I haven’t been posting a lot relating directly to the Emergent Conversation lately … but I’m still catching up with the it myself after quite a busy few weeks
here are some of Doug’s phrases that caught my attention:
“As Christ-centered people, many of us understand the Gospel in terms of Jesus’ radical, profound, and expansive message of the kingdom of God. ”
“Within many of us there is a desire for the Good News of Jesus to really be good news for the people of the world and not just the promise of a world to come.”
“Emerging churches often speak of themselves as if they were a family where the love and commitment to one another is deep, meaningful and essential”
“More than seeing their role as setting forth a bold vision (mission statement) and asking God to bless it, we seek to join God in the work of the kingdom wherever it is found. ”
“Emerging churches believe that friendships change people. They stress that Jesus welcomed the original disciples into a warm friendship with himself and one another. Through the centuries the church has been an extension of this friendship through space, time, and transition.”
“Emerging churches are often vigilant in their assertion that what they are about is not merely changing the methods of their faith; they are seeking to be full theological communities. “
So it’s more than just about relevance … read on … “… providing a space for the conversation is messy and feelings get hurt. But for the many youth pastors who suffer angst over what they are doing — that it falls short, that there must be more than simply a relevant church service with a large stage, candles, painters going at it, tables, videos, and irreverent banter, Emergent provides hope. … Emergent provides a place for these travelers to tell their stories, to deconstruct, and yes, eventually to reconstruct their faith. For those who listen carefully and long enough, it is not about Christians losing their faith, but finding it once again as well.”
Knight Ridder Piece on the Emerging Church
Stephen is right on this, “I think I read once that when you are deeply involved in something and then the news media covers it, that you see how sometimes major news media miss the nuances.” That’s why second hand news even if it’s in print (and especially if it’s on the web) can be misleading … but we need to rise above these weaknesses and limitations in media with mature discernment. After reading a news piece (or even a statement which troubles us), sending an email or giving a phonecall to clarify first before jumping into conclusions (or before fossilizing our views on others) isn’t that hard nowadays isn’t it?
Brian McLaren is the real thing…
Ryan Bolger does a good scan of Brian’s books and shares his admiration for the man.
There’s A Bigger Story: Brian Mclaren
Here’s a cool quote, “one of the amazing things about the Bible is that it does not try to say, “Either choose our story or choose the other guys story.” What the Bible does again and again is it outflanks the competing stories and in some ways tries to redeem them.”
McLaren: ‘Finding the Right Words Is Difficult’
“”I don’t like the term ‘emergent church,’ ” says the pastor of the non-denominational Cedar Ridge Community Church in the Washington, D.C. area. “It sort of sets up a division like there is this church or that church. I like to talk about an emergent conversation.”" Now that’s a fantastic opening which I fully say AMEN ! to …
A Generous, not Suspicious, Orthodoxy
On A lot of people have trouble explaining or understanding what the emergent church is. (*note*: personally I’m still uncomfortable with the term “Emergent Church” here but Brian’s reply is pretty consistent with the word “conversation”), “The reason people have trouble is because all of us have trouble with this. There is a lot of diversity of opinion about any issue you could raise. People feel I am being evasive when I say this, but a conversation is the best word for it. In a conversation you have people saying different things about the same thing. A statement, a counter-statement, a question, an answer. Everyone is not just saying the same thing, but they’re dealing with the same set of problems. And what the emergent conversation is about is people dealing with the problems of living in a post-colonial, postmodern, post-enlightenment and maybe post-denominational world.”
and more ….
“It’s not just having conversations, but about practitioners who are trying things and talking about what’s working and not working and trying to tell one another about some advice about how to deal with this. So it’s people engaged in church ministry, working with the poor, working internationally, and that sort of thing. So we’re sharing in that practice of theology.”
Who Has the Last Word? An Interview with Brian McLaren
This is an engaging interview …
Does loving one another as Christians across confessional boundaries mean never discussing or taking seriously our differences, or even acknowledging they exist?
I would never say this. My books are attempts to open up space for respectful dialogue about our differences. In fact, it is our differences that give us a lot to talk about. The key, it seems to me, is that we do so not as enemies but as brothers and sisters … and that we do so not in attack but in mutual edification.”