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The rise and fall of the Emerging Church movement

11 January 2010

This post is very much like the original purpose of a blog — an annotated log of web sites visited.

When I first encountered the Emerging Church movement about four years ago I was puzzled about what it was. Today I encountered one of the best descriptions I’ve seen: Some thoughts on the definition of ’emerging church’:

To describe this movement or phenomenon as ‘post-modern’ serves primarily to acknowledge that it is in some sense a self-conscious and deliberate development away from modernism as a philosophical stance and modernity as a state of culture. It does not mean that the post-modern church coincides in all respects with the broader western constructs of postmodernism or postmodernity. We may find ourselves carried along in the same currents as the theorists of postmodernism and we may find that we can learn some valuable navigation skills from them; but we are not in the same boat. We have to come after modernism; we do not have to be postmodern.

When it’s described as a “movement”, Tall Skinny Kiwi gives an excellent list of characteristics of a spiritual movement from Professor Paul Pierson.

So here’s the weblog:

The last one is one of my own posts, which I reread to remind myself where I was coming from.

After reading these posts, and a few more, I conclude that the elements that go to make up what is called the “emerging church” have been around for a long time, and they probably won’t go away. some of them will give rise to, or be associated with new self-conscious “movements”, and some of them will be coopted by movements who claim them for their own.

One Comment leave one →
  1. 31 January 2010 7:25 am

    Religion is dying in North America…
    However it’s emerging very fast in in all the second and third world countries. Well, not it but specifically catholicism (I think) and islam to be exact. Though I personally found (when it comes to the people around me and my experiences) that some are now dropping the word religion and instead have “a relationship” with their deity. Even though by definition they are still in that religion. That means there is a dislike of religion and those who follow it still do but want stay away from the word.

    And the only thing that emerged was Scientology but they got roasted by media quite quickly.

    – a random person…
    I just accidently came upon your blog and just wanted to make a comment after reading this.

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