Emergent Box of Chocolates

wow … a site dedicated to “aggregating global conversations on the emerging church”

The Future or Fad? : A Look at the Emerging Church Movement (pdf)
It’s good to see the final edition of Scot’s sympathetic and careful piece.

Resonances with the Emerging Church
Two paragraphs that stand out for me:

“… my participation through the years in the evangelical church had left me with the impression that it was believed we pretty much had all of our theological i’s dotted and doctrinal t’s crossed. But in more recent years, I’ve come to the conclusion that my personal theology is generally an outline and not an exhaustive encyclopedia. There are known items in the outline but there’s much that’s not filled in.

… I’ve come to believe that spiritual change only occurs in the context of relationship – either vertically with God or horizontally with others or – perhaps usually – both. This is not, of course, an apropositional context, but it is a transpropositional context. There is something conveyed in a hug, a shared meal, the sharing of service experiences, the presence of another, that is not entirely capturable by lexical symbols. This, of course, has large implications on question of praxis, leadership development, and spiritual formation.”

Seven Habits of Successful Emerging Discussions
I’ll pick two paragraphs again to highlight:

“… in spite of his readership and influence, try not to equate Brian McLaren’s nonfiction and fiction with exactly what he believes and exactly what that is, is exactly what everyone, young and old, far and wide, here and there, who considers himself or herself connected to the emerging movement or emergent believes exactly. This is unfair to Brian and to everyone else.

… please do not assume that everyone, everyone, everyone in emerging circles is postmodernist in epistemology, or assume that all postmodernists deny truth completely, or assume that postmodernists deny all metanarratives, or assume that metanarratives include the gospel, or just keep saying that emerging folk deny absolute truth. This in spite of many, many, many who have said over and over that none of this is accurate.”

emergent does not equal postmodern
Interesting two paragraphs:

“… the term ’emergent’ is in no way synonymous with ‘postmodern.’ emergent is a spirit, and (more specifically) that spirit embodied in conversation(s). it’s a new (or at least re-embodied) idea that longs for a church that is emerging, not stagnant; for a church that embodies the gospel and lives into the kingdom in fresh ways as culture changes and as new challenges present themselves. the spirit of the movement calls us to grasp our own culture lightly, that it not become an idol as we seek to perpetuate it at all costs.

… if postmodernity is not something that you feel you are dealing with, leave it alone. it’s emergence has little to do with you. don’t feel like you need to be doing what pastors and christians in the states are doing. do the things that you must do. emerge where you are.”

A pre-trip interview with Brian McLaren
now this is from South Africa … so it’s getting exciting now.

“… I am always glad to be in settings where people are less polarized, more open, and committed to being more diligent to preserve the unity of the Holy Spirit in the bond of peace.

… Christians in the West need to hear the stories of “integral mission” that are emerging from the global south. They need to see how the formerly colonized are making Christian faith their own and are dropping some of the Western trappings – most notably, the Western dualism between “spiritual” on one side and “almost everything else” on the other – sociological, justice, peace, psychological, economic and related issues.

… A lot of conversation about theology, ministry, and mission is taking place through blogs, and it makes global conversation instantaneously possible.

… the first few people who became my mentors introduced me to spiritual disciplines or practices – from “practicing God’s presence” to keeping a prayer journal to spiritual direction/friendship to tithing to solitude and silence. These practices have sustained me and are part of my life every day, helping me make room for the Holy Spirit in my heart and helping me, to use Jesus’ beautiful image, be like a branch which abides in the Vine. As Jesus said, apart from that connection, we can do nothing. But with God’s empowerment, all things are possible.”

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