Reply to Kurt Willems on, “Is the church still emerging?”

emergent

After leaving the following comment on his blog, I wanted to follow up on this important question:An Emergence authority like Phyllis Tickle would say definitively yes. It's the topic of her latest book Emergence Christianity http://amzn.com/0801013550 On Patheos, Kurt Willems has recently brought up the issue about emerging churches here and here, which struck me as an emergent Christian. What does the adjective mean? My opinion is not authoritative, nor definitive, since this community h … [Read more...]

Review of Brian McLaren’s Upcoming Book

Identity. Fundamental to us all. Yet so seldom explored. What does it mean to be a Christian in the 21st century? The past few months I've been in a sort of identity crisis. My Christian upbringing has been so fundamental to my worldview that I've rarely taken the time to look at my life from an outside perspective. Being somewhat at a cross roads I decided to ask a new friend for advice. I've emailed Brian McLaren in the past, and, to my pleasant surprise, he has been remarkably available to h … [Read more...]

A Humble Emergent Reply to Ben Witherington III

The Great Panagia 13th c. AD

Dear Dr. Witherington, I feel as but a mere ant to respond to a man of your caliber, but I was impressed by your recent post in regard to the anti-ecclesial rhetoric within emerging communities. Hopefully my meager efforts will reassure you that you are on point. Furthermore, we might not be so far off in our ecclesiology. First, your words are very well put and poignant for us to consider in the emerging conversation. While it was not a revelation to me that ekklesia is an anthropological ter … [Read more...]

On Cultural Necrophilia: A Christian Response

Little vampire by Ceskino Wikimedia Commons GNU License

Maybe it's my age, but I take issue with the cultural necrophilia flooding the airwaves. I cringe to hear my son share his fascination with zombies. What is it about the dead, semi-dead or human predators that moves us so deeply? Whether it's the vampire fetishes seen in Twilight or True Blood, the zombie apocalypse, realistic gaming carnage, or the Christian apocalypticism that takes little care for creation, all of these and more point toward a cultural necrophilia -- a love of death and d … [Read more...]

An Economic Pitfall

Social Media Marketing by Paola Peralta Wikimedia Commons

Erich Fromm's "Marketing Character" pinpoints a major frustration I've had with Christendom for the past decade. This principle of socio-economics exposes a monstrous pitfall for the Church lying beneath the surface of American social relationships. This one might hurt a bit since it reveals the dangers of cyber-networks, including our beloved Emergent Village Voice. Fromm's psychological training and life experience positioned him to see what now is. Post-WWII social dynamics evolved into the … [Read more...]

On Being a Christian

Tibetan Copper Gautama Buddha 14th c.AD

In a recent reading of Erich Fromm's To Have or to Be, I've once again confronted an identity crisis. Am I a Christian or have I merely had faith? Christianity's Eastern roots would demand the prior, but the American Christian world at large bellows the latter in 3D Dolby Digital surround sound. Fromm's emphasis upon two modes of existence epitomizes all that I love and hate about twenty-first century Christianity. I love the possibility of a new way being. I hate the current possession of … [Read more...]

my broken family (Church vs. Art)

J. M. W. Turner Rain, Steam and Speed c.1844

I love art. I teach it. I try to preach it to others. My faith is truly alive due to artists - both old and new. They imbue hope, life, and peace. Rembrandt and Michelangelo, Goya and Picasso, and more recently Wooster. These are my commentaries upon the Scriptures. As a Christian this often lands me in two worlds simultaneously. One foot in church related things and the other in creative arts. I've found the bridge is most often me. I enjoy mixing it up in both worlds, but it would be truly f … [Read more...]

Emergence and Indie Rock

Listening to Sirius XMU at work provoked the following thoughts about about Indie Rock and Emergence: Pre-mainstream. Both have touched upon the edges of society who are looking for a different expression. I find it ironic that the old mainstream Mainline churches are far more open to emergence than Evangelicals at large who have become the new mainstream. The common way of doing faith or doing music doesn't work for emergents or indie rockers. They're looking for a more relevant form. Self … [Read more...]

World Religions and Ecumenicism

Coexist - Nick Baumgartner via Wylio

For the past year, I've been teaching courses in Humanities at a local community college. In my professional role, I have to maintain a certain degree of detachment from the various topics from lecture to lecture. This includes the major world religious traditions. While maintaining my personal Christian faith, I have learned to appreciate the other traditions for their contributions to global faith and to personal enrichment. There is a measure of humanity that needs and longs for rites and … [Read more...]

My Spiritual Path to Virtual Community

Michael with his Sudanese students

Upon receiving a welcome email with a username and password, I paused to reflect. A frighteningly wonderful realization surfaced: I've walked alone to discover a virtual community. This marvelous opportunity to join the writers of Emergent Village once again affirms what my life has been shouting for years -- my peers truly dwell in cyberspace. Despite my failures to connect at the local church level, despite the mundane state of all things Michael, my spiritual journey entails this virtual … [Read more...]


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