Abductive Columns

Monday, May 30, 2005

The Skinny on Emergent and Other Stuff Emergent-Related

Among the group many would consider leaders within the emergent conversation (the list is even controversial and elusive) Andrew Jones stands inches above all the others. He has clear understanding of what he means when he talks emerging and articulates with the best of them. (That would include McLaren and Sweet)

By "emerging church" or "emerging-missional church" I refer to the new church forms that are being started as a response to effective missional work in the global emerging culture.

When the emerging church considers the idea that there is more to being church than just programs and events and what happens on a Sunday morning – does that mean, we in someway, hold a "low" view of the church. I answer the opposite is true. With a focus on Kingdom thinking and seeing the invisible church as well as the visible, we have an understanding of the church that is higher and deeper - a "deep ecclesiology"

The Emerging Church
by Andrew Jones

Vocabulary - “Emergent” is a name that is being used at the moment, to describe the church’s response to the current emerging culture, and the peculiar aggregation of believers being called up out of this culture to follow Jesus back into it. [more]

History - "The emerging church has fermented on the fringe of society. Over the past 40 years, and around the world, the alternative counterculture has been the context in which new forms of ministry have been birthed. Today, the movement is less alternative and increasingly mainstream, as a wider strata of young people adopt the new cultures. Although the countercultural values are still present. [more]

Context - "The emerging church is a response to a culture sometimes characterized as 'post-modern'. . . The post-modern shift was an experiential shift in our perception of time and space and motion. [more]

Mindset - "The minds of the emerging generation are being shaped by the computer screen more than the television screen. We see things in layers and loops and links and labyrinths. We do not see new things replace old things (like video clips in a linear movie) but we see them find their place in nested layers. We expect motion and navigability. We distrust anything static. Emerging churches normally reflect this." [more]

Church - I have described the understanding of the nature and ministry of the emerging church as "deep ecclesiology". A link to a fuller explanation than I gave you in my notes is forthcoming.


The following was written after the Emergent Convention in Nashville, TN and published in the Tennessean

“Emergent” folks are Christians who are impatient with rigid megachurch formulas and noisy doctrinal in-fighting. They want to nurture a “vintage Christianity” that promotes the love of Christ for the emerging (non-churchgoing) generation. They're hammering out a theology that's friendly to ancient faith practices (contemplative prayer, labyrinths, hospitality) in a postmodern world of quantum physics, 24/7 media and coffee-house culture. [...complete newspaper article]


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