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"Whereas the heady polarities of our day seek to divide us into an either-or camp, the mark of the emerging church will be its emphasis on both-and."

Larson, Osborne, The Emerging Church (1970), p10.

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dwight friesen has a blog called "And" that i mentioned in relation to this book


This has been my mantra for the past several years! Wow, it was even being noticed in the 1970's, when i was a wee lassie!

The Emerging Church of today could learn a bunch from the journey many of us walked in the 70's (and still do today) which was the forerunner of EM today. Besides Larson and Osborne’s “The Emerging Church,” Here are a couple of other notable reads: Howard Snyder’s “The Problem of Wineskins,” Inter-Varsity Press, 1975 and Tom Sine’s “The Mustard Seed Conspiracy,” Word, 1981.

I also blogged on last week on “What the Emerging Movement Can Learn From the Jesus Movement,” (some of the perils that lie along the path).

synders wineskins was huge for me also

pliz inform what are you guys?

AKMAthis to say about the problem with 'both-and':

“But ‘both/and’ doesn’t solve our problems. Although this is the easiest and most prominent alternative to either/or, both/and simply occludes the necessary distinction-making that constitutes real behavior in the real world. When leaders start talking both/and, I keep a close eye on what they’re trying to distract me from noticing: the exclusions and privileges that inevitably permeate jolly, inclusive, both/and thinking. At least when the system’s working on either/or logic, one can point out ways that particular cases disrupt, defeat, the system of categorization; when both/and rules the system, there’s no explicit categorization in place against which one could push.”

So if not either/or (on one hand) or both/and (on the other), what? I proposed an idea that had been flitting through my thoughts intermittently: “both/but.”

I both tend to fall back on to this framework when dialoguing with people, but see the need for a little & in the world. (thanks dwight)

I have no real thought on this, except to say that I am with you all on this journey. Immediately when I read that quote, I just felt tired. Tired of the mentality that seeks to determine whether people are "in" or "out" of the club. I think that "emergent" is dangerously close to that.

Perhaps it can be more fully expressed as BOTH "both/and" AND "neither/nor." I like Steve Taylor's metaphor, DJ-ing. DJ-ing culture and tradition against the the backbeat of cripture and Spirit. This produces something that BOTH is AND isn't the constituant pieces.

Of course the elements used to form the mix want to own the new product. The emerging churches refusal to be owned by one of the elements it has sampled is one of its most frustrating qualities.

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