Sailing on Lake Emerging



This is for the religiously-interested among us. I took the time to print off the thirty-page document found here titled, “What is the Emerging Church?” by Scot McKnight. It is his lecture given eight days ago at Westminster Theological Seminary, and it is very thought-provoking for me at the very least. I’m obviously sailing around Lake Emerging somehow (which will make sense once you read his diagnosis). This will give me great cause for reflection, and I suspect a few of you will be interested as well.


9 Responses to “Sailing on Lake Emerging”

  1. juvenal_urbino Says:

    Can you give us the 40,000 ft. overview, O Summarizer of Texts?

  2. Al Sturgeon Says:

    I’ll try to eventually. (Do I feel a new idea for a series of posts coming on?!?)

    I’m headed out of town in a couple of hours, so now isn’t good. I’ll try, though…

  3. Terry Austin Says:

    Emergent is so-o-o-o yesteryearsville.

    Post-emergent is the new Next Big Thing.

  4. Al Sturgeon Says:

    See. Now you haven’t read the lecture. There’s a difference between EmergENT and EmergING.

    Today’s word verification: fyzssl

    The state of Ted Haggard’s influence in the evangelical world.

  5. DeJon Redd Says:

    Al, downloaded the text yesterday and filed it under “first-thing-to-read-when-the-treadmill-shifts from-ludacris-speed-to-off.”

    Can’t wait to hear your take, and if I’m lucky I’ll have read it before hand.

  6. Terry Austin Says:

    Can one be emerge-ish?

  7. juvenal_urbino Says:

    Okay. I downloaded it and got as far as this:

    Instead, first read Eddie Gibbs and Ryan Bolger, Emerging Churches: Creating Christian Community in Postmodern Cultures (Baker, 2005). Why? As I said before, the courteous thing to do is to let the movement speak for itself. Which is exactly what Gibbs-Bolger do. They show the center of the movement is about ecclesiology not epistemology.

    Then I figured, what’s the point?

    I used to be asked, occasionally, why I didn’t push back on certain well-known CofC internal issues, and my answer was that our problem wasn’t that we were saying this instead of that on the troublesome subject, the problem was that we were talking about it at all. I get that same feeling about this “emergent/ing church” stuff. Churches don’t need a new notion or conversation about ecclesiology. Churches need to stop talking about church and do something. Something Jesus-y, preferably.

    “Relevance,” I believe, was the word Al used some time back. An emergent church doesn’t interest me. A relevant church might.


    A separate problem is that ecclesiology doesn’t really change unless things like epistemology change. Otherwise — to pick up a metaphor I used a while back — you’re just re-upholstering the railcars in the train: the tracks still go to the same old dead places.

  8. Al Sturgeon Says:

    Point well taken.


    If you have time, skip to the “missional” section on pp 19-21 (in fact, the whole 3.2 “praxis” section provides the applicable context, but the missional section is the one)…

    Seems to me (as a doofus) that there’s something quite epistemological about this whole deal, but what do I know?

    His point with ecclesiology seems related more to, “Hey, emergent folks haven’t quite presupposing Jesus/Bible to be important (as they are popularly characterized), but they think we ought to be approaching this whole bear from a different direction.”

    I do promise a more in-depth analysis than that, but it seems like he turned you off with a statement that is a bit misleading as to where he heads later in the lecture.

  9. juvenal_urbino Says:

    Very well could be. I’ll try skimming ahead to the meatier bits.

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