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Comments

dan

Darren,

I don't know that we can do anything about economic co-option, but I think we can do something about making sure that we don't become like any other movement in the church.

The proof will lie in the pudding, as they say, and whether the "emergent" movement will actually make an impact on the church long term. I have certainly seen people talk about this more than do something about it, but I also see that those that are doing something are amongst the best and the most gifted that the church has to offer.

Bruce

money

Darren

Dan, while the pattern of economic co-option is mostly unavoidable; its influence can be minimized. That is why I have so many questions. I use the questions to continually re-evaluate what I’m doing and what I’m saying. My concern for economic co-option is as a marker of “success.”

Very often contentment and a tendency toward the status quo are the offspring of success. An “if it works, don’t fix it” kind of mentality. I believe that the success of a movement often brings about a subtle indifference. They stop asking the right questions and they begin to loose touch. Movements that view themselves as successful are slower to react and transform themselves. (I’m ordained by a movement/denomination facing that issue) They don’t see the need, as they have been successful with what they have always done.

As you pointed out, there is hope. Those who are actually doing something about it are among the best we have to offer. Like most of us, I want to be involved with something that makes a lasting impact.

Jordon Cooper

I have always scoffed at the idea of postmodern gatherings or churches and it drives me crazy when I hear people talking now of the need to plant "emerging churches". The task of the church and theology is unchanging since Christ told us to go out and do it. We may waver off course and there will always be the need for course corrections but the way this is going is that "emerging" is just another flavor of evangelicalism based on style just like fundementalism is. It needs to be more than that.

Good post and thanks for linking to me on the old blogroll!

Pax.

Nathan G. Davis

EMERGING - Culture is made up of people's values, practices, ideas most importantly values. We (post-modern ermmerging churches) are affecting culture as (to use a marketing term) early adopters in hopes to affect the whole of church culture and hopefully American culture.

I was wondering, who is driving this emergance and can we do a little more of our own "driving" if you will. Why do we have to be adopters, why not innovators as we understand where people are, the times we live in and the current trends at the same time receiving direction from God.

Think of Religion and cultures globally and then nationally and look to see who has influenced who... Much our nation was affected by those that resisted trends as they are by those who adapted and became relevant. Many nations are held by the force of religious institutions and others completely governed. In our nation should we not only be looking at how we can become more relative but also what areas we can affect and reform culture. It seems in our efforts to be relative we lose the ide of being salt. Being relative to preserve a platform is understandbale but what of our being salt and light - bring illumination and new paths to light for the whole of our society and culture.

There ought to be circles of community looking to the church as a leader in regards to the better way of life as it relates to technology, relationships, money etc...

I hope this made sense I am in a rush great stuff guys!

Darren

Nathan,

Good comments. I agree that we need to be Salt and do more "driving" in this emergence. We need to be motivated by a love that results in action if we are to transcend the reactionary trend of adoption. This requires the chruch to take risks and step out into the light of our culture and society.

Nathan G. Davis

I wonder what's driving all this "change." Are we seeking to "grow" as company would are are we seeking a pure - God-ordained way of life and church. If we are merely looking to work our way out of decline (numerically) as denominational churches than we are being motivated by the wrong reasons. Asking God what He thinks the church (the people of faith) should look like may be more important than understanding what will make people feel more welcome and valued in our communities of faith. The more and more mechanical we become in applying methods from an "impure" motivation the less and less authentic we appear to people. If a postmodern wants anything whatever it is they want it to be authentic.

Nathan G. Davis

I wonder what (who) is driving all this "change?" Are we seeking to "grow" as a company would or are we seeking a pure, God-ordained way of life. If we are merely looking to work our way out of decline (numerically) as denominational churches than we are being motivated by the wrong reasons. Asking God what He thinks the church (the people of faith) should look like may be more important than understanding what will make people feel more welcome and valued in our communities of faith. The more and more mechanical we become in applying methods from an "impure" motivation the less and less authentic we appear to people. If a postmodern wants anything whatever it is they want it to be authentic.

Darren

That is the central issue Nathan. Do we want to follow God for who He is or do we wish to market a "new product?" Like AMWAY, change the name but everything else stays the same. I think we need to be led by the Holy Spirit if we are to do things God’s way and with authenticity. Obedience to God is the Key, not some emerging/emergent program or sub-culture we create.

Garth

I like your discussion. For me, I think we would have been better placed today if we had lived yesterday as you mentioned above "follow(ing) God for who He is (not)market(ing) a "new product". If we had got that right we might not be 'emerging' or in transition mode trying to find where we left the fork in the road with respect to simply living in our times.

Christianity has become 'churchianity', a culture of its own, perhaps too big for its boots, with its unspoken, guidelines, restrictions and expectations. Its a book culture based in teaching and correct dcttrine, bible study and theory that results in belief. As Thomas Hohstadt puts it "A terrible virus has spread through today's church. It's the cold sickness of a faith that simply "thinks"--a "thinking-man's" religion." In short we have created a world, a culture, for ourselves that people need to first change before they can become part of it. Believe, Behave, Belong.

From what I glean from scripture and the life of Christ, we should have the capacity to live fluently in todays culture without being overly offended by it and be a light in it. But we departed ways a long time ago and are trying to find an entry point back.

I don't think the answer is to invent yet another christian emergent culture and try to sell that, (although what we do might be called 'emergent') but live significantly in other peoples lives as Christ did, rather than run away to our 'holy hills'. And yes we need aplace to call home, which might just come under an emergent banner.
Our call to be in the world not of it (or polluted by it) has been forgotten.

Garth
emergingBlurb.blogspot.com

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