what is emergent church?
I’ve been occasional conversational partner with the emergent church/ emergent village thing. I have no official roles or titles, never been to one of those secret meetings, but I have a handful of friends who are more on the “in” and even other non-Anglos got published in their latest book, An Emergent Manifesto of Hope. When my friend Steve Knight, a member of the National Coordinating Group for Emergent Village, affirmed what I said as a more concise summary of what the emergent church conversation is about. I’ve pulled it from the depths of the comment thread at BlogMinistry:
I think the first comparison of emergent being like abstract art is mostly fitting. “Emerging church” is a very broad label to describe the many kinds of new churches being formed in the 21st century that are different in small or big ways from the previous generations of church. “Emergent church” is not a definition, not a movement, not a theology. “Emergent church” is best described as a conversation about theologies and/or practices of doing life in the way of Jesus. So, “emergent” is a very broad umbrella that brings together people from all kinds of theological persuasions for conversations, imagination, and other kinds of things. The point is not to work at arriving towards a consensus for a statement of faith. It’s an opt-in conversation, so if you’re okay with having friendship and/or fellowship with other people who don’t share your same identical theological framework, you too can join the emergent conversation.
So rather than reading through verbose narratives about the history of emergent / emergent church / emergent village, maybe this summary above will be helpful to those who wish for a more definitional approach to all things church and all things theological. And, maybe I’ll one day get an (elusive?) answer to why their multi-author book got published by a big-time publisher, when most multi-author volumes are usually passed over.