The Emerging Church, part 1 – Overview

March 5, 2008

It’s extremely difficult to say much about the emerging church that would be true of every church that bears the label “emerging”. Why? Because technically the “emerging church” does not refer to a movement, denomination, theology, or official association. The term “emerging church” means exactly what it sounds like – it refers to the church that is “emerging” in our current culture. As Scott McKnight put it in his Christianity Today article, “[emerging] has no central offices, and it is as varied as evangelicalism itself.”

Emerging Christians prefer to talk of the emerging “conversation”. What is this conversation about? To quote McKnight again, “Emerging catches into one term the global reshaping of how to “do church” in postmodern culture.” Some of what is being said in this emerging conversation is food for thought, but some of what is being said is downright anti-biblical. Under the label “emerging” you have everything from doctrinally solid believers trying to do church a little differently in order to best reach the current culture, to people denying scripture and preaching a different gospel! I’ll use McKnight’s analogy and take it a little further – I’d say the term is as varied as the label “christianity” itself – including both genuine believers and those who claim Christ but have forsaken the truth.

I’ll write a few more blogs on this soon, but this short video should be helpful in giving a brief overview of the four major groups in the emerging church and their distinctives: 

(This is a Desiring God (the ministry headed up by John Piper) interview with Mark Driscoll before he spoke at their 2006 pastors’ conference)  

 ~ Donovan

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2 Responses to “The Emerging Church, part 1 – Overview”

  1. Tyler said

    I think that is a pretty good summary. Looking forward to your other posts.

  2. […] 27, 2008 You can read my post, “The Emerging Church, part 1″ here. The nutshell of my first post was that there is a wide spectrum of churches and theologies that […]

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