Monday, September 11, 2006

9Marks on the Emerging Church

Lately, I've had quite a few people ask me questions about the Emerging Church: "What is it?" "What do those involved with it believe?" "How do their beliefs differ from orthodox Christian beliefs?" "Is this movement a threat to my church?"

I've read a lot online about the Emerging Church Movement (or, as proponents prefer to call it, the "Emerging Church Conversation," and the article I've found that sums it up best is by Justin Taylor over at Mark Dever's 9Marks site. Taylor does a great job of defining what the Emerging Church is, evaluating what it stands for and offering what the alternatives should be.

In "An Emerging Church Primer," Taylor encourages discernment in us all: ...

Some of you may be called to be experts on the emerging church. We need experts. But I'm not that expert. And perhaps it's good for you that I'm not. In conservative evangelical circles, we can be tempted to listen to experts so that we can hear the person's conclusions: "Just tell me what to think—don't bother me with how you got there." We want the Cliff Notes on the emerging church. We want to read the cast of characters—"this guy's a wolf, that guy's a sheep," and so on.

I'm not going to do that. One of my goals is to help you understand the "emerging church." But my deeper goal would be for us to become the sort of people who know
how to think about things like the emerging church. After all, the "emerging church" is not here to stay. It's a movement, and this is its season. It might be replaced in a year or so; it might stretch out for decades. Yet one thing's for sure: Emerging Church Version 2006 is going to look different next year. And the next.

As Christians, we want to train ourselves to have the mind of Christ, so that we can respond like well-trained tennis players to whatever ball flies in our direction—no matter the angle, the spin, or the speed.

I encourage you to click on the link and read the article in its entirety.
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Saturday, September 09, 2006

Free Derek Webb

Free Derek Webb
No, he's not being held against his will. This singer-songwriter, who appeared at Christ Community Church here in Greensboro earlier this year, is making his latest album, Mockingbird, available as a free download.

Why? ... "It's actually never been as simple as it is today to connect music with music fans," writes Webb on his site. "And I want people to have a chance to listen to Mockingbird and engage in the conversation."
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Thursday, September 07, 2006

For a Lark

For those of you who have not stumbled upon it yet, there's a great satirical Christian news site called LarkNews.com. It's so good that some readers actually believe the stories are true (including some friends of mine who will remain nameless on this blog).

Check out this week's feature on the "downsizing" of a mega-church in Winston-Salem: ...

In a trend that may signal rough times for wallflower Christians, bellwether mega-church Faith Community of Winston-Salem has asked "non-participating members" to stop attending.

"No more Mr. Nice Church," says the executive pastor, newly hired from Cingular Wireless. "Bigger is not always better. Providing free services indefinitely to complacent Christians is not our mission."

Lark News is the creation of freelance journalist and author Joel Kilpatrick.
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