"[Jesus Christ] was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification" (Romans 4:25)
In the fall of 2003 I was personally struggling with some avenues of evangelicalism. I had read in 2002 some books on evangelicals converting to the Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church, but I personally did not find that all to be fitting or appropriate theologically.I bought and read Tomlinson's book "The Post-Evangelical" fall 2003 as well as Tony Jones' "Postmodern Youthministry" and have thus continued in the conversation ever since. I also read "Blue Like Jazz" soon after this . . . and though I have not read Miller's other book "Searching for Who Knows What," I certainly feel that way as I wade through a personal search for God's biblical and faithful witness in the 21st Century Church.Only in the last 12 months have I been reading Mark Driscoll's thoughts on church and theology, but I like where he is going.sorry for answering such a simple question with so many words, but in reality with very little depth.
Just a quick distinction: "Emergent" refers to Emergent Village, an organization that is definately emerging, but the word "emerging" is not limited to "emergent". The emerging church is a much broader and more diverse global movement, while "Emergent" is a strictly US organization. I digress.I first heard about the emerging church in September of 2005 (I know because I blogged it), presumably from reading various blogs. I had read "Blue Like Jazz" the previous summer, but at the time was unaware of any emerging tendencies therein.I guess one could now say that I am involved in the emerging conversation.
I don't remember exactly when, but I do remember reading about postmoderism and how it affected youth ministry (like Jake mentioned Emergent really does refer to the website) when I was serving in my last church. Youthworker Journal & Group Magazine highlighted Tony Jones, Dan Kimball, Brian McLaren, & Mark Driscoll (I think this was back in 1999 or so).My interest was peaked mainly through magazine articles and like Matt Proctor, have also read Postmodern Youth Ministry. I think I got very little out of the book except for a headache trying to read it with it's wacky layout.Also like Matt, I appreciate what Driscoll has to say. He in my mind is an emergent (postmodern) church leader who doesn't want to throw the theology baby out with the bathwater. I like the questions, I think we always need to examine why we do what we do. Are we being effective? I just believe that we can't compromise scripture or get fuzzy on core doctrinal issues as we seek answers and McLaren & Jones have done.
I don't know if I would consider myself as an "emergent" but I probably seem like one to a lot of people. I think I heard of it while reading Brian M.'s "A New Kind of Christian."
My first experience, though I didn't recognize it at the time, was in the summer of 2002. At that time I wasn't much of a reader, but I did glance over Tony Jones' "Postmodern Youth Ministry." I was just beginning in ministry and was already becoming keenly aware of many shortcomings of the Church, but was simply to "young" in ministry to know how to even process such thoughts. It was a year or so later that I visited an Emergent Church, (again I reiterate that there is a difference between Emergent and emerging: I'm pretty sure Mark Driscoll is not Emergent, he is emerging)Solomon's Porch. Though head pastor and Emergent leader, Doug Pagitt, was not present at the time of our visit, I was introduced to a dynamic faith community which was striving to live in the rhythm of God in their locale. Soon thereafter, I read Pagitt's book, "Reimagining Spiritual Formation." I have been studying the emerging Church and Emergent since. Quite honestly, I have been encouraged by the questions these men and women have posed, their longing to seek change where change is needed, and their love and devotion to Jesus. Conversely, I have been no less than appalled at the belligerency toward emerging and Emergent. I will continue to listen and study, to weigh out the good and the bad. Though many evangelicals claim that many, especially those associated with Emergent, are throwing out the "baby with the bathwater"; one must be very careful to not do likewise with our brothers and sisters of Emergent.
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