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The Emergent Church (again)

From time to time, I like to take a look at what is going on in the emerging church. Speaking on it from an historical perspective, Jonathon Stegall suggests:

“They [emerging leaders] moved from ecclesiology and missiology into other areas of theology – realizing that one’s view of church comes from one’s view of other things.”

I think this one statement shows how much sociology and religion have intermingled in the past 50 years.  Contextual theology has become the centerpiece of this emerging church.  It is these ideas that have also driven conservatives away from the emerging church.  Conservatives are simply not okay with the idea that theology changes based on the circumstances of any one generation.

As an historian myself, this is the difficult case of any type of theology.  Theologies so often seem  endlessly tied up in a time period.  Are we following God or simply following the endearing qualities of our time?  Are we following Jesus or simply a nice message that has been white-washed to sound like Jesus?  These are the difficult questions that the emerging generation.

Lieutenant Dan: Have you found Jesus, yet?

Forrest Gump: I didn’t know I was supposed to be looking for him.

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2 thoughts on “The Emergent Church (again)

  1. I like the Gump quote.
    Just today someone caught me in town and asked me what I thought of the emerging church and they explained to me how scary it sounded to them (especially Rob Bell, ironically). Their reason was because the “emerging church” is “reforming” the gospel or changing the message of scripture in some way. I couldn’t quite find the words there and then to explain that it wasn’t the gospel that is being changed but merely the context in which it is framed, and consequentially the language with which we talk about it.

    I just can’t quite understand how theology could NOT be contextual. And I can’t remember how I used to reason that. I think that the contextuality (if that’s a word) of scripture might be key to inspiration. It’s incarnational, coming to us as we are, just like Jesus.

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