Thursday, May 10, 2007

Volume 3: What is the Emerging Church?

Mark Driscoll, Evangelical author and pastor, comments on his views of the Emerging Church. His views are a mostly fair minded, Evangelical perspective, which is why I include him. It is wise to hear from a variety of traditions and viewpoints.

You can hear his discomfort with parts of the emerging church when he addresses an important issue of what values and beliefs we can/are willing to leave behind. This is an appropriate question and concern that gets to the heart of Emerging Theology: The doing away with doctrines. Scary for some. Liberating for others. What makes a Christian? Believing propositional statements or following Jesus with our lives? I believe the latter, and so I believe it's time to do away with Modernist propositions that do more to divide than unite.

Unfortunately, he also makes an Al Gore claim of being one of the "founders" of the Emerging Church movement. Just like our former VP and the internet, the facts don't quite work out that way...

The beautiful thing about the Emerging Church movement is that it was born around the globe simultaneously over many years of painful soul searching. Surely there was a better way to be the Church? We've failed in so many different ways. What does it really mean to be a Christian...a Follower of Jesus the Christ? These questions drove several Christian faith communities to explore theological and methodological traditions from our past. It wasn't created in one place by one person. In my humble opinion, the Holy Spirit is bringing the Church together from many different places and traditions in order to do something new. That is exciting.

The one thing Mark really brings out is the contextual and missional component of the Emerging Church. That seems be a cornerstone of the Emerging Church movement: New forms of communication, new ways of thinking, new ways of speaking will all need new ways to contextualize the Gospel (i.e. make the Gospel speak today's language and culture). Afterall, just by reading this you are partaking in a new way of sharing our lives together.

1 comment:

mookie said...

i really like Mark Driscoll. But i guess that probably won't surprise you. Nor that i am not a big proponent of McClaren or Bell...

ah, it would be fun to talk with you o these matters, hopefully i can find your number and come see you soon...