Emergent Church Overview

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 is undeniably in existence, but for which a simple definition is difficult.  If this movement could be summed up in a single phrase – and of course, it cannot – it might be something similar to, “Christianity impacted by post-modernism.”    In truth however, the movement is extraordinarily complex and diverse, and its definition and description is further complicated by the tendency in post-modern thought to adjust definitions of existing terms to sometimes nuanced and other times blatant variations of traditional – some would say, “modern” – understanding of terms.

So as we take a look at the Emergent/Emerging church (we’ll mostly use the acronym “EC” in this posting) landscape, we must never leave that concept behind: what do they really mean?  What do I actually imply in what I state?  This is not to say that language issues are impossible to sort out, it’s simply that they are important and often subtle.  The definition of terms is very important.

Well ok, with the EC phenomena described as complex and varied and the playing field of ideas within its domain often characterized by adjusted word-meanings, some questions: who is emergent?  What are some primary issues that are involved in the realm of ideas and practice?  What is their impact?  And who are some of the important players?

These and similar questions will be dealt with in the following links.

Who is emergent?

Emergents Critique Traditionalists

Subdividing the EC movement

Doctrinal issues with Revisionists

EC and Communication Style

How and when did this all get started?

Important Players

EC and Dispensationalism, Social Justice and Ecumenism

EC and Mysticism

Uncivil dialogue and the case of Leonard Sweet and Calvary Chapel Albuquerque

Other reviews of the EC

Summary – Is the EC Movement Unraveling?

Next.

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