One of the difficulties I think we will encounter in this conversation is – we have lived with the illusion of the “Emerging Church”. Just like those who are defending the “Modern Church” today against the coming heresy…
I do not think there is a modern church, emerging church or whatever comes after that. What we are trying to “Brand” or label is a transitory state the Church goes through all the time. It has just been fashionable (and maybe profitable for publishers and critics alike) to name it.
In reality I think we will look back at this period in time and see it is the IMPACT of the “Emerging/Postmodern” time/technology/theology/etc. that has had a great effect on the Church. Just like there were “Emerging Businesses” that came out of the transitions of the ’80″s, it would be hard to imagine working without a computer or the internet. It has become business as usual.
Rather than looking for what we disagree on – perhaps we can find ways to hear each other, learn from each other, challenge each other, and join each other in the way of Jesus.
I know I have had my fair share of heretical moments and I live by the motto “If I am not a little embarrassed about what I said yesterday, then I probably didn’t learn anything today”.
But it is also important to hear the words of Arthur Schopenhauer who said, “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident”.
Someday those who are defending the church today will realize that it was the loss of modernity that they were grieving. And those who are so eager to be the torch bearers for the emerging church will be left with a new institution to feed. But for some, the Church will always be the Church and she will continue to surprise us…
Spencer Burke is the creator of www.TheOOZE.com, host of ThinkFWD and the author of many books including: Making Sense of Church and A Heretic’s Guide to Eternity.