What the heck is this “Emerging Church” thing?

So I wanted to shoot up a quick post here for anyone who’s reading that may still be unaware or confused about what the “Emerging Church” is. If you spend any amount of time online, reading blogs, etc. it may be a term that you’ve stumbled onto. It’s something that I’ve personally found enough value in to associate myself with, even though it’s not really a real organization or entity or something that you can actually be a member of.

I wanted to put up a couple links to some of the best descriptions that I have found, in the hopes that this will shed some light for anyone who happens to stop by here and read. And please feel free to drop some comments here if anything is unclear or you’d like to ask me what I think about some of the statements in the articles I’m going to link to.

The first one is by Scot McKnight and it’s called “Five Streams of the Emerging Church“. It was brought back to my attention when Heather posted on it earlier this week. This one has been my favorite of all of the attempts I’ve seen to explain what exactly the emerging church is, and what the different facets of it are. A very good read in my opinion.

However, I think that I may have found a new favorite. This one is called “Four Models of Emerging Churches” by C. Wess Daniels. I think what makes these particular models very interesting is the criteria that the author used to create the categories. Here’s what he did:

The way I’ve tried to construct these categories is around

a) philosophers and theologians who have influenced these groups, and

b) their stance towards Western culture.

I think this is a really helpful way to not only describe some of what these various groups think, but to also explain who it is that they’ve been influenced by which can help us gain a better picture of where they’re coming from. I think it’s a worthwhile read.

Check these out, and drop a comment if you have any thoughts or questions. Enjoy!

(HT: Dan Kimball -> DJ Chuang)

6 thoughts on “What the heck is this “Emerging Church” thing?

  1. sorry about the slow response.

    i really appreciate this grouping of the emerging churches for a couple of reasons. first off, it is very generic in its description. The whole emerging church movement is very ambigious. It isn’t something you can easily define or box (which is probably the whole point). I think these four models do a good job of leaving “soft edges” in the descriptions.

    these models also seem to help illustrate the diversity within the emerging movement. there are now two churches that are alike and the emerging movement allows for that.

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