Friday, August 24, 2007

Emergent Churchism Explained

Thanks to Benedict Seraphim at This is Life for a link to this site. I have followed the trendy Emerging Church Movement with great interest--not attraction mind you, but interest. I sympathize with their obvious dissatisfaction with mainstream Protestantism and/or evangelical Chrisitianity. And yet, their response is depressingly predictable. The Emergents set out to reinvent/rediscover/reform Christianity, one more time, as if this had never been done before.

To understand Emerging Churches, you must familiarize yourself with their vocabulary--internalizing the metanarrative, as they might say. The site above--with tongue firmly planted in cheek--is as good a guide as any I've seen to bone up on all the buzzwords. To my horror, I discovered I had been using one myself (authenticity). A few samples are below, but do check out the site for the rest of the collection. Let me know which ones are your favorites.

This last one is my favorite, for these folks do hog the good chairs at Starbucks with their Bible Studies.


Dixie said...

I have seen these before but either they added more or I didn't scroll all the way down to see them all. Funny, yes...sad, too.

My favorite is this one. Why? Because there is so much symbolism in the images...the dog...that's Uga (the University of Georgia mascot)...and Uga is wearing a green hat and a green fringy lei-like thing around his neck...and everyone knows in real life it could never happen..only pure "Imagination" could put a UGA 'dawg in GREEN!!!!


David Bryan said...

This one, this one, this one, and especially this one.

Steve Hayes said...

I've been trying to grasp this emerging church thing ever sice I first came across it about 18 months ago. I went to hear one of the gurus of the movement, Brian McLaren, and obviously to his Calvinist audience what he was saying was all new and radical. But to the Orthodox it was old hat.

I suspect that what a lot of emerging church people are looking for is Orthodoxy, but Orthodox triumphalism hides it from them.

John said...

Steve, I have been trying to figure them out as well. They see the problem with established Protestantism--which is good--but think they can tinker with it, or perhaps add a bit of Orthodox smells and bells to jazz it up a bit, which will ultimately end up being...more of the same.

Your comment about Orthodox triumphalism interests me--for clearly, there is some of that in play. But I don't see it everywhere--which leads me to wonder how widespread it is, or whether it is worse with particular jurisdictions or ethnicities, etc. I come from a Protestant restorationist background which was pretty triumphalist, so I learned to recognize it when I see it, so to speak, very early on.

David Bryan said...

Well, if you're looking for the clarion call to Orthodoxy re: engaging sincere seekers of Christ within the emergent church, please listen to this talk given by Fr. Kevin Scherer at the Missions and Evangelism conference that AFR recently recorded. Phenomenal, and puts all those signs in a new which says we ought to be compassionate towards the longings those signs put forth, instead of triumphalist and isolationalist (as we can be).