Friday, May 26, 2006

Emerging church...here's me wat?!

So I went to 'A Day with Brian McClaren' run by Emerging Ireland on Monday. I was fortunate really to get a ticket as it was a small event for about 100 people. Brian McClaren is basically the daddy of the emerging church debate that's pretty popular at the moment. I don't claim to have a huge depth of knowledge on the subject but I'm reading Generous Orthodoxy at the moment so i you haven't read any Emergent stuff then it's a pretty good start.

My understanding is that emerging church is really a post-modern way of doing church. The day was really conversational with McClaren responding to lots of questions from the floor - no i did not ask any, definitely not intelligent enough for that! What i like about this stuff is the idea that it isn't another idea intent on splitting churches and the creation of 'emergent churches'. It's the development of a new ideology or way of thinking about church that can embrace all denominations by uniting on what we agree on. I also like the idea of developing missional churches that are not 'all about me'. Churches that recognise that Christians are not the 'end users of the gospel'. Instead McClaren presents a model of church that recognises Jesus comes with saving love for THE WORLD.
He (Jesus) invites me to be part of this community to experience his saving love and participate in it.
This is the bit i like the most though:
Those who want to become Christians (whether through our proclamation or demonstration), we welcome. Those who don't, we love and serve, joining God in seeking their good, their blessing, their shalom.
This for me says that we love people just because we love them and not because we want them to become Christians - otherwise there is something impure, an ulterior motive if you like, in our love that i don't think is Christ-like.

1 comment:

Steve McC said...

Here's me..emerging church..nah...I'll take the gospel hall thanks. Yo Neil hows it going? I spent a day with McClaren and some church leaders last year. It was great fun...man he really had them shifting in their seats. So they were trying to catch him out with lots of taboo questions, particularly this one dude who insisted on bringing up homosexuality. So McClaren goes..."Well I dont think its such a big deal, a bigger question is, how come 1 in 20,000 babies born is a hamaphrodite." That kind of shut everyone up. He is a smart dude. I am actually reading his book, the secret message of Jesus. I like it because it fills in a lot of the blanks around the jewish question. I have discovered my new passion is a greater understanding of the jewish culture into which JC ministered. But thats for another time. We still need to get together some time.
Steve
ps fixed my blog