The Emerging Church - Are We Still Talking About This?

It started for me in 2001 when I read Brian McLaren's excellent and compelling book A New Kind of Christian. Like many others who read that book, I was stirred to consider the possibility that I could be a Christian in a postmodern world; that I could even lead a church that would embrace the questions of postmodernity and form a worshipping community that loved Jesus and the traditions of the Church but also seriously wrestled with the important cultural issues facing emerging generations in the 21st Century.

I pursued ordination in the United Methodist Church and had the privilege of serving at a large coastal church in the Panhandle of Florida formulating and leading such a community. Two years ago I was asked to plant a new church in a more rural, but fast growing town in North Florida. The result has been The Journey, an emerging faith community seeking to be relevant to our changing culture.

While the emerging church conversation has lost a bit of it's steam over the past few years (thankfully I might add) there are occasional reminders that controversy still swirls around the movement.

Recently a national organization representing "faith, family and opportunity for all" stated that the emergent church movement is one of the three "channels the adversary is using to bring America down." If you're interested, the other two channels are communism and Islam.

The emerging church movement has been criticized, scandalized and crucified for nearly 15 years now, so it is no surprise to me that this new attack has surfaced; however, I find it deeply troubling that those of us who claim the name of Jesus cannot seem to find a way to love and support each other despite our theological and ecclesiological differences.

I found this interview today on MPR (Minnesota Public Radio) about the issue. The host interviews Doug Paggit of Solomon's Porch and Nadia Bolz-Weber of House for All Sinners and Saints, two pastors I highly respect and from whom I have learned much.

If you are interested in understanding a bit more about the emerging church please take a listen to the interview.


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