Presentation on theme: "The Emerging/Emergent Church. Various Forms Brian McLaren Right now Emergent is a conversation, not a movement. We don’t have a program. We don’t have."— Presentation transcript:
The Emerging/Emergent Church
Brian McLaren Right now Emergent is a conversation, not a movement. We don’t have a program. We don’t have a model. I think we must begin as a conversation, then grow as a friendship, and see if a movement comes of it.
Postmodern Bible Study
What is it Emerging from? A church “given over to modernism” Traditional church –Rejects 2000 years of understanding –“We don’t really know what the gospel is” – Brian McLaren The late 1990’s
Why does it exist? To meet the postmodern culture For under 30’s To meet the needs of a ‘spiritual generation’
Naming Your Church Solomon’s Porch, House of Mercy, The Rock, Jacob’s Ladder, Circle of Hope, Ikon, Vintage Faith, New Beginnings Mosaic
Promoting the Emerging Church theooze.com emergentvillage.org Zondervan/Youth Specialties IVP
Is it a New Reformation? The Reformation – Driven by a conviction amongst the reformers that the established church (RC) had moved away from scripture and introduced unscriptural practices. It was not a church set to adapt to a changing external cultural (in fact it shaped the culture).
Authentic Reaction against the materialism of ‘seeker sensitive’ churches. Reaction against ‘dead’ orthodoxy What is authentic?
Mystical Return to the historical church Not to the early church Mantras/chants Labyrinths Contemplative prayer
1. As you sit comfortably with your eyes closed, let yourself settle down. Let go of all the thoughts, tensions, and sensations you may feel and begin to rest in love of God who dwells within. 2. Effortlessly, choose a word, the symbol of your intention to surrender to God’s presence, and let the word be gently present within you. The word should be one syllable, if possible, and should communicate God’s love to you. 3. When you become aware of thoughts or as internal sensations arise, take this as your signal to gently return to the word, the symbol of your intention to let go and rest in God’s presence.
Contemplative prayer 4. If thoughts subside and you find yourself restfully aware, simply let go even of the word. Just be in that stillness. When thoughts begin to stir again, gently return to the word. Use the word as your only response to thoughts, questions, or anxieties that arise in your mind. 5. At the end of your prayer time (20 minutes in the morning and evening is a good balance), take a couple of minutes to come out of the silence–even if you don’t feel you need it. Many people find this a perfect time to internally express to God their thanks and to pray for others in need of God’s grace. Slowly reciting the Lord’s Prayer is another gentle way to come out of the prayer.
Tony Campolo “Beyond these models of reconciliation, a theology of mysticism provides some hope for common ground between Christianity and Islam. Both religions have within their histories examples of ecstatic union with God … I do not know what to make of the Muslim mystics, especially those who have come to be known as the Sufis. What do they experience in their mystical experiences? Could they have encountered the same God we do in our Christian mysticism?”
Stories “The Bible is a story” But it is also history, poetry, didactic literature, wisdom, etc...
Missional Living "Missional living" is a Christian term that describes a missionary lifestyle; adopting the posture, thinking, behaviours, and practices of a missionary in order to engage others with the gospel message. –Wikipedia
Out with Dogmatism!
Comments on the Emergent Church FBstaE&feature=related (10 signs)
An Emergent Church’s Statement What we believe... The word ‘faith’ is a trust or a hope in something bigger and beyond us being applied and expressed in the living out of our lives. Faith is the lens that we view our lives through. In modern times, faith has been known more as a matter of the head. It has been about whether we believe in the “right” set of claims to be true. Faith is an issue of the heart, not of the head. Faith is not a set of beliefs that has no life change. Faith is what we turn to when knowledge runs out. And so faith today is expressed because of a specific time when God poured out his love for us through the person Jesus Christ.
Books by Brian McLaren Finding Our Way Again, the Return to the Ancient Practices The Last Word and the Word After That A New Kind of Christian A Generous Orthodoxy
Leonard Sweet Spirituality refers first of all to the universal gift of aliveness that exists within all religions and outside of religions. It breathes out the air that “inspires.” Those who have been in-spired with aliveness by the kiss of God will “con-spire” to kiss others into coming alive to the spiritual dimensions of existence. “In-spire” means to breathe in. “Con-spire” means to breathe together. “Conspiracy” enters by the same door as “spirituality.” A world gagging on smog and smut needs a breath of fresh air. The New Light movement begins as a fresh air conspiracy of “aliveness.” But it is more than that. Spiritual consciousness can be something greater than aesthetics or aliveness. The Bible tells us that the human species has been twice kissed by the divine. (Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, pg. 253
Leonard Sweet Through the synergy of the divine-human exchange of energies, an unbelievable field of healing and transforming energy is rounded up and released in the universe. Humans are constructed out of mutually attracting energy particles with positive and negative charges. Negative or neutral charges too often dominate human contacts. Positive charges in the church are about as rare as “strange matter”--positively charged lumps of quarks know as “quarknuggets”--is in the quantum world. “Consciousness is catching,” psychologist/medical scholar/professor Frances E. Vaughan reminds us. Destructive, negative, constricting states of consciousness are caught as readily as creative, positive, expanding states of consciousness. All energy states are contagious. (Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, pg. 62
Leonard Sweet A surprisingly central feature of all the world’s religions is the language of light in communicating the divine and symbolizing the union of the human with the divine: Muhammed’s light-filled cave, Moses’ burning bush, Paul’s blinding light, Fox’s “inner light,” Krishna’s Lord of Light, Böhme’s light-filled cobbler shop, Plotinus’ fire experiences, Bodhisattvas with the flow of Kundalini’s fire erupting from their fontanelles, and so on.53 Light is the common thread that ties together near-death experiences as they occur in various cultures. (Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, pg. 146)
Dan Kimball My wife and I spent an hour in the labyrinth and found ourselves calmed and refreshed, our perspective uniquely restored. We made our own prayer path after the convention—we knew we couldn’t keep this experience to ourselves. A few months later we featured a labyrinth as part of Graceland’s annual art event at Santa Cruz Bible Church. Graceland artists recreated the labyrinth with a kit we purchased (The Prayer Path, Group Publishing), transforming one of the church’s multipurpose rooms into a medieval prayer sanctuary. The team hung art on the walls, draped fabric, and lit candles all around the room to create a visual sense of sacred space. (Commentary of Dan Kimball’s Article “A-maze-ing Prayer: The Labyrinth Offers Ancient Meditation For Today’s Hurried Souls by Jane Whiting)
Dan Kimball “the basis of learning has shifted from logic and rational, systematic thought to the realm of experience. People increasingly long for the mystical and the spiritual rather than the evidential and facts-based faith of the modern soil.” Kimball suggests that the seeker- sensitive church, the church that chased the last generation’s culture, is already out of date: “The things that seeker-sensitive churches removed from their churches are the very things [postmodern] nonbelievers want to experience if they attend a worship service.”
Brian McLaren "It may be advisable in many (not all!) circumstances to help people become followers of Jesus and remain within their Buddhist, Hindu, or Jewish contexts,"… "Is our religion the only one that understands the true meaning of life? Or does God place his truth in others too?... The gospel is not our gospel, but the gospel of the kingdom of God, and what belongs to the kingdom of God cannot be hijacked by Christianity" (p. 194). (Brian McLaren, An Emergent Manifesto
Brian McLaren Ask me if Christianity (my version of it, yours, the Pope’s, whoever’s) is orthodox, meaning true, and here’s my honest answer: a little, but not yet. Assuming by Christianity you mean the Christian understanding of the world and God, Christian opinions on soul, text, and culture…I’d have to say that we probably have a couple of things right, but a lot of things wrong, and even more spreads before us unseen and unimagined. But at least our eyes are open! To be a Christian in a generously orthodox way is not to claim to have the truth captured, stuffed, and mounted on the wall.
Brian McLaren - Interviewed "[T]his is one of the huge problems with the traditional understanding of hell, because if the Cross is in line with Jesus' teaching, then I won't say the only and I certainly won't say... or even the primary or a primary meaning of the Cross... is that the Kingdom of God doesn't come like the kingdoms of this world by inflicting violence and coercing people. But that the kingdom of God comes thru suffering and willing voluntary sacrifice right? But in an ironic way the doctrine of hell basically says no, that's not really true. At the end God get's his way thru coercion and violence and intimidation and uh domination just like every other kingdom does. The Cross isn't the center then, the Cross is almost a distraction and false advertising for God."
A Generous Orthodoxy Why I am a missional, evangelical, post/protestant, liberal/conservative, mystical/poetic, biblical, charismatic/contemplative, fundamentalist/calvinist, anabaptist/anglican, methodist, catholic, green, incarnational, depressed-yet-hopeful, emergent, unfinished Christian. –Brian McLaren
Comments on the Emergent Church &feature=related (John MacArthur
Consider Daniel We live in the culture to challenge the culture, not to become absorbed by it.
Jude v3-4 “I find it necessary to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints”
Galatians 1 v But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!
1 Corinthians 1:18 "the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."
I Timothy 4 v The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.
Comments on the Emergent Church c (RC Sproul, Ravi Zaccharias, Al Mohler)
Dangers Apostasy Weak church Untaught disciples Lack of support systems for the long haul
Comments on the Emergent Church Ejg&feature=related (John Piper)