Emergent in the Tennesseean

posted by Jeffrey on Tuesday, May 31, 2005 at 1:07 PM


*I've moved, and my posts have come with me! Check out my new blog at www.jeffrey-davis.net/blog/*

On Saturday, May 28th, the Tennesseean featured an article about the Emergent Convention (that I was at) here in Nashville last week. Today I contacted Ray Waddle, a Nashville based, free-lance religion writer who authored this column, to inquire further about his perspective in writing this article.

The points he highlighted about the "Emergent Church" were quite interesting. He noted (pardon the bullet points):

  • that it was in fact a conversation, opposed to a movement
  • that it sought to reconnect with our ancient spirituality, opposed to the modern seeker-sensitive style
  • the emphasis on Biblical reading, care of the body, and social justice concerns
  • that it emphasized generosity and inclusiveness
  • and many other interesting points (click the link above to read)
After a conversation with Ray this afternoon, I did learn that he does have a relationship with Jesus, but makes all efforts to write his columns and articles from an objective point of view. I find it interesting that an attempt to view the EC without religious perspective or bias yielded the observations that it did for Ray...they are about as close to an answer that an Emergent leader might give as they could be. I do hope these are some of the things that a person without a relationship with Jesus sees when they observe (and possibly participate in) the Emergent Conversation.

That being said, I remain (still for an unknown reason) uncomfortable and cautious to be labeled an "Emergent" church, but these facets of Emergent Conversation are some of the very things we, as a community of faith, share in common with many of the emergent churches out there...

4 Comments:

Blogger Bill said...

Yes, Ray is a Christian. He has written a couple books for the Upper Room (a christian publishing house within the United Methodist Church). If you go to Amazon and search for Ray Waddle you'll see two of his books.

May 31, 2005 5:05 PM

 
Blogger Jeffrey said...

Thanks Bill for the clarification. I spoke with Ray this afternoon and have edited this post to reflect that conversation.

May 31, 2005 8:46 PM

 
Blogger Bill said...

I've been thinking about the reluctance to accept the label "emergent church." The more I think about it, I think it is a good thing. For too long we've objectified the church based on labels. A traditional church. Contemporary worship. I would even go so far as to say that the people who began the emergent conversation would shudder to think it is now becoming a formula for church development.

Perhaps it is time that we rally behind a new label. What if we just committed ourselves to be the church? No adjective before it. No modifier or label. What if we just longed, in all the ways we develop and grow in community, to strive to be "the church?"

June 01, 2005 6:31 PM

 
Blogger easyrhino said...

I totally agree with you, Bill. Labels bring a lot of baggage, especially for people from a postmodern demographic. It somewhat surprises me to see the leaders of an admittedly postmodern focused "conversation" accept the label so willingly. Although I am sure it is more complicated than that.

I also agree heartily that we simply need to strive to be "the church" way before anything else.

Jeffrey, your caution not to put on the label of "emergent" I think is wise also for the fact that there is a great deal of discussion about the orthodoxy (or lack thereof) of the "conversation's" leaders. I don't know where I fall in the discussion right now, but I have been reading documents from http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/topic/emergingchurch.html, which you may find helpful.

We as humans are so prone to jump on band-wagons. Again, I commend your caution (at such a young age, too!).

October 22, 2005 7:43 PM

 

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