Saturday, May 14, 2005

More on The Emerging Church

Here are some follow-up thoughts on The Emerging Church by Dan Kimball. I'm about half-way through the book now and it's really starting to bug me. The problem I have is similar to what I noticed in converstations with a young couple who were worship leaders of a church in California - they seem to have no sense that the world of the church is bigger than their little mega-church world. Dan Kimball writes that he thought he was the first protestant to use candles in church until he ran into a few other emergant church people who had to. WHAT? Does he really think that no other protestants have used candles?

He also thinks that some of his innovations of using "vintage worship" all went away when Willow Creek and Saddleback came into being. He is ignoring the whole part of the church who have stayed somewhat "traditional" while being responsive to changes in culture.

I'm not suggesting that those "traditional" churches have it all together but Kimball acts like they don't exist.


Joyce said...

Hi and thanks for the comment! I have to agree with this frustration you've voiced too, but coming from a mega-church in Ca. I've resigned myself to hearing that kind of thing all over the place. Don't worry too much though despite their numbers the mega-churches aren't the only ones out there! Some of us know there's a church outside of that.

wierdo52 said...

One of my greatest fears concerning the emergent phenomenon/conversation/movement (whatever you want to call it) is its isolating tendencies. Many emergent leaders tend to think they are the only ones who can bring Christianity to today's culture, or that their innovations are actually cutting edge.

There also seems to be a bit of "fencing the table," an attitude akin to "you're in or you're out," as if the emergent lable suddenly separates them from everyone else. This sounds a lot like 17th century Puritan attitudes that I wrote about in Witvliet's theology exam yesterday.

I know not all emergent people think like this, but there needs to be a stronger emphasis on the catholicity and timelessness of the faith. The greatest strengths of the emergent "thing" lie not in constant innovation for its own sake (bowing to the gods of technological and cultural progress) but rather a return to the deep, timeworn truths of Christianity.

Dan said...

hello --

this is Dan K. - i think you are misreading the intention of what i wrote there. i agree with what you are saying, but that was actually the point of why i wrote that. i was saying that in the modern contemporary church, we DID isolate ourselves and remove any form of liturgy or historical forms of worship. so when i began adding some more mainline traditional expressions of worship things to our worship gathering, i had no idea that other contemporary churches who began rethinking church, were also doing the same. my point was to show how isolated in thinking and disconnected from the "traditional church" most of them are. but we are now rediscovering what others have been doing all along, outside of most megachurches who primarily only use very contemporary expressions of worship.

So, it wasn't to say that we thought we were original, it was to say that we in the contemporary church have been naive and ignored traditonal church forms of worship. to my suprise, we discovered others were doing it all along, not that we were saying we were the first to think of it.

make sense?