I’ve been doing a lot of reading recently around this strange nebulous subject that is the “Emerging Church”. In fact, ‘recently’ here is a bit of a misnomer, as for at least a year my online reading has slowly circled closer and closer towards some form of understanding of what some have dubbed the Emerging Conversation.
For me, this has come out of a continual searching on what church, what Christian life (and I accept that those are often two different things) should look like. For both Andrea and myself, this is a regular topic of conversation; we are both so often frustrated with the “Sunday morning and weekly small-group” expression of church. It is also a topic of much discussion for many of those around us: the soon-to-be-Dr Barney Skrentney leads much discussion (and to his credit, some good practice) on the true nature of church; the 24-7 Prayer community are often continually seeking a truer outworking of what we believe.
Today I stumbled upon this great article (well, actually a transcript) by Scott McKnight, which gives the most concise summary I’ve yet heard of what those in the Emerging Church/Conversation actually believe. Its well worth a read.
I find myself interested in all of what is said here, and agreeing with much of it (but by no means all). I don’t think I am part of the emerging church, but I see much in common in both my thinking and yearning, and also with the history of the church-stream I’m part of here in the UK. [Our church, City Gates, is part of the New Church stream in the UK, and was until recently part of Ichthus Christian Fellowship].
I love the idea of “Orthopraxy”, that what matters most is how we live, not what we profess to believe. Jesus constantly talked in practical, doing terms; so surely faith should be outworked in the same way. I think it is that aspect that attracts me most to this movement/conversation, because I want to understand how to live a Jesus-life in the 21st Century, and there is one thing that is certain, that Jesus, were He here now, would certainly be doing.
I’m hoping that posts on this subject will become a major feature of this blog. The search for a more authentic, active faith is a dominant theme in our lives at present, and the Emerging Conversation is of the avenues I’m regularly using to explore that theme. As long as I can be clear and erudite enough, there should be more thoughts to follow…