Friday, July 22, 2005
Flirting with Emergent.
[Thanks Jason for kicking things off, and thanks Philocrites for the wonderful introduction and for letting me crash out on your internet sofa. For now I am going to blog about an experience I’ve had over the last month and reflect on connecting it back to UUism.]
Earlier this month I found myself in the unusual place of being in town but out of the pulpit for several consecutive weeks. So I embarked on an adventure. I had been hearing in some of the ministry circles that I run in about this thing called Emergent Christianity. And I had been running into hip young people in Kansas City who attended a local Emergent Church called Jacob’s Well. So I decided to be a “mystery worshipper” for three consecutive Sundays and see for myself.
Emergent Christianity is a movement fronted by Brian McClaren from the D.C. area. It is a theological and ecclesiastical style that is a response to inadequacies in both evangelical/mega-church Christianity and liberal/mainline Christianity. Emergent is post-modern, neo-orthodox, and hyper-culturally literate. You can read about it in McClaren’s New Kind of Christian books.
Jacob’s Well is one of the leading Emergent congregations in the country and is located in mid-town Kansas City.
I went to worship there on three consecutive Sundays and in future entries, I’ll describe more of that experience. For now, I want to leave off with some of the questions I had about the experience that I will be reflecting on.
• Is Emergent a style/form or a theology/theological process or both or something else?
• Would an Emergent-style UU church work?
• If so, would such a UU-Emergent church need to be grounded in U/U/UU Christian theology, or could such a church work with a theology that wasn’t Christianity-based?
• If our congregations could learn one thing from a place like Jacob’s Well, what would that be?
Copyright © 2005 by Thom Belote | Posted 22 July 2005 at 3:19 PM