Monday, September 22, 2008

Characteristics of the Emerging Church

This month's issue of Christianity Today (Sept.) has an article focusing on describing the Emerging Church movement. Along with this main article is a smaller article on page 62 that provides us with eight characteristics of the Emerging Church. We could call today's blog "Eight Signs You are in an Emerging Church". Here are three of them:
  1. Emerging churches believe that the doctrine of Scripture's inerrancy does not sufficiently capture the true character of the Bible. (Can you guess where this is heading?)
  2. They believe that the gospel we have been preaching concerning Jesus' death as payment for our sins and his resurrection for our new life was Paul's idea and not Jesus' intention at all. Emergers, which is my word for people involved in an Emerging Church, describe the message Jesus preached as a 'secret message' that has been rediscovered by leading emergers. They have discovered that Jesus was focused on political action and he had global concerns. (Maybe the emergers would like to suggest a world political leader we could unite behind to follow into a golden age of world harmony. Are you ready for the anti-christ?)
  3. The deification of science has created a generation of people that are ready to dismiss the literal biblical accounts whenever science's latest revelation, or hypothesis, demands obedience. This is easily done in the name of Christianity by assuming the Bible is written in some ancient form of poetry, allegory, parable, etc. With this understanding an Emerger can both agree with the Bible but at the same time redirect it to allign with current pop science. (Remember the house built on shifting sand? Well, this is that house.)
Galyn Wiemers