Some stuff for Emerging Movement today:
First, I drove down to Wheaton to speak to the staff and interns at College Church of Wheaton about the Emerging Movement. I sense more and the more the need to have a clear definition more readily available. Here’s why: if the EM is not simply a theological innovation (which it is not), then the Evangelical world will have a hard time grasping it since it wants things defined by theology. The EM is not “that” kind of movement. I think our time together was very good.
Second, I got home to a bucket load of e-mails from the blog and otherwise, and one of them is an early draft of the paper Justin Taylor, up now with the Desiring God ministries in Minneapolis, is giving about the EM (he prefers Emerging churches). I don’t mind “churches” but I think the emerging “church”, used by some, is a misrepresentation (as if this is some kind of denomination). Justin has now seen the work by Gibbs and Bolger, and it appears to me that these two fellas have nailed a definition — which, however accurate, will not make it any easier for those who want to define a group by its belief system. Here it is:
“Emerging Churches are those
1. who take the life of Jesus as a model way to live, and
2. who transform the secular realm,
3. as they live highly communal lives.
Because of these three activities, emerging churches
4. welcome those who are outside,
5. share generously,
8. lead without control, and
9. function together in spiritual activities.
Boiling it down to one sentence: Emerging Churches are communities who practice the way of Jesus within postmodern cultures.”
If this is the best definition available, my early hunches that this is an anabaptistic movement were more than on target.
I have a new category for the EM: Basileia-praxis (Kingdom).
Justin’s paper is fair and will help all of us. Thanks Justin.