Oh, my. Déjà vu all over again. Same place: Finagle-a-bagel on Boylston St. Same day/time Wednesday, 6:40pm. Only this time, I overheard a guy on his cell phone talking about “a lecture”. I immediately thought, “Could this be Rob Bell at Trinity?” Back on April 6, it was Brian McLaren, and . . . → Read More: Rob Bell in Boston — May 25, 2011
I was sitting in Finagle-a-Bagel at Copley Square on Wednesday the 6th, finishing supper with my wife, when she noted in the Boston Courant events section that Brian McLaren was speaking in 20 minutes at Trinity Episcopal Church, directly across the street from where we were sitting. I had no idea that he was in town, . . . → Read More: Brian McLaren in Boston — April 6, 2011
The following post is intended for a reader who has had limited exposure to the Emergent Church movement, and is interested in the big picture. There are many issues discussed which in and of themselves could benefit from an in-depth analysis.
The terms “Emerging” and “Emergent” when applied to early 21st-century Christianity refer to a movement that . . . → Read More: Emergent Church Overview
[In the following, references to the Emergent Church (EC) and the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) generally deal with the extremes of these movements. Both are extraordinarily diverse, and one cannot deal will all possible variations and nuances in a single posting such as this.]
Recently there have been some blog postings which have suggested that the . . . → Read More: Convergence of Emergent Church and the New Apostolic Reformation? Unlikely.
There are indications in early 2010 that the EC movement is beginning to unravel a bit. For example, consider a couple recent blog entries that speak to this, described in an ironic fashion:
“Today, at 12:33pm, while most of you were having lunch, the Emerging Church was taken off of life support.
“The Emerging Church was not around . . . → Read More: Emergent Church Overview – Is the EC Unraveling?
Other reviews of the EC
There are a number of very helpful overviews of the EC movement available in books, magazines, blogs and websites. Two that have an especially good combination of scholarship and civil tone are cited here:
An extensive review of the movement is found in the book “Evangelicals Engaging Emergent”, published in the spring of . . . → Read More: Emergent Church Overview – Other Reviews
Uncivil dialogue and the case of Leonard Sweet and Calvary Chapel Albuquerque
Unfortunately much of the dialogue about the Emergent church is not cordial; it is often contentious and can move beyond discussions of philosophies and facts into ad hominem attacks, guilt by association, and ego battles. This happens in both blog postings and maybe especially in . . . → Read More: Emergent Church Overview – Uncivil Dialogue
A factor in some of the EC movement is a tendency towards an embracing of mystical practices. Some of the influential writers/speakers from the past include Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen and Richard Foster. EC churches often support “spiritual formation” retreats and similar emphases. Typically the practice of “Contemplative Centering Prayer” (CCP) will be taught, wherein a . . . → Read More: Emergent Church Overview – EC and Mysticism
One of the stranger aspects of the EC movement is its tendency to be anti-Christian Zionism, and sometimes anti-Israel as well. Consider the following quote from Brian McLaren:
“If you hold to a deterministic-dispensationalist or Zionist theology, I sincerely hope you will rethink your view. I grew up with these views as well, and have become thoroughly . . . → Read More: Emergent Church Overview – EC and Dispensationalism, Social Justice and Ecumenism
John Q. Pew-sitter
Largely voiceless, except in blogs
Confused, angry, disillusioned with clergy (53.23% *)
Hopeful, pliable, trusting in clergy (46.77% *)
(no books, few magazine articles)
* Unscientific estimates
Commenting on experience with EC:
“They’ve taken away everything I’ve believed all my life. I’ve dropped out of almost everything.”
Back to Important Players.
Back . . . → Read More: Important Players – Confused, Hopeful