Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Emergent Church

emerging church emergent church
If you had asked me two years ago, I would have said I was all for the Emergent Church. Because I believe 100% in doing church in context. But now, I'm not so sure. I guess I'm on a bit of a journey of discovery - and so I hesitate to write unfinished thoughts. I usually like to have things cut-and-dried and clear in my mind before I say anything to anyone else. At the moment I suspect the Emergent Church is going to be to the 2000's what the Charismatic Movement was to the 1900's. It starts as extreme. Is viewed with suspicion by the established churches and eventually shakes down to something that can be adopted by, um, orthodox? churches. Evangelical churches? We need a new labeling system!! So, can we short circuit the process and say what do I (as a Methodist in South Africa) need to learn from the EC movement? Of course, we can easily say John Wesley was EC (for his time, he was) and the Methodist Church already stands for much of what EC has to say (such as social action). I like the way Emergents reexamine and question everything. But I am not sure that there isn't a tendency to replace God with the human conscience or with human wisdom. (I cannot understand how God can be like this, therefore he isn't.) More to say . . . another time.


David Barbour said...


The emergent church is a new one for me and I am picking up pieces here and there. Not sure what it likes to call itself yet? I am very aware that the Charismatic Worship style will become something of the past one day. To be honest I will be very glad. I am tired of it!! (Heresy)

Jenny Hillebrand said...

Hi David

A book I think I need to read is 'A Generous Orthodoxy' by Brian McLaren about the emergent church. There's also a site at www.futurechurch.co.za that says a bit.
What part of charismatic worship styles don't you like? I am curious!

Grant Hillebrand said...

The whole 'wrestling with God' thing, and discovering who He is in our context goes back a long way, doen't it! ;)

What is stretching my (somewhat tired) mind at the moment is just how different God has made us. It seems sometimes that there is no common ground between those who claim to love Him, and yet when I try to see it His way, sometimes I can see what we have in common. Much grace & wisdom required for me!

Jenny Hillebrand said...

I agree. While I sometimes wonder why we Christians don't get on better, at other times I marvel that we get on at all. I also think that how different we are from each other is an indication of how big God is. Somehow he embraces all of this genuine searching for him. He cannot be reduced to finiteness!