Emergent – surely not all bad?

Whilst it is clear from the UK website that there is a close association with Steve Chalke, recently criticised by the UK Evangelical Alliance, I think it is important not to throw out everything that the “emergent” movement are saying. Tony Campallo in a recent article stated that the movement expresses what I call “progressive evangelicalism. Whilst I might be more happy to describe much of what is being said as neo-liberalism I do think that an important conversation must be had. We cannot deny one of the main premises of the movement as reported by Campallo is broadly accurate “traditional mainline churches are devoid of vitality and mega-churches are irrelevantly narrow.”

Brian Maclaren has said (and here I agree with him) “So if we are a self-centered church in America, it is because our systems including our theological systems are perfectly designed to produce such a church. It has been said that the greatest obstacle to the coming of the kingdom of God is the church, preoccupied with her own existence. Could our preoccupation with making better churches rather than better blessing the world be the heart disease that plagues us?”

The question is the right one- how can the church become vital and relevant to todays world. I am just not 100% sure that some of the answers are the right ones……

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