The Emerging Church
Archived: 2008-2009 (More recent links)
See Emerging "Christianity" - Part 1: Breaking Out of the box | Part 2: From Gnostic Roots to Occult Revival
See also The Postmodern Church & The Changing Church & Purpose-Driven Church
Definition: (Encyclopedia): "a label that has been used to refer to a particular subset of Christians who are rethinking Christianity against the backdrop of Postmodernism.... Emerging Church groups have typically contained some or all of the following elements:
Highly creative approaches to worship and spiritual reflection. This can involve everything from the use of contemporary music and films through to liturgy or other more ancient customs. ...
A flexible approach to theology whereby individual differences in belief and morality are accepted within reason.
A more holistic approach to the role of the church in society. This can mean anything from greater emphasis on fellowship in the structure of the group to a higher degree of emphasis on social action, community building or Christian outreach.
A desire to reanalyse the Bible against the context into which it was written...." Psalm 119:11
Peter Drucker: "Every few hundred years in Western history there occurs a sharp transformation.... Within a few short decades, society rearranges itself--it's worldview; its basic values: its social and political structures; its arts; its key institutions. Fifty years later, there is a new world. And the people born then cannot even imagine the world in which their grandparents lived.... We are currently living through just such a transformation. It is creating the post-capitalist society.... " The Post Capitalist Society, 1993; page 1.
More on the Emerging Church: A New Kind of Christian & Chart: Postmodernity
How To Build A Church With False Converts: "Kurt Cameron and Ray Comfort present ten steps for building a church with false converts -- resulting in lots of 'bitter backsliders.' Those people who do stay will need lots of slick preaching, lots of activities, and a 'kicking' band." See Biblical versus Cultural Christianity
Spiritual Appeasement in the Age of Emergence: "With a playful grin the moderator asked the four church panelists to fill in the blank; 'Jesus loves me this I know, for the ____ tells me so.' Silence from the stage: The air in the auditorium thickened as more than 200 church leaders and laypeople found themselves squirming....
"So why was this such a ticklish issue? Consider the setting: An auditorium full of Christian leaders who had just been told that Emergent Christianity would be marked by the 'end of authority' and the death of Sola Scriptura (the Scriptures alone). And the general feeling was that this should be embraced, not mourned. Indeed, the unofficial theme of this one-day event, titled 'The Great Emergence,' centered on the question; what is our authority?" See Breaking Out of the Box
The Process of Reimagining Christianity: "What Pagitt is describing is a contextual theology; that is, don't use the Bible as a means of theology or measuring rod of truth and standards by which to live; and rather than have the Bible mold the Christian's life, let the Christian's life mold the Bible. ...instead of just one person preaching truth or teaching biblical doctrine, everyone can have a say and thus come to a consensus." See Who defines the Kingdom of God?
Remember how ancient Israel sought foreign gods and rejected the true God who cared for them? Consequently, they were exiled to Babylon, but a remnant of faithful Jews returned after 7 decade. Today the evangelical church is trading His truth for a liberal political agenda and interfaith "gods," and we already see the cultural decay of a nation that is rejecting God's wisdom and protection. The Catholic church just started the process much earlier.
X-MEN: Marked for life: "Not unlike the society and church of our times, during Ezekiel's ministry Judah found herself in a moral and spiritual 'melt down.' Fraud, violence, adultery, and idolatry were running rampant amongst God's chosen people. Idols had been set up in the Temple.... Yet in the midst of all those 'alternative spiritualities,' and like the remnant of Elijah's day who refused to bow their knee to Baal and kiss the idol god (1 Kings 19:18), some believers preserved themselves to be holy unto the Lord. So the Lord instructed the angel dressed in white to mark an "X" on the foreheads of the faithful, a mark that would spare them from the coming divine judgment." See From Truth to a New Spirituality
...the typical, traditional Rogerian counseling session has no external regulations because Self is seen as the center, the regulator, the final criteria for behavior.... If the Self is not valued and given consistent unconditional positive regard, then this creates anxiety.... Rogerian techniques profoundly and rapidly influenced pastoral counseling across the entire theological spectrum....The focus shifted to 'meeting my needs and exploring feelings. ... Feelings reigned supreme, and biblical doctrine was the baby thrown out with the bathwater.... Christian leaders embraced these techniques indiscriminately, without recognizing or acknowledging the underlying foundation which denies absolutes." See From Truth to a New Spirituality
Carl Rogers: Father of the Emergent Culture: "Enormous transitions were made in the 1960s when Rogers, among others, pioneered the advance of psychotherapeutic techniques and philosophies into schools and society.... His use of language, his style, and his ideas have so thoroughly permeated the culture, that it is now difficult to distinguish them.
The Emerging Church, Part 8: Reinventing Clergy: "The pastor-teacher role must be changed. Old authority structures must be dismantled and new ones substituted. This all played out in a complicated dialectic dance over a period of four decades. Emergent leader Phyllis Tickle credits the small group structure for much of this change.... ...Pastors evolved into touchy-feely advice-givers who could facilitate small groups. It was at this point that sermons began to change shape from solid exegesis of the Word of God to feel-good sermonettes that were loaded with pablum and syrup. Gone was the Word of God, and its authority." See From Gnostic Roots to Occult Revival
Fractals, Chaos Theory, Quantum Spirituality, and The Shack: "After the evening service, two more women approached me with similar stories. One left Saddleback the previous year and the other had left a church she had been attending for over thirty-seven years. This second woman, Jennifer, had left because her former church was introducing a mixture of Purpose Driven, church growth, and emerging church teachings....
"I had described how The Shack's author had introduced New Age concepts into his emotional novel about a man's supposed encounter with 'God,' 'Jesus,' and the 'Holy Spirit' after the brutal murder of his daughter. In the midst of his story, Young suddenly introduces the foundational teaching of the New Age/New Spirituality/New World Religion--that God is 'in' everything. The Shack's 'Jesus' told Mack--the distraught father and main character in the novel--that God is 'in' all things: 'God, who is the ground of all being, dwells in, around, and through all things.'" See Deceived by a counterfeit "Jesus"
Sweet, Spangler, and Quantum Spirituality: "...the new semantics introduced by both New Age and Christian leaders -- what had been called New Age Spirituality--would now be a panentheistic New Spirituality for a New Era and a New Age. Leonard Sweet, Brian McLaren, and other Christian leaders were slowly transitioning the church into New Age teachings, but with clever new terms like New Light leadership, quantum spirituality, New Spirituality and a New Worldview that will -- for the 'good of the world' -- transition the church out of an 'Old Age'/biblical Christianity into the emerging 'New Age' of a New Spirituality." See Who defines the Kingdom of God?
Postmodern Views & Churches. Is 'The Church... the Hope of the World'? [Bill Hybels posed the question:]...'Do we still believe the local church is the hope of the world?' You see, many Christians might look at that and not realize they’ve been subjected to a dialectic question designed to alter their spiritual priorities and get them onboard an alternative agenda. This is what trained facilitators do under the radar in many churches today. But I would ask: Is that where your hope lies – in the local church? Do you believe your church can save the world?... With one little question, Bill Hybels took his audience’s attention and focus off of Jesus Christ – a lost world’s only real hope – and placed it on a group of mere mortals calling them the 'hope of the world.' Shall we give honor, glory and praise to the Bridegroom or the bride? Will we follow the Good Shepherd or His sheep?
"Am I suggesting that the local church is no place for Christians? Absolutely not! They are the Christians! Or at least they are supposed to be. What I am saying is that we need to stop putting our hope and faith in people and their self-exalting, self-justifying, self-serving organizations and institutions, local or otherwise. It’s time to start reading, learning, obeying and proclaiming God’s Word – all of it – instead of snappy slogans, corny clichés, vain visions and the silly strategies of men." See Breaking Out of the Box
The Emerging Church - Part 6: "Envisioning Emergence": "The modern Emergent movement has adopted the idea of a common “dream” for the future. Many leaders use the motif of “God’s Dream” for describing this future utopian kingdom of God on Earth that they are trying to co-create. This is another point of convergence with the New Age movement, which has used the term “God’s Dream” in the same way." See Who defines the Kingdom of God?
Rick Warren, Leonard Sweet, and Sweet's New Light Leaders: "'Quantum spirituality bonds us to all creation as well .... This entails a radical doctrine of embodiment of God in the very substance of creation.'....While some Leonard Sweet defenders have argued that Sweet's hybridized postmodern 'New Light' apologetic flies right over the heads of 'old light' "fundamentalist' types, the facts tell a much different story. What I learned in reading Quantum Spirituality is that Sweet is in the process of trying to transform biblical Christianity into a quantum/postmodern/New Light/New Age/New Spirituality. Without apology, Sweet writes that he is part of a 'New Light movement' and he describes those he especially admires as 'New Light leaders.'" From Gnostic Roots to Occult Revival
Good for Nothing Christians: "Our churches are no longer places of respite from the world: they are mirrors of it: the same dress; the same attitudes; the same carnality; the same spirit; the same stubbornness; the same pride. Churches are no longer bastions of truth: they are glorified social clubs or mere corporations, where Christianity is never allowed to interfere with business. Instead of being watchmen on the wall, our pastors are CEOs or, even worse, politicians. Popularity and personal ambition far outweigh commitment to truth and an independent mind." See Don't conform to the world
The Emerging Lie: "Can you trust today's new evangelical leaders? ...More interested in trends and politics than in obedience to God, they are attempting to sway evangelical opinion using propaganda and 'divide and conquer' techniques. This is apostasy, a clear 'falling away' and it is radically changing what some people believe." See Who defines the Kingdom of God? and Deceptions
"Emergent" or "Emerging"? Makes No Difference - Going in the Same Direction - Away from Truth toward Deception: "It was Alice Bailey... who said that the age of enlightenment (when man finally sees that he is God) will come through the Christian church, not around it.
"Ray Yungen explains in his book, A Time of Departing: '...The various churches would still have their outer trappings of Christianity and still use much of the same lingo. If asked certain questions about traditional Christian doctrine, the same answers would be given. But it would all be on the outside; on the inside a contemplative [emerging] spirituality would be drawing in those open to it."See Who defines the Kingdom of God?
Stuck in a closet with Leonard Sweet: "Rain pelted the campus of the small Baptist university where futurist, historian and author Leonard Sweet... was speaking at a regional pastor's conference. ... There, with only a few interruptions, we discussed pop culture....
"[RELEVANT magazine:] You've said a bit in the past about the church needing to use the medium of pop culture as a vehicle for the Gospel. Why is that?
"[Leonard Sweet:] Because it's the Roman road; it's the road people are traveling on; it's the dominant global culture. For the church not to speak to pop culture, not to use images that come from it and sounds that come from it, smells that come from it, well ... that's not being very incarnational ... In order to incarnate Christ into the culture that is there, then we have to look to redeem pop culture.....
"[RM:] But the church in the last hundred years hasn't changed much.
"[LS:] And that's the reason it's been dying. It's been feeding off fruit that's decaying and rotten; nobody wants to touch it except for a few die-hards that have grown used to the rancid odor."
Early Experiential Emergents: "'Deep sharing' in small groups with 'emotional intimacy' characterized this movement." See From Gnostic Roots to Occult Revival
The Emerging Church - Circa 1970: "The tasks ahead for Emergent Christianity include: --Wresting questions of eternity away from its Greek 'timeless' bias.... --Wresting Imminence (God in Creation) away from Pantheism (God is creation)... in a Panentheistic approach (God is in All and All is in God). ... --Developing a new cosmology, a new universe story, based in what the 'new' science is making known...and discovering the Cosmic Christ within this story." See Who defines the Kingdom of God?
Brian McLaren wants end-time believing Christians "robustly" confronted: If you are a Christian who believes that the Bible is God's inspired Word and believe that Jesus Christ will be coming again, you are being marginalized.... It is ironic that just a week ago, the House of Representatives passed the HR1913 hate crimes bill, which is supposed to deter hateful behavior toward others. Here, McLaren... is speaking so hatefully about those who hold to biblical beliefs....
"Tony Campolo, in his book Speaking My Mind, says that 'rigid' Christians who believe in the possibility of Jesus' soon return' are 'the real problem for the whole world.'.... You see, in emerging spirituality doubt and uncertainty are exalted, and the opposite ... certainty and faith -- are condemned." SeeWho defines the Kingdom of God?
Shack Author Rejects Biblical Substitutionary Atonement: "When The Shack was originally written and submitted to publishers, it proclaimed ultimate reconciliation --'Christian' universalism -- which is the belief that through Jesus all people go to heaven -- Satanists, Mormons, Hindus....
Memoirs of an Emergent Church Victim: "The two pastoral search committee members I spoke with assured me there would be no problem. Making certain that a new pastoral candidate was firmly grounded in Scripture, acutely aware of the Emergent Church, and stood squarely against it would be at the top of the list of attributes to look for in a new senior pastor. Hey -- they said they even had an Emergent Church watchdog on the committee. What could go wrong?" See Breaking Out of the Box
Yahweh Yoga and the Faithful Flow: "I’ll bet you didn’t know that Christians can pray better standing on their heads." See From Gnostic Roots to Occult Revival
What Cizik's Resignation Means for Creation Care: "Conservative evangelicals who saw environmentalism as alarmism welcomed Richard Cizik's resignation as the National Association of Evangelicals' Washington lobbyist.... But evangelicals and scientists who had been working on 'creation care' for several years saw it as a blow to their efforts. More than 50 evangelicals... sent a letter to the NAE President Leith Anderson this morning, signaling their support for Cizik's efforts....'" See God's plan for the care of His creation
Not even the most persuasive teacher can change the hearts of a people through welfare, AIDS-programs, sophisticated leadership-training or other humanitarian projects. Only the true gospel -- made alive by the Holy Spirit -- can bring new life to a broken people.
The New Look of Christian Missions: "Emerging spirituality is changing the way missions is being conducted. The idea is that you can go for Jesus, but you don't have to identify yourself as a Christian or part of the Christian church. This concept spills over into some missionary societies too, where they teach people from other religions they can keep their religion, just add Jesus to the equation...." See God's Way versus our ways
New Emerging Network From the Frying Pan into the Fire: "To reach its objectives, Lausanne has turned to Rick Warren, who will be at The Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization in South Africa in 2010.... To see where Rick Warren stands on the contemplative issue, one only needs to look as far as Warren's list of recommended spiritual resources....
"Leighton Ford... is also helping to bring about the goals of Lausanne. Ford came out of the contemplative closet with his recent book, The Attentive Life: Discerning God's Presence in All Things. The book offers a collection of quotes by and references to some of the most prolific eastern-style meditation teachers, including.... priest Alan Jones (Reimagining Christianity) ... [and] Steindl-Rast who suggested that the Gospel 'gets in the way' between Christian and Buddhist dialogue.
"Jay Gary is a link in this emerging shift that should not be ignored. Today, he is a member of and a speaker for the World Future Society where New Age leader Barbara Marx Hubbard is on the 'Global Advisory Council.' Interestingly.... Brian McLaren talks about Jay Gary in McLaren's own book, The Secret Message of Jesus." See Who defines the Kingdom of God?
They Say the Emerging Church is Dead The Truth Behind the Story: "The writer of the Christianity Today article proclaims: 'It seems my informant's prophetic word has come to pass. The emerging church is dead -- at least in nomenclature, if not in spirit.' But nothing could be further from the truth. And just as there has been a concerted effort by top New Age leaders over the last decade or so to drop the term 'New Age' because of its negative exposure, so too emerging church leaders want to drop the name of their movement, and for the very same reason the New Agers are running from their term...."
"New Age Sympathizer Leonard Sweet to Speak at Seventh Day Adventist Conference: "Leonard Sweet, who promotes mysticism, christ-consciousness, and the 'New Lights' movement that touts people like Matthew Fox, Ken Wilber, and other mystic proponents, recently spoke at Rick Warren's Small Groups Conference. Sweet states in his book Quantum Spirituality that the 'power of small groups is in their ability to develop the discipline to get people 'in-phase' with the Christ consciousness (meaning the divinity of man) and connected with one another (meaning interspirituality)." See Warren's P.E.A.C.E. Plan & UN Goals - Part 1 of 3 '
Green Like Envy: An Ex-pagan Looks at Blue Like Jazz: "A phenomenon in evangelical circles, Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller has sold over 800,000 copies and made the New York Times bestseller list since its publication by Thomas Nelson Publishers in 2003, and its popularity continues to grow. An icon in the burgeoning Emergent Church movement, it attracts countless youth in contemporary Christian culture. Seminarians nationwide are reading it avidly, and some Christian ministries and pastors are even using it to evangelize. Why? And what does that popularity reveal about evangelicalism today?" See Human Nature and Who defines the Kingdom of God?
The Emerging (Global) Church. Bridging the Gap Between Good and Evil: "The serpent's temptation of Eve in the Garden of Eden, that we can be like God, remains with mankind to this very day. Satan's plan is to lessen or eliminate (he hopes) the gap between himself and God....
"'...Satan is not simply trying to draw people to the dark side of a good versus evil conflict. Actually, he is trying to eradicate the gap between himself and God, between good and evil, altogether. When we understand this approach it helps us see why Thomas Merton said everyone is already united with God or why Jack Canfield said he felt God flowing through all things. All means all -- nothing left out. Such reasoning implies that God has given His glory to all of creation; since Satan is part of creation, then he too shares in this glory, and thus is 'like the Most High.'" See From Truth to a "New Spirituality"
The Shack's Wayne Jacobsen Resonates with Contemplative/Emerging Writers: "William Paul Young is the official author of The Shack, but Wayne Jacobsen is one of its editors. According to a New York Times article, Jacobsen spent 16 months helping to rewrite the first draft....
"The book refers to God as 'the ground of all being' that 'dwells in, around, and through all things -- ultimately emerging as the real' (p. 112) -- this is the ripe fruit of contemplative spirituality.... This description of God ... means that God is the essence of all that exists.... New Age sympathizer, Sue Monk Kidd, would agree with The Shack's definition of God -- in her book, First Light, she says God is the graffiti on the building...."
How "Everything Must Change": "I sat through session after session listening to the emergent 'gospel;' complete with medieval chants and choruses of despair, apologies to the Native American Indians of the St. Joseph River Valley, as well as to 'Mother Earth' for scarring her through our mining and oil drilling operations. The sarcasm with which traditional Scriptural positions were discussed, coupled with repeated swipes at Christians who were (in McLaren’s opinion) waiting to be 'snatched away,' 'evacuated,' or 'beamed up,' brought one particular Scripture passage constantly to my heart and mind...." See A Twist of Faith - Chapter 6 and An Evangelical Manifesto for an Interfaith World
MacArthur interview: The Emergent Church is a Form of Paganism: "Paul Edwards: '...whenever people like you who are standing for truth point out the error both in the emergent church and in the seeker movement people will immediately run to 1 Corinthians 9 and begin screaming, 'You know Paul said, ‘I became all things to all men,’ which means to the grunge I become as grunge, to the Universalist I become as a Universalist.' But in 1 Corinthians 9 Paul isn’t saying that we compromise the message and we become whatever the audience needs us to be in order to make the gospel palatable.
"MacArthur: ... 'All he is saying is there’s a foundation in the proclamation of the gospel with the Jew and there’s a different starting point with the Gentile. If I’m going to evangelize a Jew, I’m going to start with the Old Testament because that’s the substantial basis.... Every time he evangelized Gentiles he started with creation.... It’s not about identifying with their lifestyle; it’s not about being able to converse about... every R-rated movie and every Rap song..."See Evangelism
In the Name of Purpose -- 'One God,” Many Paths: "At the BWA [Baptist World Alliance]’s Centenary Congress, where the recurrent theme was “unity, unity, unity,”13 the following statements were made by Jimmy Carter and Rick Warren: 'One of the world’s most prominent Baptists, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, said the desire for oneness is a powerful force for global good. Differences of belief -- even among Muslims, Jews and Christians -- are outweighed by a common commitment ‘to truth…’ Carter said.'....
'“I don’t see many people interested in Christendom. But I see a lot of people interested in God.' —Rick Warren."
MacArthur: The Emergent Church is a Form of Paganism: "John MacArthur: Let me just cut to the chase on this one: [Doug] Pagitt is a Universalist. What he was saying is real simple. He was saying when you die your spirit goes to God and judgment means that whatever was not right about you, whatever was bad about you, whatever was substantially lacking about you, gets all resolved. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a Buddhist, a Hindu or a Muslim—doesn’t matter whether you’re a Christian really; we’re all going to end up in this wonderful, warm and fuzzy relationship with God. That’s just classic universalism....
"He’s not a pastor; he’s not a Christian; that’s not a church. When you call yourself a Christian and you call yourself a pastor and you say you have a church, all of that has to be—to be legitimate—defined biblically.... What you have here is a form of false religion.… But the underlying bottom line of this whole emerging movement is they don’t believe in any doctrine, they don’t believe in any theology. They don’t want to be forced to interpret anything in scripture a certain way and the out is, 'Well the Bible isn’t clear anyway.' In other words, we don’t know what it means; we can’t know what it means. Brian McLaren says nobody has ever gotten it right...."
McLaren is wrong. The Holy Spirit reveals the true power and wonder of God's Word to those who truly seek Him:
"'Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.' But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit." 1 Corinthian 2:9-10
Jesus said, "I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes." Matthew 11:25
Doug Pagitt, Rob Bell and the Seeds of Compassion: "Doug Pagitt, a leading spokesman for the Emergent Church, informs us about the upcoming Seeds of The Global Family, oops, Compassion Event: The event features The Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu.... Seeds of Compassion is: An unprecedented gathering to engage the hearts and minds of our community by highlighting the vision, science, and programs of early social, emotional, and cognitive learning. Anchored by the deep wisdom of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, this community – focused event will celebrate and explore the relationships, programs and tools that nurture and empower children, families and communities to be compassionate members of society.....
"And what is some of this supposed 'deep wisdom' Guru Lama had for the Global Family: Why, the 'religion' of the self—'as the Dalai Lama also said, ‘This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.’” See The Rising World Religion
Brian McLaren to speak at World Future Society: "Also listed on this year's conference program is evangelical leader Jay Gary, who has longtime associations with the World Future Society.... Jay Gary and Brian McLaren have both been actively eschewing "doomsday" eschatologies....
"McLaren writes disparagingly of biblical prophecy, using extremely incendiary language and distortions: 'The Jesus of one reading of the Apocalypse brings us to a grim resignation: the world will get worse and worse, and finally this jihadist Jesus will return to use force, domination, violence, and even torture -- the ultimate imperial tools -- to vanquish evil and bring peace." See Ambassadors for Peace
“The Fall of the Evangelical Nation” Endorsed by Brian McLaren: “The author, Christine Wicker, seems to have something of a taste for the occult and paranormal. Her previous two books are Lily Dale: The True Story of the Town That Talks to the Dead, and Not in Kansas Anymore: A Curious Tale of How Magic is Transforming America. Now she has taken it upon herself to announce the demise of evangelicalism. This is how the book is being promoted by Harper One.
"'Evangelical Christianity is dying. The great evangelical movements of today are not a vanguard; they are a remnant, unraveling at every edge. Conversions. Baptism. Membership... All are down and dropping.... Wicker takes us deep inside this crumbling pillar of the Religious Right..'
"This author appears to be making some pretty bold statements, and it will be most interesting to see her data...." See From Gnostic Roots to Occult Revival
Hold the hellfire and brimstone: "A friend showed me an interesting cartoon that appeared in USA Today bearing a caption that read: 'Study shows nearly half of U.S. adults have switched or dropped their religions,' which included a pensive couple standing in line at the U.S. Religious Beliefs Cafeteria, where customers can pick and choose their favorite doctrines and commandments from the sacred buffet. Pointing to one of the selections, the male character in the drawing tells the server behind the counter: 'I'll take that with a little less hellfire and brimstone.'...
"When mama handed me a plate of food, I was expected to eat it - all of it. If I said I didn't like something, I got an extra helping of it. Consequently, I grew up consuming a lot of things I didn't particularly care for, and in the process, digested some nutritious lessons on life - most important being: What you like, isn't necessarily what you need....
"Could that be why so many spiritually starving mega-churches today have a fat and sassy feel to them - because members are getting everything they want and nothing they need?" See God's unchanging Word
Unraveling emergent: "Churches within the emerging community are committed to God in the way of Jesus. ...The emerging church is helping to articulate the call for Christianity to go beyond mere belief in commands and into a life that’s in rhythm with God. The Kingdom of God is a central conversation in emerging communities.... And let me tell you 'Kingdom of God' language is really big in the emerging church." See Who defines the Kingdom of God? and The true Kingdom of God
Williams 'shocked' at Sharia row: "The Archbishop of Canterbury is said to be overwhelmed by the 'hostility of the response' after his call for parts of Sharia law to be recognised in the UK.... Among those critical of the archbishop is... the Reverend Rod Thomas. [His statement may be a little confusing, but it's important:] 'The moral values that we pursue are ones that we need to know are clearly grounded, and it would be most helpful for the leader of the Church to be able to explain to people how the values we cherish stem from our Christian tradition.'" Our beliefs and values do need to be "clearly grounded" in God's Word, but even His Word is becoming increasingly fuzzy these days. See the the next three links:
Lausanne World Pulse - Fresh Expressions of Church in England (Go to page 2): “A fresh expression is a form of church for our changing culture established primarily for the benefit of people who are not yet members of any church. First, it will come into being through principles of listening, service, incarnational mission and making disciples. Second, it will have the potential to become a mature expression of church shaped by the gospel and the enduring marks of the church and for its cultural context." See the next link -- from page 3 of the same article:
Fresh Expressions of Church in England, page 3: "Incarnational mission is mission after the pattern and in the style of Jesus.... Nor do they have in mind a particular set pattern of what a fresh expression will look like. It is more like a journey that begins with listening to the context [not to God's Word] and the wider community. It continues with loving service. As people listen and serve, new communities where people come to faith are formed. Only later does worship begin. The key elements are ... incarnational mission... and a sense of journey, growth and development.'...
"Our society is now changing at such a rate that this kind of fresh expression of church has moved from being highly desirable to vitally important if we are to connect with more of our culture.... We have not, in recent years, been very good at two key areas of theology—missiology and ecclesiology—that are vital to understanding fresh expressions of church." See The Dopamine-Driven Church
Deep Shift presenting [Brian McLaren's] Everything Must Change Tour: "Something’s Going On. I feel it when... I read their emails or letters, and see statements like these… • I’ve never felt like I fit in the traditional church. • I love Jesus, but I’m not too excited about Christianity.... • I’m not religious, and I’m not that sure what 'spiritual' means - but I’m looking for something, some way of life or pattern that makes sense of things. • I used to be a pastor (or youth pastor, or church leader, or active church attender) but something stopped working.... We Are In Deep Shift." SeeDon't Be Deceived!