There is no such thing as emerging church

Posted 19 April 2010 by

How could I say such a thing? I’ve even shared a pint with Erik Samuelson.

I say this because every generation is faced with the task of communicating the message anew. What catches the imagination of a millennial is different from a person raised during the Vietnam War. What world view of a US citizen raised during the time Ronald Reagan was in office is different that one raised during the time when Teddy Roosevelt was president.

In some ways, the intent of the person delivering the message may not all that different between time periods. The Social Gospel message of Phillips Brooks in the late 1800s is not all that different than the Social Justice Christian blogging of Jim Wallis in 2010. Detractors attacked Brooks then as Wallis today. Both men uphold Christ Crucified and loving your neighbor as yourself.

The difference between Brooks and Wallis is their audiences. Brooks was an orator to people before radio whose sermons were published in books. Wallis competes on the Internet and print media. We are back to the media being the message.

What some call “emerging” today is really a standard the part of the church of every age and every place. Not to recognize that means you think that faith is not something that is living and growing. Things that are living and growing are dead.

This post is a response to “What is Emerging?” on One Hand Clapping. It is a part of an Emerging Syncoblog project centered on Facebook.

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