Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Emerging Church: Good Or Evil?

Okay, so I normally don't get into politics or deep theology on my blog...and for good reason. But a friend sent this article about the 'Emerging Church' from Christianity Today, and I thought it was well-worth reading.

There is a lot of controversy over this movement. Some people think it's evil. Some people think it's great. If you are wondering where you fall on that spectrum, or if you've never heard of it and would like to know more, please read. It's well worth the read.

Oh, and the author is the one who wrote this incredible book--one of my new favorites!


Tyler, Erin, Addilyn, Asher Johnson said...

First of all, your title is very Fox Newsy. As if it must be one or the other.

Secondly, the only thing wrong with an Emerging Church is if they define themselves as such. If they must be an Emerging Church than they most certainly won't be open to all the possible ways God can use them.

Also, Scot McKnight is a professor at the University. So when you visit maybe you'll see him!

Kendall Smith said...

Good points. Did you read the article? There's a difference between the 'E'merging 'C'hurch...and the 'e'merging 'c'hurch. Distinctive difference. But very good points.

Tyler, Erin, Addilyn, Asher Johnson said...

I didn't read it all. I just skimmed it. I kind of have a problem with the need to define such movements, because that leads to stereotyping or assumptions that may or may not be true.

Tyler, Erin, Addilyn, Asher Johnson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...


I'm really glad to see others engaging the emerging church. It's a subject that has consumed a fair bit of my thought for the last couple of years. My general take is that Anabaptism and Emerging Christianity have many similarities. There's a great little article by Gareth Brandt that's definitely worth reading on this. (btw, Brandt also just wrote a book on reconstructing men's spirituality that is absolutely fantastic. It's called 'Under Construction')

Phyllis Tickle also recently put out a very helpful and interesting little book called "The Great Emergence", in which she argues that the church (specifically the Western church) is undergoing a major upheaval that seems to happen about every 500 years that can even be traced back into Jewish history. That is a foundational book for understanding the Emerging Church and all of it's expressions. Plus it's a short read, which is nice.

In general (not to make this too long) my take is that many expressions of the Emerging Church have similar resonances with Anabaptism, especially early Anabaptism. Is it evil? No. Does it challenge some foundational doctrines and understandings held by many conservative evangelicals as well as Catholics and other denominations? Oh yeah, it does. But then again, so do the core teachings of Anabaptism.

Keep on searching,
Alan Stucky

EC and Anabaptism article