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.