Rockstars Deny the Foundation of Religion
lift my eyes up to the mountains, where does my help come from?*
– King David, King of Israel
“Ancient Egyptians viewed their pharaohs as living gods they were
the personification of AMUN-RA the king of gods and when they
died they became true gods. Therefore these pharaohs weren’t only
regarded as the kings of Egypt but as divinity.”
Faith - Putting
its Different Dimentions into Perspective
is all too often presented as a matter of religious beliefs, of
accepting ideas about God that cannot be proved except in one's
own experience. Yet faith in its original meaning is much more
active than this; it is about making a loving commitment, trusting
and being faithful. If we explore the different dimensions of
faith, we see that faith is so much more than an intellectual
assent to religious propositions; it is more a spiritual adventure
than a state of mind; a vision and a way of life rather than a
creed. Faith is not static; just as we progress intellectually
and emotionally, we develop spiritually."
Problem With Hell
is potentially a hot topic, and I approach it with some fear &
trepidation. Yet it is an incredibly important topic, as, in it’s
typically accepted form, Christians anticipate that many (possibly
the majority) of people who have ever lived will spend eternity
suffering there. Surely the expected permanent destination for
so many people is worthy of careful consideration."
Amnesia: Has the Church lost her way?
slowly make your way through the ex-warehouse to find a place
in the movie-style seating while the band is playing the number
one praise song of the week. A week before, you handed over a
couple of tickets and you casually strolled through the masses,
into the standing room only gig and the band came out and everybody
screamed. One is a church, the other is rock show, is there a
difference? Should there be?"
08 - JANUARY 09:
McLaren interviewed by Chris Stoddard of RUN.
like to talk about a conversation rather than another division
or model or slice of church. To me what's really exciting is the
idea of a conversation that takes place amongst different kinds
5 Things We Got Wrong in the Emerging Missional Church
"...Over the last two years I have been asking a lot of questions and critically reflecting upon this movement. The following points are my reflections on some of the mistakes that we have made..."
"...In this "Great Emergence" there are churches, movements, and congregations that are frankly "emergent." That is, they are completely new conceptualizations of what "church" is to be..."
Beyond the Emerging Church
"...for some emerging church is too broad, for me it’s becoming too narrow and anti-church, at least in many of it’s UK formulations, or rather in ways that undermine it’s missional aspirations...."
Has the Emerging Church Wilted?
"...The emerging church movement may or may not be dead. Time will tell if initiatives like Dan Kimball and Scot McKnight's non-Emergent emerging church network will revive the churches that once called themselves emerging..."
grace: should I give up what I don't deserve?
if our world was such that we all got only what we deserved? Every
time you deserved something good, you'd be rewarded. Every time
you deserved something bad, you'd be punished..."
Emerging Church in the UK : Personal Reflections
culture in the UK is far more secular than that which is general
in the United States, there has been an emerging church scene
since the late 1980s responding to the gap between traditional
forms of church and contemporary culture..."
worship as a mission tool
world wide web has placed a wealth of information and experiences
at the fingertips of a huge number of people. Any topic you’re
interested in can be ‘googled’ and the chances are you’ll discover
at least something – even though you may not be able to guarantee
its reliability. When it’s this easy, it’s understandable that
the web has become the first place to start to look for any topic..."
Bonhoeffer I have discovered in my research is one with whom I
can relate to as a young adult. A reckless theologian with a passionate
faith... A theologian whose own personal
reflections on faith caused him to feel an inner separation and
drifting away from the other leaders in his own church..."
and Developing Entrepreneurs in Mission
is currently a many voiced call to release the entrepreneurs in
our culture… in the worlds of business and culture and, in some
ways surprisingly there are voices in the Christian world too
calling for innovation and innovators. Perhaps this is to do with
the changing paradigm in which we live and breathe, perhaps it
is the beginnings of not only a response to its challenges but
a reflection of it’s natures.
we enter the twenty-first century, participation in traditional
Church life is on the decline as more and more thinking Christians
struggle to reconcile the reality of the world they live in with
the myths and dogmas of the traditional churches...
are by nature skittish creatures. We tend to be wary of new things,
seeing change as dangerous or at least something to be suspicious
of. For that reason we approach new acquaintances with some trepidation
– trust is generally not gained easily. Just like a points system
in a sporting competition, trust has to be earned through effort...
(Not) to Speak of God as a Postmodern Evangelical”
“Theologies given birth within modernity will not transfer to
postmodern cultures." -Eddie Gibbs and Ryan Bolger - Emerging
Churches. This quote should serve as an alarm for all those who
profess to be evangelical Christians...
The truth isn't
a recent event I took part in, someone suggested we hold a conversation
entitled 'Is the Emerging Church middle class white boy intellectualism
and mac computers or does it have a genuine concern for the poor
is for life, not just for meetings
gives us an intro to what a 'rule of life' means and considers
the lord's prayer as 'a jumping off point' for drawing up your
is Emerging church, does it matter?
what is Emerging Church? This is what people often ask me, and
despite loads of "conversation" I still am unable to give what
I consider to be a good answer..."
Power of the
the beginning of civilisation humans have been organising themselves
into groups. We can't help it, it's a part of our psychological
makeup. And we're really, really good at it, better than any other
animal on the planet."
hrs in the Emerging Church
'Emerging Churches: creating christian community in postmodern
cultures' is the result of 5 years research by Eddie Gibbs and
Ryan Bolger. At the end of Ryan's 1 week tour of the UK as part
of the CMS blah... programme, some key folks from Uk emerging
churches got together for 24hrs to engage in conversation with
Ryan and each other. We were there to bring you a taster of the
discussion that took place.
of the Blind
reflection on Christian language; what it has become and how it
may limit our church effectiveness – inspired by ‘The Country
of the Blind’ by HG Wells."
VJ'S perspective of emerging church pt.2
In May of this year, Rob reflected on his experience as a VJ and
integrating club style into church culture. He returns this month
to respond top some of the questions and thoughts prompted by
meaning in a world of quantum leaps and fundamentalists
quantum leap is to regard local experience as a valued partner
in faith and not subject to the hierarchy of Scripture or tradition.
It is context with a capital “C”, or perhaps more accurately Scripture
with a small ‘s'..."
Reconstruction, Prayer & Theology
some time now, I have been reflecting on the spiritual journey
that many of us have undertaken and that many more are making.
The gap between traditional forms of church and contemporary culture
continues to expand, and many who turn to the Emerging Church
are increasingly dechurched, as well as people who are not yet
Christian (unchurched). What is most apparent is that there is
a progression of spiritual journeying..."
VJ's Perspective of Emerging Church
the best part of a year I have taken a step back from using any
interactive multi-media moving images (known as 'Vjing' for want
of a better word) within the context of Church. I felt strongly
that before I advanced my ideas and work any further, I had to
re-evaluate my aims and what might be the best and worst possible
ways to achieve them. In doing this I have had to ask myself some
difficult questions, directly associated with this experimental
form of teaching and worship."
"I am an articulate, educated woman. I saw places that my
gifting could be used for the glory of God. And slowly, but surely,
as I became more acclimatized to being a Christian, I began to
see there was but a limited sphere where I could acceptably use
asks if the emerging church will finally offer a fresh approach
to the role of women in the church.
Winnipeg : Canada
"Diversity is an increasingly important value within the
emerging church movement. This commitment to diversity, not only
in EC, but also increasingly in the Body of Christ, is a positive
reflection of the health and growth of Christianity in the world.
God is calling us even deeper. "
identifies three themes that the emerging church has to take seriously
if it is to be a missional movement.
When 'GOOD' becomes the enemy of 'BEST'
Auckland : New Zealand
"Imagine you are walking on a path though the forest, and
your goal is to get to the beach. You reach a point where the
path splits into 2 paths, and you can’t see the beach, so you
are unsure which way to go..."
why the church usually settles for 'good' - and how that could
be at the opposite end of the spectrum to 'best'.
Emerging theology continued...
HARVEST : Kent : UK
"Reading Ian Mobsby's piece on Theology
for the Emerging Church (10.05) struck a chord. It made me
think back over what we've been learning here at HARVEST new Anglican
church. We've been doing emerging theology without realising it..."
Yorkshire : UK
Who came up with the greatest marketing strategy of all time? Clue:
he wore sandles and lived about 2000 years ago... Chris explains that
whether we like it or not, we're all in marketing now.
16 Lessons for Church Planting
Living Room : Melbourne, Australia
mission, incarnation, fun... Darren hesitantly collects 16 reflections
from the first couple of years of LivingRoom - an emerging missional
community / simple church in Inner North Melbourne.
An open letter to the emerging church
Present Testimony Ministry
the emerging church path ultimately lead to a rediscovery of 1st Century
Christianity? Frank challenges the emerging church to look to its
roots and get primitive.
and pop culture
slogans are just "noise" or "static" on the airwaves to the outsider.
Simply accosting people and saying "Jesus loves you, Jesus died
for you, Jesus saves", assumes that the listener already knows what
you mean. It is like a spam e-mail, something to be immediately
erased from the in-box...
Night Shyamalan's movie "The Village" about a group of people who
chose to separate themselves from modern society In an attempt to
live a life free of horrors. This is not much different from what
many of our Churches have become..."
Immersed in emerging
"some distilled hopes from this year’s experiences..."
International Teams : Paris, France
things seen by some as weaknesses in African church tradition (the
importance of experience, worship, celebration, community, acceptance
and grace, spiritual power, and the focus on the stories of the Bible)
are strengths for operating in the emerging culture...
To clarify this
long for a church that is low-key. I’m tired of hype, I’m tired of
noise, and I’m tired of intensity..."
MOOT : London, UK
current crisis is more to do with the gap between contemporary culture
and the church, which continues to widen. It is a gap or rather a
growing ravine that goes as deep as paradigm, language, social organisation
and hope. The church is not just out of step, it is often a museum
for a past way of life."
Ian reviews Kester Brewins 'The Complex Christ'
I Am the Truth
Text, Hermeneutics and the Person of Christ - An essay by Maggi
"Maggi encourages us to dare 'to step towards God on the shifting
ground of intellectual enquiry,' and one could also add, upon the
shifting ground of significant discontinuous cultural change..."
How is Emerging
I was going to give one easy to read book to church pastors/leaders
for an intro to emerging church in the UK this would be it."
so says JASON CLARK at emergent.typepad.com
Take a look for yourself with this excerpt from Michael Moynagh's
All Nations : UK
we hop around fellowships from week to week according to our mood?
Should we have alternatives? Should we be able to select the ‘vibrant’
option with a side order of ‘challenging’ preaching?" Andy White
treats us to a taste of what cafeteria church might be like.
No more tea vicar
is about clarity, communication, recognition. brands are succinct
summings-up of what you stand for. most of the church doesn't have
clarity, can't agree on what it stands for, is full of dissenting
voices and loose cannons. successful branding requires coherence across
the whole organisation, so that people receive the correct message
wherever they touch it. everyone has to sign up, everyone has to be
on-message. which isn't the church!"
It is estimated
by the UN that 2 to 4 million people are trafficked each year. 500,000
of these are women from all over the world who find their destination
in Western Europe. But it’s OK, because on a national level we’re
focussed on the laudable task of ‘nation building’; a necessary corollary
to declaring war on an international axis of evil. Or is it OK?
Theologians can teach the Emerging Church
we replace the project of relevance with the project of identity,
and how might this change of perspective help the Emerging Church?
How can we as Western Christians think through the questions of 'religious
past' and 'cultural present' as the intersecting points of our identity
rather than as a place for the project of relevance."
The Body of
Christ could use some sleep
(Or what the Church can learn from iTunes)
Vaux : London, UK
first believe that change is both necessary and possible. For many
in the church, change is neither. Either their faith is settled, the
Scriptures are clear and closed, their minds an eternal, spotless
sunshine, or the task is simply too great, the institution too large
and the energy required too massive for change to be thought achievable.
Room : Melbourne, Australia
"Jesus called his disciples to become 'fishers of men', people
fished with nets not single fishing lines. They would take their boats
out - throw out their nets and then draw them in towards the boat
to be sorted. The net is like the relationships we have between one
Emerging as a value
"As I consider the word emerging, I am much more comfortable
with it as a value than I am with it as a movement. Now I know how
these things get named. Truth is that unlike the Reformation the name
“emerging” didn’t come about in quite the same organic manner. Someone
somewhere came up with it as a branding exercise. But I happen to
think that they got this one very right..."
Maggi Dawn : In
the church but not of it
a lot of talk about the kind of innovative 'party church' or house-group
churches; there's lots of good stuff going on there. And there is another
whole raft of people - me included - who have experimented with 'new forms'
and ended up doing the 'emerging' thing within the context of the traditional,
or institutional Church..."
Anna Aven : Mochachino
times as I have observed our culture I have called some approaches to
spirituality "cut-and-paste" religion, and indeed, that's what it looks
like.Some pull a little Zen, a little evangelicalism, a little orthodoxy
and top it off with a smidgen of yoga as though our spirituality can be
approached like our specialized drinks at Starbucks."
Reflections in June:
Jean Hassenforder: Echoes
new world is in the process of being born. In the West the religious institutions
are struggling to follow the rhythm of change and often miss the point
of the new aspirations of the society around them. Their influence is
diminishing. In spite of them and right before their eyes renewal and
innovation take place."
is not a dirty word
ritual is a more complicated matter than a caricature of dead ceremonies
and antiquated language."
Reflections from the merry month of May:
Steve Collins :
there's one single thing that characterises emerging forms of church across
the western world it's that they are networked... It's the context and
lifeblood of the emerging church, the arteries of the Body so to speak,
and yet it's largely invisible to the existing institutional forms of
Matthew Glock :
incomplete manifesto for cross-cultural missions in the emerging post-modern
is an incomplete document that gets added to from time to time. I'm glad
there are a lot of folks around the world who are changing the way things
metissage of the church
off your Oakleys, dude, and maybe you’ll see the emerging metissage of
the church. There's a whole world, a real world, going on outside your
Dan Hughes : A
prolegomena to a living magna carta
HAVE LOST CONFIDENCE in what we are seeing, hearing and reading: too much
infotainment and not enough thinking; too many Churches telling the same
we there yet?
of how the 'emerging church' has emerged so far... Its been an interesting
journey with some signficant shifts in thinking having happened very rapidly
Steve Taylor: A
to Z of emerging church
reluctant to name the emerging church. Perhaps our naming yet lacks an
alphabet. We need some A, B, C’s before we can spell the word."
Jonny Baker : The
something takes you completely by surprise..."
: Open Source Theology
the last few years we have seen a lot of emerging church rise to the surface
in various parts of world - like bits of buoyant debris from a sinking
ship... But with all this change going on, what is happening to our theology,
our belief-system? Are we sure it will float? Or is there a danger that
it will go down with the ship?"
: Lines of convergence: global-urban-postmodern
the emerging church conversation to become more than a parochial, idiomatic
exchange, it too should gaze upon the global, then urban, and only then
the postmodern, seeking lines of convergence with the worldwide church"
Ben Pattison :
The emerging church at Christmas
this time of year, a quiet battle is going on. The might of the corporations
against a child in a feeding trough..."
Call to Missional Revolution
book 'The Shaping of Things to Come' by Mike Frost and Alan Hirsch is
both an incisive critique of much current missiology/ecclesiology as well
as a challenge to boldly re-imagine what it means to do mission and be
the church in a post-christian age. This is a call to revolution! ""
things have become “post-” in our culture because the past is undesirable,
but the future is unnamable. From post-industrial, post-literate, post-imperial,
post-colonial, post-Christian, and post-modern, various labels are employed
to describe this emerging culture. One “post-” we need to consider more
closely is post-individualism..."
Simon Hall : Doughnut
Churches - a stupid way to be church or a sign of growth? [11.03]
happens when you try to build a Christian community that is made up of
people who found themselves on the fringes of their former churches?"
George Lings :
What is 'Emerging Church'? [10.03]
phrase “Emerging church” is an attempt to express succinctly the re-imagining
of church that has been taking place in the last 20 years as a response
to our rapidly changing UK mission context..."
Matthew Glock :
betray us... adventures in cross-cultural emergence
instantaneous flow of ideas and information provided by the Internet emboldens
those who want to see the church emerge and flourish in today’s world.
It is pretty cool being able to post some thoughts on your blog and before
you know it reactions come from around the world. The very strength of
the emerging church blogosphere reveals its weakness. Much of what you
read concerning the emerging church could bear the title, “The emerging
church in the white, anglo, post-modern, post-christian subculture”.
Dave Wiles : Making
disciples - the messy reality [10.03]
"What a mess I’ve made of this discipleship thing! On the basis that
failure often unlocks learning I've reflected on aspects of my experience..."
Ian Mobsby : Emerging
church for an emerging culture [10.03]
the assumption that we accept the validity of liquid modernity or postmodernity,
then we need to face quite a challenge. Whatdoes it mean to be 'church'
in such a brave new world defined by consumptionand individualism?"
Gill Poole : Finding
Places of Resonance [09.03]
summer evening sky has finally gone dark. The beach is quiet again. The
action has moved into town where the surfers are clubbing through the
night. Partying with them are members of Dawn Patrol. One of these young
Christians walks up to a big guy in the nightclub because he says he has
a word for him from God ~ and the big guy bursts into tears.."
: The Emerging Church and Cultural
Sociologist Paul H. Ray suggests in a study carried out in the United
States in 1996, that something very significant is underway below the
radar screens of the media..."
: Emerging Churches in Post-Christendon
kind of church can participate effectively in God's mission and incarnate
the good news in the emerging culture of post-Christendom, where the church
is on the margins rather than in the centre?
Reaching the Unchurched [09.03]
years ago a woman walked off the streets into one of our 'Sunday Night
Live!' 'Seeker' services and took a seat at the front. Afterwards she
was telling a team member how much she enjoyed the programme and then
asked, "By the way, what is this place?" "Well it's a church," came the
reply. "Oh no it's not!" she said. "I've been to a church once and, believe
me, it's nothing like this."
Jonny Baker: A
leap of Faith [09.03]
Baker finds jumping the rooftops of london a perfect metaphor for the
Traditional and Emerging Church
or friends, or something more complex? How can the traditional church
relate to emerging groups? One man with more ability to influence this
than most is the new Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams. Read his
reflections on the subject in these extracts from his recent speech to
the General Synod...
On the Outside, looking in?
interesting how spending time in another country can give you a new perspective
on your home culture. Since visiting North Africa, a region with a small
and struggling Christian witness, it has been revealing to review the
nature of the Church’s engagement with the post-Christian culture in Britain...
How far can your imagination
is to be hope amidst the despair of impotence, we must reimagine what
the church can be. While studying many manifestations of the emerging
church, in South Wales, three themes became clear.. These are reimagined
worship, reimagined discipleship and reimagined building.
Do you have any principles?
are the most important principles that underlie the emerging church? Based
on substantial research among emerging church groups in South Wales, Richard
Sudworth proposes the following...Whether you agree, disagree, or want
to make some more suggestions, let us know on the discussion
Greg Adkins: What
is Alternative Worship? [09.03]
Does anyone have a "non-evasive" way of explaining alt. worship? I think
I'm all about it, but nothing I've read or heard so far has sounded original
or different than the most recent shifts in worship. Is it just me? Am
I a loser or something? Greg Adkins responds...
Running with the ball [09.03]
Thinking the unthinkable in times of transition...
Why I still use the word Postmodern
Nearly everybody is sick of it. And no wonder, since it is used in a jillion
different ways. Even among those who are more sophisticated in their understanding
of the term, there is still a suspicion that if we aren’t careful, we’ll
sell out and conform to whatever postmodern is, and thus prove unfaithful
to the gospel. (As if we had the alternative of a culture-free version
of the gospel, or as if we weren’t already sold out and conformed to modernity!)...