Should We Be “Emerging”?

A while back, I started a series called “Which Gospel?” I never finished it. I’ve been trying to find a shorter path to a conclusion, and I think I found it.

The February 2007 issue of Christianity Today has an article by Scot McKnight attempting to define the so-called emerging church movement. The article is important because McKnight, who authors the popular “Jesus Creed” blog and has published several books, is one of the leading intellectuals in the emerging church movement.

And as I read the article, I found that it’s filled with several provoking questions that I think we in the Churches of Christ need to think about.

Now, a word of warning. Rather like “fundamentalism” and “evangelical,” “emerging” means different things to different people. And some evangelicals have been harshly critical of the emerging church movement, largely due to some mistakes that have been made by some of its leaders. And many in the Churches of Christ have jumped on the band wagon.

Nonetheless, there are reasons for the emerging church movement, and the more traditional forms of American Christianity must be willing to consider why some people want to leave the mainstream and try something else. After all, it’s not as though the traditional churches — Churches of Christ and others — are having great success — by any measure.

Therefore, in the next few posts, we’ll consider what McKnight calls the 5 “streams” of thought that converge to create the emerging church movement — and ask whether (or to what extent) we in the Churches of Christ need to get on board.

It should be interesting.

About Jay F Guin

My name is Jay Guin, and I’m a retired elder. I wrote The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace about 18 years ago. I’ve spoken at the Pepperdine, Lipscomb, ACU, Harding, and Tulsa lectureships and at ElderLink. My wife’s name is Denise, and I have four sons, Chris, Jonathan, Tyler, and Philip. I have two grandchildren. And I practice law.
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