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Article from Concordia Theology » Reframing the Story: The End of the Emergent Conversation

Concordia Theology » Reframing the Story: The End of the Emergent Conversation.

      For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.  Romans 1:16.
The is an absolutely fascinating and thorough review of the effects of post-modernism on the body of Christ and review of the the spiritual, but not religious movement in the church.  Carol Geisler does a terrific job of summarizing the theological underpinnings of the so-called “Emerging Church” movement in Christianity.  This is the movement that says historical Christianity, grandma and grandpa’s church, Cardinal John Henry Newman’s church, Pope Benedict’s church, Luther’s church, St. Augustine’s church, Christ’s church, is not for today’s modern, spiritual seeker.  I may have more on this article after having the opportunity to thoroughly digest it, but for now it has been re-published in its entirety below:

by Carol Geisler

Carol Geisler works at Lutheran Hour Ministries and the LCMS Commission on Theology and Church Relations. A former teacher and principal, she earned the Ph.D. in historical theology from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.

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The emergent church movement is by no means a new conversation (the description preferred by its advocates) but the discussion continues to attract mainline denominations searching for practical ideas in ministry. Emergent interests such as social networks, personal stories, and “authentic” spiritual experiences are pursued to reach the unchurched or to encourage a generation of young Christians. Admiration between denominations and emergents is something of a one way street, however, as emergent advocates tend to regard the denominations (sometimes referred to as “tribes” or “villages”) with a certain amount of disdain. There are emergents from many tribes, including Baptists, Roman Catholics, and Lutherans, but emergent theologian Tony Jones comments, “In the end, the new definition of ‘Christian’ may not be what particular doctrines one believes or which flavor of church to which one belongs but whether (and how thoroughly) one is woven into the fabric of global Christianity.”[1] The language and practices discussed in the emergent conversation also attract listeners from the Missouri Synod tribe eager for new ideas in evangelism. Before Lutherans join whole-heartedly in the conversation they may want to consider the discussion’s general direction because it is not an open-ended dialogue. What do its leading voices have to say? What will the fabric of global Christianity look like when the conversation ends and the emergent reweaving is complete? Read the rest of this entry