I have been paying attention to quiet revolution going on within Western Christianity … especially the next generations (whatever label you want to pin on them). The buzzwords are numerous, the spritual paths often divergent, and the theology is kind of fun. Scott Bader-Save explores the terrain here.
“The Emergent matrix: A new kind of church?” by Scott Bader-Saye, The Christian Century (November 30, 2004).
Last spring the Nashville Convention Center played host to both the National Pastors Convention and the Emergent Convention. While the former was largely geared toward evangelical baby boomers, the latter catered to Gen X and Millennial evangelicals ( and “postevangelicals” ) who are trying to come to grips with postmodernity. Though the two conventions intentionally overlapped, that proximity suggests a closer kinship than may actually exist. Indeed, the professed goal of many in the “Emerging Church” is to embody an alternative to the model of the Willow Creek, seeker-driven church that blankets the contemporary evangelical landscape like kudzu on a southern hillside.
At first glance the differences between the two conventions seemed to be primarily stylistic: the Emergent music was hipper, the videos faster, the clothes trendier, the technology more sophisticated. But for many of the Emergent leaders, the convention’s flashiness did more to confuse than to clarify the nature of the emerging church.