09 November 2007

Structure

Contributor36Another post in my ongoing struggle for clarity in understanding the function of the church.

Below I have listed some of the characteristics of the emerging church as seen through the eyes of Scot McKnight (see here and here for more).

1. Prophetic rhetoric. Christians believe the church needs to change, and they are beginning to live as if that change had already occurred.

2. Postmodernity cannot be reduced to the denial of truth. Instead, it is the collapse of inherited metanarratives (overarching explanations of life) like those of science or Marxism. Why have they collapsed? Because of the impossibility of getting outside their assumptions.

3. Praxis - what most characterizes the emerging church is the stream best called praxis—how the faith is lived out. At its core, the emerging movement is an attempt to fashion a new ecclesiology (doctrine of the church). Its distinctive emphases can be seen in its worship, its concern with orthopraxy, and its missional orientation.

Orthopraxy - is right living. The contention is that how a person lives is more important than what he or she believes.

Worship - Evangelicals sometimes forget that God cares about sacred space and ritual—he told Moses how to design the tabernacle and gave detailed directions to Solomon for building a majestic Temple.

Missional - by participating with God in the redemptive work of God in this world. In essence, it joins with the apostle Paul in saying that God has given us "the ministry of reconciliation" (2 Cor. 5:18).
Second, it seeks to become missional by participating in the community where God's redemptive work occurs. The church is the community through which God works and in which God manifests the credibility of the gospel.
Third, becoming missional means participating in the holistic redemptive work of God in this world. The Spirit groans, the creation groans, and we groan for the redemption of God (see Rom. 8:18-27).

4. Post-evangelical - The emerging movement is a protest against much of evangelicalism as currently practiced. It is post-evangelical in the way that neo-evangelicalism (in the 1950s) was post-fundamentalist. It would not be unfair to call it postmodern evangelicalism. This stream flows from the conviction that the church must always be reforming itself.

5. Political - A final stream flowing into the emerging lake is politics. Emerging churches are regularly told that the emerging movement is a latte-drinking, backpack-lugging, Birkenstock-wearing group of 21st-century, left-wing, hippie wannabes. Put directly, they are Democrats. And that spells "post" for conservative-evangelical-politics-as-usual.

One of the reasons for this post is that I downloaded Windows Live Writer, another Microsoft idea's on how to take over another aspect of the E-world. I was somewhat cynical about the program (as I am of almost anything Microsoft), but this program helped me write a blog and post it with out all the processes and aggravations that are found on Blogger. It does make the blogging process easier, so maybe something good can come out of Galilee after all.

Disclaimer: No bloggers were hurt in the writing of this blog.

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