Thursday, December 1, 2005

The Emerging Church

The latest movement/obsession/conversation/rage/organization in Christendom appears to be the Emerging Church Movement (sometimes called "E.C.," sometimes called "E.C.M."). Many hail this is a better way to worship and to live out the faith in light of a 'postmodern world', while others contend it is nothing short of heresy and a diminishing of the Gospel. Whatever your view of E.C.M., it is very much like the character of Alex Forrest in the film Fatal Attraction when she says to her rejecting lover, "I'm not going to be ignored, Dan."

Several 'prominent' members in the E.C. movement have blogs:

To become more informed on emergent, you can leave your home and go to either a village or a planet.

Karen Ward is 'webmeister' to a site that reads the following on the front page:

the emerging church of the 21st century may have more in common with the church of the apostolic era, than with the church of the 20th century.
many ancient practices of faith and ways of being communal are being re:booted and morphed for the needs of the future church. as leonard sweet writes, "our faith is ancient. our faith is future. we're old-fashioned. we're new-fangled. we're orthodox. we're innovators. we're postmodern christians."

Here are some of the more popular emergent churches:

Blogger Justin Taylor has written some helpful posts in discussing a dialogue with the E.C.M.: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, & 10.

Phil Johnson (Pyromaniac), blogger and executive director of Grace To You, is certainly an outspoken critic of E.C.M. He has written several posts discussing his concerns, and you can read just a few here and here.

Ingrid Schlueter has also written numerous critical posts on her site Slice of Laodicea. Much of what is on her site is criticism of ECM and of Rick Warren and "The Purpose Driven Life."

Keith Drury writes about E.C.M. resistance from baby boomers.

Al Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, discusses his thoughts here and here.

D.A. Carson has written a book on E.C.M. titled "Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church." Here is an adapted article.

McLaren, Kimball and several others have given a response to criticism. This response mentions an essay written by Dr. David Mills, a professor at Cedarville University (I knew Mills when we were both students at Cedarville) - Mills wrote his essay after listening to Carson discuss his thoughts during the Staley Lecture series at Cedarville in 2004.

John Hammett of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary wrote a paper entitled "An Ecclesiological Assessment of the Emerging Church Movement."

UPDATE: Are you emergent without knowing it? Check here to see if you are.


  1. should have mentioned Jacob's Well in Kansas City. That's our closest E.C. church.

  2. For those interested...Here is a link of Brian McLaren speaking about the Emerging Church and how he does not think it should be called such.

    It's becoming a model that it wasn't intended to be. That's sad.

  3. I forgot the link:


  4. I don't think mars hill seattle is post modern. I attended there for a couple years, and I never heard them use that word once. Just to clarify. I hope you had a great T Day!

  5. It is now. Check out the web site Dustin.