From Dust to Dust

Thanks to a new online friend of mine, John over at microclesia for the link to a Christianity Today synopsis of a lecture given by Scot McKnight on The Five Streams of the Emerging Church. The five streams are, in a nutshell:

  1. prophetic
  2. postmodern
  3. praxis-oriented
  4. post-evangelical
  5. political

Check it out for a more in-depth analysis.

But I’ve got to get honest here. I had a dream-like picture years ago. It was several men, built rather like the man in this poster, and they were building a pyramid out of themselves. But as soon as they nearly got the pyramid finished, a huge hand came along and swiped them all down. These strong men would then proceed to attempt to build their pyramid again. I felt deep within that this was a picture of the continuous human effort to build something significant and lasting, especially when it comes to religion and the church. The emerging movement, as radical as it seems, all falls under this same effort, in my opinion. Reformation no longer works. Never did! Re-creation… is that something we’ve tried? Depending on how you look at it, this strong man: is he emerging from the dust, or descending into it?

ps: The pic isn’t of me, but my little brother (kidding)! It’s actually found here.

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  • ttm

    Emerging from the dust he appears strong, powerful, victorious!

    But if I look at the picture as if he is a sinking man–his posture appears pathetically prideful and angry.

    Interesting that my view of the emerging church–particularly the Emergent corner of it–engenders feelings of standing upon shifting sand. One minute I feel like “Exactly!” and the next I feel like “I’m sinking.”

  • good observation. thanks for the insights.

  • Pam

    Keep up with the boxing that could be you..hahahe

  • ttm

    An additional comment and a question, if I may. It’s interesting that the picture you chose to accompany the Emerging Church link does not clearly show the man’s face. Was that a subconscious choice or intentional? Because I think one reason so many struggle to embrace the identity of the EC is that we can’t clearly see its face.

  • Fred

    No, that’s not your brother.

  • ttm: interesting analysis, re the face!
    fred: indeed

  • I wrestle with this emergent nomenclature quite a bit. In some ways I totally identify with the emergent movement, in other ways I just don’t care what you call it if anything – I’m going to do what I’m going to do. But the list of streams is interesting sounds like an article I should read. I like Scott’s stuff.

  • BrianM

    I think your observation is important. I have similar feelings when I hear the word ‘revival’. Has it ever worked? There’s much that I connect with that is called ’emergent’ but I definitely would not label myself or our church by that name. I am probably much closer to the emergent movements than the critics of it but I find it much more interesting and consuming to grab hold of what God is doing here and now with me and us without having to defend or support something else.

    Plus, from the picture I’m clearly not built for it…