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Understanding the Emerging Church

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Title: Understanding the Emerging Church


1
Understanding the Emerging Church
  • Popular Evangelical Fad?

Serious Evangelical Threat?
2
Introduction
  • In ministry, some things must never change,
    while other things must be constantly changing.
    Gods five purposes for his church are
    nonnegotiable. If a church fails at worship,
    fellowship, discipleship, ministry, and
    evangelism, it is no longer a church. Its just a
    social club. On the other hand, the way or style
    in which we fulfill these eternal purposes must
    constantly be adjusted and modified, because
    human culture is always changing.
  • Rick Warren, Introduction to Dan Kimball, The
    Emerging Church, 2003

3
Who Are We Talking About?
  • Gen X or millennials leading some of Americas
    most unusual churches

4
Why Are We Talking?
  • The Emerging Church
  • Is a fast growing segment of contemporary
    evangelicalism
  • Is theologically diversefrom neo-liberalism to
    neo-Calvinism
  • Rejects fundamentalist praxis and sometimes its
    theology
  • Poses serious challenges to the contemporary
    church

5
Historical Backgrounds
  • Evangelical Subsets
  • The New Evangelicals (1942)
  • The Young Evangelicals (1974)
  • The Worldly Evangelicals (1978)
  • The Evangelical Left (1997)
  • The Younger Evangelicals (2005)

6
Chronology of Evangelicalism
  • Webbers taxonomy
  • The Younger Evangelicals (2000)
  • Traditional evangelicals (1950-1975)
  • Pragmatic evangelicals (1975-2000)
  • Younger evangelicals (2000-present)
  • Listening to the Beliefs of EC (2007)
  • The High Evangelicals (1946-1964)
  • The Awakened Evangelicals (1964-1984)
  • Evangelical Unraveling (1984-2004)
  • The Emerging Church / Younger Evangelicals
    (2004-)

7
  • Brad Smith
  • Leaves The Leadership Center at Dallas Seminary
    and joins Leadership Network 1993, then located
    in Tyler, TX. LN moves to Dallas and focuses on
    reaching the changing culture.
  • Gen X 1.0 Colorado Springs 1996
  • Gen. X 2.0 Mt. Hermon, CA 1997
  • Doug Pagitt leaves Wooddale to work with LN and
    charged with gathering young, innovative leaders
    to rethink doing church
  • Invites Mark Driscoll new church planter in
    Seattle to attend
  • Brad Cecil of TX (who has been reading Jacques
    Derrida and Richard Rorty) had been to a
    conference on postmodernism at Villanova
    University featuring Derrida he sketches on a
    white board the epistemological shift from
    modernity to postmodernity
  • Some men grasp the shift and begin to network
    (Pagitt, Driscoll, Cecil, Chris Seay, a TX church
    planter)

8
Understanding the Shift in Worldview
Chart from Dan Kimball, Emerging Churches, p. 44. Ancient 2500-500 BC Medieval 500-1500 Modern 1300-2000 Postmodern 2000-





9
Understanding the Shift in Worldview
Chart from Dan Kimball, Emerging Churches, p. 44. Ancient 2500-500 BC Medieval 500-1500 Modern 1300-2000 Postmodern 2000-
Epistemology
Understanding
Communication
Authority
Theme
Humanitys shifting theory of how we know what we
know
Humanitys shifting locus of faith
Humanitys shifting methods of communication
Humanitys shifting locus of authority
Summary statement that describe each category
10
Understanding the Shift in Worldview
Chart from Dan Kimball, Emerging Churches, p. 44. Ancient 2500-500 BC Medieval 500-1500 Modern 1300-2000 Postmodern 2000-
Epistemology Regional worldview 1st civilizations Regional deities Judeo-Christian God-centered worldview Enlightenment epistemology Man centered trust in reason to discover truth Self-determined pluralism in culture and religion Acceptance of conflicting truths / beliefs
Understanding
Communication
Authority
Theme
No atheism until Baruch de Spinoza
(1632-1677)
11
Understanding the Shift in Worldview
Chart from Dan Kimball, Emerging Churches, p. 44. Ancient 2500-500 BC Medieval 500-1500 Modern 1300-2000 Postmodern 2000-
Epistemology Regional worldview 1st civilizations Regional deities Judeo-Christian God-centered worldview Enlightenment epistemology Man centered trust in reason to discover truth Self-determined pluralism in culture and religion Acceptance of conflicting truths / beliefs
Understanding Power and faith in kings, empires, local deities Power and faith in the Church Power and faith in human reasoning, science, logic all of which are used to explain interpret God Power and faith in personal experience
Communication
Authority
Theme
12
Understanding the Shift in Worldview
Chart from Dan Kimball, Emerging Churches, p. 44. Ancient 2500-500 BC Medieval 500-1500 Modern 1300-2000 Postmodern 2000-
Epistemology Regional worldview 1st civilizations Regional deities Judeo-Christian God-centered worldview Enlightenment epistemology Man centered trust in reason to discover truth Self-determined pluralism in culture and religion Acceptance of conflicting truths / beliefs
Understanding Power and faith in kings, empires, local deities Power and faith in the Church Power and faith in human reasoning, science, logic all of which are used to explain interpret God Power and faith in personal experience
Communication Oral communication Limited local historical records Manuscript and oral communication Printing press transforms communication Internet and media accelerate instant global communication revelation
Authority
Theme
13
Understanding the Shift in Worldview
Chart from Dan Kimball, Emerging Churches, p. 44. Ancient 2500-500 BC Medieval 500-1500 Modern 1300-2000 Postmodern 2000-
Epistemology Regional worldview 1st civilizations Regional deities Judeo-Christian God-centered Worldview Enlightenment epistemology Man centered trust in reason to discover truth Self-determined pluralism in culture and religion Acceptance of conflicting truths / beliefs
Understanding Power and faith in kings, empires, local deities Power and faith In the Church Power and faith in human reasoning, science, logic all of which are used to explain interpret God Power and faith in personal experience
Communication Oral communication Limited local historical records Manuscript and oral communication Printing press transforms communication Internet and media accelerate instant global communication revelation
Authority Authority in revelation through oracles, poets, kings, prophets Authority in Bible as taught by the Church. The Bible not in the hands of the people Authority in reason, science, logic for Christians in the reasonable interpreta-tion of the Bible Suspicion of authority The Bible open to many interpretations One of many religious writings
Theme
14
Understanding the Shift in Worldview
Chart from Dan Kimball, Emerging Churches, p. 44. Ancient 2500-500 BC Medieval 500-1500 Modern 1300-2000 Postmodern 2000-
Epistemology Regional worldview 1st civilizations Regional deities Judeo-Christian God-centered worldview Enlightenment epistemology Man centered trust in reason to discover truth Self-determined pluralism in culture and religion Acceptance of conflicting truths / beliefs
Understanding Power and faith in kings, empires, local deities Power and faith in the Church Power and faith in human reasoning, science, logic all of which are used to explain interpret God Power and faith in personal experience
Communication Oral communication Limited local historical records Manuscript and oral communication Printing press transforms communication Internet and media accelerate instant global communication revelation
Authority Authority in revelation through oracles, poets, kings, prophets Authority in Bible as taught by the Church. The Bible not in the hands of the people Authority in reason, science, logic for Christians in the reasonable interpreta-tion of the Bible Suspicion of authority The Bible open to many interpretations One of many religious writings
Theme What is man that You are mindful of him? Psalm 84 I believe in order that I may understand. Anselm Knowledge is power Francis Bacon I think, therefore I am Descartes If it makes you happy, it cannot be that bad Sheryl Crow Every viewpoint is a view from that viewpoint
15
The Essence of Postmodernism
  • Antifoundational
  • Deconstructionist
  • Relativistic
  • Contradictory

I Hate You!
16
What Are We Talking About?
  • The Emerging Church is a movement of 21st century
    evangelicalism that seeks to reach this
    generation by recognizing that we live in a
    postmodern world.
  • Postmodernism influences the praxis of the
    emerging church for some and both praxis and
    theology, for others.

17
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20
  • Terminology
  • Bruce Larsen Ralph Osborne, The Emerging
    Church, 1970
  • LN logo in late 1990s
  • The term was mainly being used at that time
    around 1997-2001 . . . to describe churches
    focusing on ministry methodology for emerging
    generations and what was different than the
    Boomer church, the seeker church and traditional
    churches. Dan Kimball
  • 2001, in preparation for a forth coming book from
    Zondervan, Kimball gets the website
    www.emergingchurch.net
  • 2003 Kimballs book The Emerging Church released
    by Zondervan

21
Definition according to Kimball
  • Emerging Church simply meant churches who were
    missional and being the church in our emerging
    culture
  • For me, the term . . . meant churches who were
    focusing on the mission of Jesus and thinking
    about the Kingdom in our emerging culture. . . .
    who were rethinking what it means to be the
    church in our emerging culture. . . . who were
    being the church instead of going to church in
    our emerging culture.

22
Understanding the EC
  • There is no single model for the emerging church
  • The emerging church is more of a mindset than a
    model
  • The emerging church measures success missionally
  • Kimball, The Emerging Church, 14-15

23
A Christian America?
  • The unchurched population in the United States
    is so extensive that, if it were a nation, it
    would be the fifth most populated nation on the
    planet after China, the former Soviet Union,
    India, and Brazil
  • Tom Clegg and Warren Bird, Lost in America,
    quoted in Kimball, p. 69

24
  • Cultural Shifts that Affect Ministry
  • From Knowledge to Experience
  • Mono-culturalism to multiculturalism
  • Producer to a consumer economy
  • From baby boomers to a graying society
  • From broadcast to interactive
  • From individualism to community
  • Success to significance

25
EC - Beginnings
  • Further Developments
  • Glorietta conference Stan Grenz,
    others (October 1998) give the
    movement momentum. Tony
    Jones, a Minneapolis youth
    pastor joins the conversation
  • Movement morphs into Young Leaders
    Network which evolves into the Terra Nova
    Project
  • Pagitt departs in 1999 to starts Solomons Porch
    in Minneapolis
  • Driscoll is becoming known as an argumentative
    hotheadconservative in theology, foul of mouth
    the cussing pastor
  • The group begins to fragment over theology into
    far right and far left Jones the Bible is
    propaganda!

26
EC DevelopmentsBrian McLaren
  • Invited to join the group at the San Antonio
    meeting (2000) after Pagitt
    reads the manu- script
    to A New Kind of Christian
  • The former pastor of Cedar Ridge of
    Baltimore is a little known
    author who is a bit out of place being at least
    10 yrs older than most of the small band of
    Twenty
  • In 2001, at CBA promoting his book, Phyllis
    Tickle, Religion Editor for Publishers Weekly,
    hypes McLarens book on par with Warrens Purpose
    Driven Church she will eventually call him the
    Martin Luther of our time!
  • Jossey-Bass is inundated with purchasers and
    McLaren becomes an overnight sensation,
    eventually rising Time magazines list of 25 most
    influential evangelicals (2005)
  • By 2001, McLaren in invited to speak at a
    Vineyard church in London pastored by Jason Clark
    and the EC goes international

27
The Birth of Emergent Village
  • By 2001, the left is looking for an identity.
  • Brian McLaren gives the group a name
  • You know, when a forester visits a forest to
    determine its health, she doesnt climb up into
    the old growth trees. Instead, she gets down on
    her knees and digs around in what they call the
    emergent growth at the forest floor. In the
    ecology of the American church, there are lots of
    organizations who are tending to the old growth
    trees, but we seem most interested in whats
    taking place on the forest floor, at the emergent
    church level.
  • The group subsequently bought the domain name
    www.emergentvillage.com Tony Jones becomes
    national coordinator
  • By 2003, Driscoll is publicly attacking the left
    for theological drift he forms his own group The
    Acts29 Network and the die is cast

28
The Emerging Left
29
The Emergent Left
  • The elder statesman of the left
  • Graduate of the U of Maryland in English, 1978,
    and MA 1981
  • 1982, helped start Cedar Ridge Church in
    Baltimore which he pastored for 20 yrs.
  • Author of numerous books
  • 2005 Time lists among the 25 most influential
    evangelicals
  • Now he is a internationally known writer and
    speaker

Brian McLaren (b. 1956)
30
Brian McLaren writings
  • 2001 a fictional interaction
  • 2004 a personal theological
    manifesto
  • 2007 McLarens kingdom theology
  • 2007 social gospel
  • 2008

31
Views of Brian McLaren
  • A New Kind of Christian
  • A fictitious conversation between Pastor Dan
    Poole and Neo, his daughters science teacher,
    former Presbyterian preacher (Princeton grad.) /
    Episcopal layman
  • I feel like a fundamentalist whos losing his
    gripwhose fundamentals are cracking and fraying
    and falling apart . . . I feel that I am losing
    the whole framework for my faith.
  • Neos response You have a modern faith, a
    faith that you developed in your homeland of
    modernity. But youre immigrating to a new land,
    a postmodern world.
  • Neo prods Poole along in his journey toward a
    postmodern faith

32
Views of Brian McLaren
  • Views of McLaren through the eyes of Neo
  • On the Bible What if the real issue is not the
    authority of the text . . . But rather the
    authority of God? What if the issue isnt a book
    that we can interpret with amazing creativity but
    rather the will of God, the intent of God, the
    desire of God, the wisdom of Godmaybe we could
    say the kingdom of God.
  • On the exclusivity of Christianitys claim to
    truth Look, my understanding of the gospel
    tells me that religion is always a mixed bag,
    whether its Judaism, Christianity, Islam, or
    Buddhism. Some of it reflects peoples sincere
    attempts to find truth, and some of it represents
    peoples attempts to evade truth through
    hypocrisy . . . Look, Dan, I believe Jesus is the
    Saviour, not Christianity. Is that so bad?

33
Views of Brian McLaren
  • Views of McLaren through the eyes of Neo
  • On the salvation I dont think its our
    business to prognosticate the eternal destinies
    of anyone else.
  • On evangelism Stop counting conversions,
    because our whole approach to conversion is so, I
    dont know, mechanistic and consumeristic and
    individualistic and controlling. Instead, Id
    encourage us to count conversations, because
    conversation implies relationship, and if we make
    our goal to establish relationships and engage
    conversations, I know that conversations will
    happen. But if we keep trying to convert people,
    well simply drive them away. Theyre sick of our
    sales pitches and our formulas.
  • Follow-up Christianity Today gave it the Award
    of Merit in 2002 for Best Christian Living title!

34
Doug Pagitt
  • Graduated high school in 1984 he would be about
    44
  • Graduated with a Masters in Theology from Bethel
    Seminary
  • Served as youth pastor for almost ten years at
    the Minneapolis megachurch led by Leith Anderson,
    Wooddale Church
  • Left Wooddale when he knew his openness to open
    theism would keep him from being
    one of their church planters
  • Worked with Leadership Network in the formative
    years of the EC 1997-99
  • Started Solomons Porch in 2000
  • Most important book to date released earlier
    this year

35
Doug Pagitt in his own words
  • A Christianity Worth Believing (2008)
  • On inerrancy I think there are people who
    argue for an inerrant authoritative
    understanding of the Bible to support their
    prejudiced feelings about homosexuals.
  • God Our image of God as the all-powerful,
    removed, holy king is really much more influenced
    by Zeus and other gods than by the story of our
    faith. (100)
  • On the human condition The theology of
    depravity was yet another hand-me-down from the
    fifth century and the churchs effort to create a
    clear Greek-Christian hybrid. (125)

36
Doug Pagitt in his own words
  • A Christianity Worth Believing (2008)
  • On the work of Christ Jesus was not sent as
    the selected one to appease the anger of the
    Greek blood god. Jesus was sent to fulfill the
    promise of the Hebrew love God by ending human
    hostility. It was not the anger of God that Jesus
    came to end but the anger of the people. The
    world created is one of peace and harmony and
    integration. Through Jesus, all humanity is
    brought into the world. And that is the point of
    the resurrection. (194)
  • On eternity Jesus message wasnt centered on
    individual people leaving this world and living
    in little rooms in heaven. (220)
  • On eternity If someone were to have asked
    Jesus an afterlife kind of question, Im not sure
    he would have a satisfactory answer, at least not
    for anyone looking for an answer grounded in time
    and space. . . . Jesus made it clear that the
    afterlife isnt a place. Its a state of being in
    which all of Gods hopes for the earth, all of
    Gods desires for this partnership with humanity,
    come to fruition. (222)

37
The Emerging Highway
Conservative
Neo-Liberal
Centrist
Reformissionists
Revisionists
House Church Evangelicals
Emerging Evangelicals
38
Rob Bell (b. 1970)
  • Graduated from Wheaton 1992
  • M.Div from Fuller
  • Former youth man for Ed Dobson, Calvary Church of
    Grand Rapids, preached at the Saturday PM
    services
  • Founded Mars Hill (1999)
  • He and wife Kristen influenced by McLarens A New
    Kind of Christian
  • Voted 10 of the 50 most influential Christians
    2007
  • Started a series of short films (22) under title
    NOOMA which explore the Christian faith

39
Rob Bell
  • Author of several important emergent books
  • The Velvet Elvis Repainting the Christian Faith
    (Zondervan, 2005) (first book)
  • Sex God Exploring the Endless Connections
    between Sexuality and Spirituality (Zondervan,
    2007)
  • Jesus Wants to Save Christians A Manifesto for
    the Church in Exile (Zondervan, 2008, October)
  • National speaking tours both to sold out crowds
  • 2006 Everything is Spiritual
  • 2007 The Gods Arent Angry

40
Theology of Rob Bell
  • On truth - One of the lies is that truth only
    resides in this particular community or that
    particular thought system," Bell says. "I affirm
    the truth anywhere in any religious system, in
    any worldview. If it's true, it belongs to God.
  • On Christianity which he calls brickianity
    Doctrines are like bricks. Removing one can bring
    the whole wall tumbling down. Cf. The Velvet
    Elvis p. 26-27.
  • Narrative theology We believe God inspired the
    authors of Scripture by his Spirit to speak to
    all generations of believers, including us today.
    God calls us to immerse ourselves in this
    authoritative narrative communally and
    individually to faithfully interpret and live out
    that story today as we are led by the Spirit of
    God. (from the church website)

41
Bell and Pagitt Together
  • SEEDS OF COMPASSION GATHERING
  • APRIL 1115, 2008, SEATTLE, WA
  • Seeds of Compassion was 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 communityfocused event
    celebrated and explored the relationships,
    programs and tools that nurture and empower
    children, families and communities to be
    compassionate members of society.
  • Each of the five days provided parents,
    educators, business and community leaders with an
    opportunity to better understand the real
    benefits of compassion their lives.

42
Tony Jones and Phyllis Tickle
43
Mark Driscoll the Reformissionists
  • Born 1970
  • Raised in an unbelieving home
  • Met a pastors daughter in high school who gave
    him a Bible. She is now his wife
  • His first church Mars Hill which he started in
    1996 meeting in his home
  • Today that church boasts more than 8000 on 7
    campuses / 20 services
  • Practices a metachurch model due to building
    codes that will not allow them to build a big
    facility. The campuses are connected via high
    tech video

44
Mark Driscoll writings
  • Early in his ministry he was known for being
    strident and foul of mouth
  • Driscoll is Pastor for Preaching and Theology
    over all campuses
  • Committed to remaining within downtown Seattle,
    one of the least churched cities in America
  • Describes himself as theologically conservative,
    culturally liberal
  • a Charismatic with a seatbelt

45
Reformission
  • Reformission is a radical call for Christians
    and Christian churches to recommit to living and
    speaking the gospel, and to do so regardless of
    the pressures to compromise the truth of the
    gospel or to conceal its power within the safety
    of the church. The goal of reformission is to
    continually unleash the gospel to do its work of
    reforming dominant cultures and church
    subcultures.

46
Reformission ministry philosophy
  • Ministry with two hands

Liberalism
Fundamentalism
47
Reformission ministry philosophy
Reformission
  • In our firmly closed hand we must hold the
    timeless truths of Christianity, such as the
    solas of the Reformation. In our graciously open
    hand we must hold timely ministry methods and
    styles that adapt as the cultures and subcultures
    we are ministering to change.

48
Reformission ministry philosophy
  • Parachurch
  • Gospel Culture Church
  • Liberalism
  • Culture Church Gospel
  • Fundamentalism
  • Church Gospel Culture
  • Reformission
  • Gospel Culture Church

49
Reformission ministry philosophy
  • Both attractional and missional
  • From John 6, Jesus appears to be modeling
    attractional church growth strategies of doing
    what is necessary to gather many people to hear
    the preaching of the gospel.
  • This transforms itself into Mars Hill hosting a
    non-Christian jazz festival that boasts
    world-renowned musicians along with free clinics
    for young student musicians, thereby providing us
    with a great opportunity to practice hospitality
    to our city.

50
Reformission ministry philosophy
  • Both attractional and missional
  • Jesus incarnation is in itself missional. God
    the Father sent God the Son into culture on a
    missions to redeem the elect by the power of God
    the Ghost . . . Emerging and missional Christians
    have wonderfully rediscovered the significance of
    Jesus incarnational example of being a
    missionary immersed in a culture.
  • Attractional churches need to transform their
    people from being consumers in the church to
    being missionaries outside the church

51
Driscolls Influence
  • Spoke twice at the Desiring God conference 2006,
    2008
  • Is on D. A. Carsons Gospel Coalition board
  • Speaks in evangelical venues far and wide e. g.
    2007 at Southeastern Baptist Theological
    Seminary, which is curious given the stand of the
    SBC on alcohol and his open challenge to
    abstinence

52
Evaluation
  • Two Important questions
  • What can we learn?
  • What should we avoid?

53
Evaluation
  • What draws people to the gospel?
  • How were 1st century unbelievers drawn into the
    church? By worship styles? Music? Theatre?
    Preaching?
  • Mt. 1618 regardless of what or who the rock
    is in this text, Jesus emphasizes that he builds
    his church
  • Does this mean we should not be sensitive to our
    methodology?
  • Two conflicting principles
  • The regulative principle whatever is not
    prescribed is forbidden
  • The normative principle whatever is not
    forbidden is allowed

54
Evaluation
  • Are we an attractional church?
  • Rick Warren Whatever type of people you
    already have in your congregation is the same
    type you are likely to attract more of. It is
    very unlikely that your church will attract and
    keep many people who are different from those who
    already attend.
  • This is true unless we deliberately work to
    overcome this reality!

55
Evaluation
  • Are we a missional church?
  • For what purpose does our church exists?
  • While we exist to glorify God, do we take
    evangelism seriously?
  • What are we doing to reach our Jerusalem?
  • What drives the mission of our church?
  • Biblical instruction?
  • Compassion?

56
Evaluation
  • Embracing culture to engage it
  • If culture is a purely human activity and if
    those humans are profoundly sinful, how is it
    possible that much/most of what humans do outside
    the influence of God is not likewise profoundly
    sinful in its orientation?
  • What about the noetic effects of sin?
  • The danger of worldliness
  • 1 Jn. 215
  • Rom. 122

57
Evaluation
  • Hudson Taylor as a model
  • What he embraced hairstyle and dress he
    embraced the folk culture of China
  • What he did not embrace foot binding he did
    not embrace all of his host culture
  • Distinguish between pop culture and folk culture

58
Evaluation
  • 1 Cor. 1031
  • So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do,
  • do all to the glory of God.
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