Friday, March 10, 2006


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

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