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1.25.2005    |    PoMo Church
The Emerging Church movement (is this a good term?) caught me off guard. The Wikipedia article isn't too helpful, but does give a nice set of links to begin spelunking. The first one I visited is, logically enough, emerging::church, subtitled "postmodern::world."

My first reactions are mixed. The very term "postmodern" for me is like fingernails on a blackboard. It's a jargonish way of saying, "I don't much like what you've done; I'm not going to do anything different, but I'll call it by a sexier-sounding name." PoMo this; deconstruct that. Jacques Derrida, call your office...there's some work here for you.

From emerging::church, this on their "mission context":
today's mission context provides the church with a chance to:

1. shake off any residual "leave it to beaver" orientation and begin swimming (even with a paddleboard) within the postmodern culture.

2. really trust the power of the gospel and learn to communicate it with authenticity, because for postmodern people, authenticity is primary.
This says absolutely nothing. I may not be the most orthodox of Christians, but the Gospel is for me the most authentic thing I have ever, in my entire life, come stumbling across. It does not need "deconstructing."

So my gut reaction is negative. I will not let that stop me from learning more, to see if the emerging church is just another flavor of the month. Or, if it is, truly, a new way to reach people in the 21st century with a new take on a timeless message.

That last phrase, timeless message, may be a giveaway that I'm not really into this project. I believe there are immutable truths. Perhaps emerging church is but a new veneer, a method of presentation that preserves the truths that make us Christians. The message of salvation through Jesus is simple yet powerful, and will stand up to a fresh coat of paint. The only question for me is, are they throwing out the baby Jesus with the proverbial bathwater?

An open mind collects dirt, I've heard said. Nonetheless, I'll continue to read, and, if I can, interact with some people in this movement – and try to see if there is something that might make sense in our church and community.

1 Comments:

Blogger John Schroeder said...

This will mark the fourth day in a row that I have posted on what people areound the Blogosphere are saying about the church gone wrong. IF you want to read more it's here

12:45 PM, February 28, 2005  

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About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.