the divergent churches
lots of books recently published about the church: the emerging church, the connecting church, the contagious church, the emotionally healthy church, the equipping church, the ripple church, the liquid church, the eternal church, the very large church, the market-driven church, the cell church, the church of irresistible influence, church for the unchurched, rediscovering church, faking church, Escaping from Church, Inc., leading the team-based church, the dishonest church, the naked church (real title), and the best-selling Purpose Driven Church [I won’t even bother linking to amazon.com for the 5% referral], and then all the still growing buzz about the emergent church..
with some 3,000 denominations and sects in the US alone, and over 30,000 denominations and sects in the world, what’s a couple more, number 3,001 and 3,002?
my sense of things is the church on the whole are diverging, that people are moving towards several gravitational pulls: yes, many seem to be clamoring for emergent churches (but reality is, they aren’t magically mushrooming, and probably even harder to get off the ground — see previous entry), so that’s one of them that’s on the innovative margins, but there’s also magnet pulls towards these (you can Google for the supporting data): fundamentalist churches, reformed churches, Orthodox churches, megachurches, and deinstitutionalized house churches.. quick possible explanation: people are picking their favorite-century church, be it 1st century, patristic period, 10th century, 16th century, 19th century, or 20th century..
not to mention the de-churched, one estimate upwards of 55% of born agains are de-churched.. plus, I hear of burned out Christians nowadays, don’t recall reading any burn out phenomena in older Christian books; what is it that churches are doing to its people?