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The "Emergent Church" -- What exactly is it?

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  • The "Emergent Church" -- What exactly is it?

    I heard this term a whole lot over the past 10-15 years, but not so much lately. Was this a fad? Anybody here been a part of the "Emergent Church"?

    What exactly is it, and does it mean anything to Christianity?
    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

  • #2
    Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
    I heard this term a whole lot over the past 10-15 years, but not so much lately. Was this a fad? Anybody here been a part of the "Emergent Church"?

    What exactly is it, and does it mean anything to Christianity?
    I've not been a part of one of them. From what I've read, it seems to be an effort to make Christianity relevent to society. Given the scope and number of churches and leaders, I'm not sure how well it could be summarized. One of the few common points that seem to be there is a deemphasis on doctrine.

    My personal vote: I'll go with a fad.
    "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

    "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post
      I've not been a part of one of them. From what I've read, it seems to be an effort to make Christianity relevent to society. Given the scope and number of churches and leaders, I'm not sure how well it could be summarized. One of the few common points that seem to be there is a deemphasis on doctrine.

      My personal vote: I'll go with a fad.

      Perhaps one could also say a balancing of doctrine with "right living"?
      (right living. = how a person lives is more important than what he or she believes. orthopraxy that flows from orthodoxy)

      fad or not, it would be great if more people paid attention to creating a better world.......

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      • #4
        Originally posted by siam View Post
        Perhaps one could also say a balancing of doctrine with "right living"?
        (right living. = how a person lives is more important than what he or she believes. orthopraxy that flows from orthodoxy)

        fad or not, it would be great if more people paid attention to creating a better world.......
        I was trying to avoid this but deemphasizing doctrine can mean changing it. Rob Bell is I belive considered one of the "founders" of the Emergent church group.

        By fad, I think I mean the Emergent group will make the same discovery that Willow Creek did a few years ago. They'll find they have a great way to get people in the door and are lousy at building mature Christians.

        I agree it would be great if people would work to make a better world. I'm not holding my breath that its going to be happening.
        "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

        "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
          I heard this term a whole lot over the past 10-15 years, but not so much lately. Was this a fad? Anybody here been a part of the "Emergent Church"? What exactly is it, and does it mean anything to Christianity?
          It's a new, postmodern generation of liberals, carving a distinct identity out of the evangelical church which they are in the process of rejecting. If you're looking for some reading material, start here:

          http://www.amazon.com/Becoming-Conve.../dp/0310259479

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          • #6
            Thanks, RB
            "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

            Comment


            • #7
              A small note to the mods, siam is Muslim.

              Siam, the guideline for this section indicates this is for Christians only to post in.
              Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith? -Galatians 3:5

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Pentecost View Post
                A small note to the mods, siam is Muslim.

                Siam, the guideline for this section indicates this is for Christians only to post in.
                Good point. It's going to be a lot harder to police that issue with the new forum format.

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                • #9
                  We are working at getting faith designations back in place.

                  This involves nagging Chrs.


                  Securely anchored to the Rock amid every storm of trial, testing or tribulation.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mossrose View Post
                    We are working at getting faith designations back in place.

                    This involves nagging Chrs.
                    We have them. Chrs just needs to work on getting them display on the profiles.
                    "It's evolution; every time you invent something fool-proof, the world invents a better fool."
                    -Unknown

                    "Preach the gospel, and if necessary use words." - Most likely St.Francis


                    I find that evolution is the best proof of God.
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                      I heard this term a whole lot over the past 10-15 years, but not so much lately. Was this a fad? Anybody here been a part of the "Emergent Church"?

                      What exactly is it, and does it mean anything to Christianity?
                      My experience with it is limited, so take what I'm about to say with a grain of salt.

                      AFAICT, it's a fad. An emergent Christian is one who asks difficult questions (sometimes very good questions), ignores the answers given by more mainstream brethren, and then abandons the orthodox doctrine wholesale purely in light of the question, which they never found an answer to anyway. (A good example of this would be the doctrine of hell (or annihilationism, since that seems within the realm of orthodoxy): they ask, "but how could a loving God send people to hell?" and then dismiss the doctrine completely, ignoring the fact that mainstream Christianity has, in fact, answered this question already.) They seem to largely eschew doctrinal statements, and it's consequently somewhat difficult to find out what they actually believe on any given point of doctrine.

                      That was a little bit hyperbolic, but there's my opinion. I agree with Thoughtful Monk and RBerman. I haven't been impressed with what I've seen.
                      I DENOUNCE DONALD J. TRUMP AND ALL HIS IMMORAL ACTS.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Irate Canadian View Post
                        We have them. Chrs just needs to work on getting them display on the profiles.


                        Thanks, IC!


                        Securely anchored to the Rock amid every storm of trial, testing or tribulation.

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                        • #13
                          This may or may not be a fair observation, but I've seemed to notice an environment among people with an "emergent" bent where asking questions is encouraged (which is all well and good), but where firm answers are discouraged.

                          I think the term "progressive Christianity" is being used more nowadays to mean about the same thing. I do think there are some good ideas that come from this movement. The push to apply OT principles on treatment of immigrants to modern day America's situation is one. As a whole, though, it's not a movement I would want to identify with.
                          "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

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                          • #14
                            I believe "emergent Church" main concern is societal change rather than salvation.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Pinoy View Post
                              I believe "emergent Church" main concern is societal change rather than salvation.
                              This came from a legitimate observation that the church at large, at least in the US, often doesn't take it seriously enough (it would be difficult to argue Jesus did not call for some level of societal change from his disciples) but the pendulum seems to swing way back too far the other way in de-emphasizing salvation/the gospel.
                              "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

                              Comment

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