Emergent Church Overview
The Emergent Church Movement gets its name from the idea that a new church should appear on the scene for a world that is “searching” and changing. The primary goal is to be relevant and sensitive to the culture, always engaged and listening. This results in an emphasis on subjective feelings rather than objective truth. “Absolute truths” are evidently the unpardonable sins in this movement. The Emergent Church is “missional” in its approach to ministry and at its out-set would probably have much rather had a small group meeting on a porch somewhere than find itself in a formal church setting.
Emergent Church Roots
The Emergent Church Movement gets its name from the idea that a new church should emerge on the scene to address the needs of a world that is “searching.” The primary goal is to be relevant to that culture. It is somewhat diverse and, in some ways, a reaction to the techniques of the Church-Growth Movement. It is missional in its approach to ministry and at its out-set would probably have much rather had a small group meeting on a porch somewhere than find itself in a formal church setting.
The Emergent (Emerging) Church Movement started as a response to the church establishing the mentality of whatever works (pragmatism) and implementing it in their services. It was fairly quickly exposed, by those outside of it, as a new kind of post-modern liberalism – complete with a faulty emphasis on a kind of liberation/kingdom theology as advanced by men like Brian McLaren in “The Secret Message of Jesus.” The lack of influence has not slowed it’s popularity, even though it has purposely failed to “define” itself internally. Lack of definition, for the emergent, is a badge of honor. Clarity is, evidently, the unpardonable sin.
(It should be noted that “Emergent” is actually, also, an organization.)
Initial Leaders & Popular Teachers of the Emergent Church
A list of those involved or associated with those in this movement either currently or historically would include:
- N.T. Wright, Henri Nouwen, Erwin McManus (Mosaic Church), Donald Miller, Phyllis Tickle, Tony Campolo, Brian McLaren, Shane Clairborne, Tony Jones, Diana Butler Bass, Alan Jones, Carl McColman, Doug Pagitt, Jay Bakker, Richard Rohr, Leonard Sweet, Jim Wallis, Rob Bell, Dan Kimball, Spencer Burke
For More Information on the Emergent Church
What is the Emerging/Emergent Church Movement? Got Questions
What’s So Dangerous About the Emerging Church? Phil Johnson and John Macarthur, Grace To You
Emergent Delusion: A Critique of Brian McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy – By Bob DeWaay – Critical Issues Commentary
Hazards Unfolded by Emerging Church Leaders – Berean Beacon