With all my speaking in various places of late, I’ve had a hard time getting to the next topic I’d like to blog, namely, the “ecclesiology of the Emergent movement.” It would be foolhardy to think anything like an extensive coverage could be blogged, so what I want to do is to take a fair look at Doug Pagitt’s “Reimagning Spiritual Formation” and try to draw out some of the central concerns of the Emergent churches and how they “do church” (which expression, as I’ve said, is not particularly good English).
I’m hoping to get to this soon, but I’ll be heading for the Seattle area for speaking engagements Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday, so any sort of blogging may be dependent on finding some time for computer work and away from seeing the Pacific NW for the first time.
After looking at DA Carson’s examination of the Emergent Church’s epistemology by focusing on Brian McLaren’s epistemology, and after commenting several times myself that the Emergent movement is more than an epistemology (and even then I think the focus of that epistemology is less with a concern for the “fact” of Truth than with the ability of humans to “articulate” that Truth — which is to say, it’s epistemic concern is with the “linguistic turn”), it seems only fair to put up or shut up: namely, take a look at the ecclesiology.
To be sure, it is almost unfair to speak of an “ecclesiology” — not only because it diverges from one church to another (which is what the Emergent movement especially is keen to let happen) but also because it would be unfair to suggest that a few of its leaders got together and came up with some rational ecclesiology to work out in a postmodern setting. The process is more dialectical, but let me give a stab at it by looking again at Doug Pagitt’s book and see what we get.
I have been very encouraged by the number of you who have e-mailed and encouraged this endeavor.