The Birth of the Emerging Church & a Missing Voice

There is one important person who helped start the entire discussion about "Progressive Christianity" or the "Emerging Church" who has been silenced. He is speaking again, and I'd suggest we all welcome him back. Let me explain:Somewhere around 1996 an organization called Leadership Network pulled together about 10-20 young leaders in the church to begin a discussion about ministry for Generation X. Within a few months, the conversation morphed into a more academic one about post-modernism … [Read more...]

Quoting God by Randy Woodley

Ok, I first need to admit to you, this is not my first time at the rodeo. I’ve been around unorganized Christianity for a while. I was involved in some of the early Jesus people movements, several Christian communities and some wildly charismatic churches and “non-denominational denominations.” I was even a student, and later a chauffer, at Jim Bakker’s PTL Club (pre-prison conviction days). Believe me, I have heard some pretty crazy things attributed to God in the past.For example, once I wa … [Read more...]

It Was A Night Around Christmas

Since the first Christmas was likely in April it won’t be too inappropriate for this to be a few days late. After all, it is called a night “around” Christmas. (Spoken to the cadence of "T'was The Night Before Christmas" duh!)It was a night around Christmas, in a crowded old caveWith camels and horses and cattle she laidKnocked up by the Spirit, baby daddy besidePsycho girl in some trouble, or maybe she lied No time for a cleaning, no time for midwifeThe stable wa … [Read more...]

Why I Am Emergent, Part 3: Theologically Counter-Cultural

 Continuing in the series of processing through the reasons of why I resonate with the Emergent Movement (See week 1 and week 2), I’m left pondering being theologically countercultural.One of the first things I noticed as I began reading emergent books and blogs, visiting emergent churches and events, and meeting emergent people, was that there seemed to be a uniqueness about them and the way they were.  I have heard of a church that jokingly refers to themselves as “the island of mi … [Read more...]

Emerging Church Still Making Headlines

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The reports of the emerging church's death are greatly exaggerated. The existence of the new Emergent Village Voice blog is one example of a new chapter that's being written. My experience with the Charlotte Emergent cohort over the past eight years reminds me over and over as I meet and talk with new people joining the conversation every month. Then there's the ongoing media attention that this movement continues to receive, 10+ years on.Brian McLaren, Phyllis Tickle, and I were … [Read more...]

Advent’s Economic Good News

It’s Advent, and I am waiting for Jesus, trying to keep my eyes open to see him when he shows up. I’ve committed to some particular prayers; I’m meeting one-on-one with each person in my community. I’m listening to the lectionary—listening for clues about where to look. The words of an ancient monk are on my mind: “he comes to us now in order that his future coming may find us prepared.”But I know all the stories about how religious people aren’t prepared. We fall asleep. We let the oil burn … [Read more...]

Why I am Emergent, Part 2: Multivocality

As an addendum to last weeks post on the conversational element of Emergent, I want to assert my belief that when it comes to voices in the conversation, more is better.In one of our Twin Cities Emergent Cohort meetings several years ago I rememberTony Jones saying that the fear of many concerning open discussion in biblical or theological small groups is that heresy will rule the day.  “If everyone has a say,” the argument goes, “there will be no truth.”  Tony rightly argued that it is a … [Read more...]

Improvisational Christianity: I hope you like me.

This is what I look like. (As an Amish farmer.)

Starting a blog for a new "audience" is awkward.This first post feels a little like a Match.com-ish plea for you to like me. Just so you know, I really do want you to like me. I love the approval of strangers.  That said, I will pretend like I don't care what you think of me. My shrink calls that instinct "self-preservation" and I am really good at it.I'm thankful that Doug Pagitt invited me into the conversation on this blog. With no sense of false humility (just genuine, completely … [Read more...]

Why I Am Emergent, Part 1: Conversation

As we start the new Emergent Village Voice blog, I want to launch into a several week series on how I came to associate with Emergent Village and the movement at large.  The emphasis will be on the “why,” but it will include the “how” along the way.One of the first things that attracted me to all things Emergent was the conversational aspect.  This was a network of people who were talking, writing, communicating, thinking, publishing, podcasting, blogging etc.  It was even often referred to a … [Read more...]

Growing Cafe Churches Singapore Style

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"Why are people so upset at the emerging church?", Tim Wong asked me last night over a mango juice at a Balinese party.We didn't have time to plummet the jelloed depths of EC criticism, although I do enjoy the subject. But we did discuss cafe churches and how they have evolved from cheesy church-basement services in the 80's [GUILTY AS CHARGED] to state-of-the-art, Über-Funky couch-clad temples of Java and Bible that they have now become. Even here in Asia. Particularly in Asia, where cafe … [Read more...]


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