A semi-regular attempt (in other words, as I have time) to explore the interaction between God and the adolescent world, especially the connection between theory and praxis (otherwise known as practical theology). Primary emphasis will be given to the role of the church (and especially the emerging church) in this process.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Is Everything "Emergent" Truly Emergent?

Read a terrific article today that some of you might be interested in. Jana Riess has written an article for Publishers Weekly titled "What Do Publishers Mean By "Emergent?"

Riess does a great job in pointing out that there are a number of new books coming out with the word "Emergent" in the title or subtitle which really are not Emergent. Not only does this become confusing to the uninitiated, but many of these "Emergent" books often are not reflective of Emergent values.

What Do Publishers Mean By "Emergent"?
by Jana Riess, Religion BookLine -- Publishers Weekly, 3/12/2008

I got another one of those press releases today, the kind that hypes a book submission as fresh, edgy and pioneering. Nothing unusual there. Only nowadays, Christian publishers are latching on to a new term for such books, whether or not they deserve it: "Emergent."

Emergents or the emerging church is a group of Christians—primarily but not exclusively evangelicals—who share some common characteristics. They're interested in postmodernism, and want to explore how to be Christian in today's pluralistic world. They are especially keen on rethinking the Christian gospel through story and experience rather than dogma. They want to reach out to the unchurched (though, like many Christian movements, seem to have their best success among the burned-out "postchurched"), and are well-connected to new technologies, especially the blogosphere. They want to simplify Christian trappings, sometimes foregoing buildings in favor of small house churches that take communion al fresco by downing grape juice in Styrofoam cups with the homeless. You get the idea.

You can read the entire article here.

2 Comments:

Blogger jason said...

Hi Jim,

I really appreciate your thoughts on all things "Emergent." I think part of the problem with and misunderstandings of Emergent theology comes from their own desire to dismiss perceived rigid theological structures in favor of the "conversation." Unfortunately, those who misunderstand what is being talked about chime in and confuse everyone. It will be interesting to see where the "conversation" goes in the coming years and whether or not those who are "emergent" will seek to codify it in such a way to limit the confusion.

12:50 AM

 
Blogger theoskaris said...

Thanks, Jason, for your comment. While I am definitely in favor of the "conversation" language (as opposed to drawing of lines to determine who's in and who's out), I also recognize that's part of the tension that Emergent will always face as long as they continue to seek to broaden their borders rather than restrict them.

4:10 PM

 

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