard time in how congregations relate to one another. We tend to be either lone rangers (as churches and as pastors) or part of/ reacting against a hierarchical, top-down driven model of denominationalism (that is thoroughly modern and business-llike, even if the model is one that is “baptized” by liturgical theology). Emergents could teach us a lot about mutual accountability, non-hierarchical networks, and “organizing from below” in ways that maintain responsibility and authority but are also extremely responsive to local conditions and promote leadership that is servant-like and committed to resourcing and supporting mission more than preserving a denominational organization (which is precisely where the ELCA is right now).”

I found Eric’s comments in an earlier post, simply “captivating” …

“One of the things that fascinates me about the “emerging church conversation” is that it shares with Lutheranism an attempt to articulate the Gospel of Jesus Christ and call people to faith in him, in ways that explode the prevailing intellectual/ theological frameworks of church life in their respective days. For Luther, it was the medieval scholatic/ Aristotelian world. For Emergent, it’s modernism. In both cases, the power of the Bible’s witness is seen as blunted and even twisted by the background assumptions made as it is read by the dominant expression of the church. Luther would get enraged at how his opponents would use biblical words and concepts, but in a philosophical framework that had nothing to do with the biblical narrative. Medieval philosophy had hijacked the conversation. Luther saw the eschatalogical, relational, and dialectical (law-gospel, diagnosis-prognosis, or threat-promise) aspects of the Bible’s witness that were ignored by theologians of his day. Emergent folks see the consumerist, individualist, “faith as right doctrine not as right relationships vertically and horizontally” (as opposed to “right doctrine as guide to right relationship”), and the serious constraints put on the meaning of “truth” (what I like to call “truth is only what you can see on a National Geographic documentary or prove on a math class blackboard”) in modernity as problematic.”

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One Response to Emergent – Lutherans?

  1. JP says:

    Interesting stuff, I admit, I have not, at this point in my life, grasped the idea of postmodernism / emerging church culture. I have read a few McLaren books and am in continueous study over it….I realize its hard to break out of your so called “comfort” zone.

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