Ryan Bolger, (on the left; Gibbs on the right) a professor at Fuller, has recently published a new book, with Eddie Gibbs, called Emerging Churches. It is a scholastic survey of emerging movements around the US and the world that gives some definition to the movement and shows some of the areas that the church is emerging. I haven’t read it. Here’s what he had to say at the conference, with a smattering of some of my own thoughts…
>> going to a church, in our culture, evokes the same emotions that going to a gay bar did in the culture of 1990.
>> we do not need to gather the disgruntled, we need missionaries
>> belief: a person shouldn’t have to cross cultures to find God.
>> new: the church today is toxic to spirituality; it is a different culture…we desire an indigineous congregation.
>> “post” churches:
*must overcome dualisms
– a truncated theology of either/or moving to both/and
*must overcome linearity
– “God is in a book”
– we are not forming our culture the way that our
culture does…we use words, our culture uses pictures
*must overcome body/mind dualisms
– Christianity is not about believing right things while not living right things.
– increased desire for holism
*overcome homogenity– God is NOT about conformity and control
– we want diversity and shared practices while not having to share theology
– success vs. faithfulness in measurement and evaluation systems
*overcome individualism– “my” to “His”
*overcome “my needs getting met” (fed)
– we are not economically driven
*overcome spectatorship-consuming vs. producing: the benefit is in the participation
-clergyvs. laity; noting relationships between hierarchical and network systems.
>>also, ryan brought up not speaking into a culture for the first three years, instead learning that culture…
Challenges from the panel…
>> we are a consumer culture if we are not thinking theologically
>> We are not all disgruntled; many of us just want the freedom to go beyond