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Posts from April 2006

11 Characteristics of the Church Emerging

Video Snapshot 1 I was listening in this morning to Doug Pagitt who is one of my favourite people in the world. The Bob Dewaay-Doug Pagitt debate is now a series of 3 podcasts on the "church emerging". Its a great intro to the emerging church. Worth listening to. And worth critiquing - if that is your bag. Best part for me was at the end of Podcast 3 when talking of head-coverings and Bob says we need LIBERTY with the Bible.

Doug gives 11 characteristics of the emerging church movement and a post-modern spirituality:

1. A Kingdom of God focus - join the Kingdom of God wherever it finds it.
2. Pursue faithfulness to God through new practices, structures and understandings.
3. Tend to have a hopeful and positive view of God's engagement in the world - we should find the activity of God in the world and join it.
4. Committed to loving God and loving neighbor and loving enemy in real ways in this world.
5. Deeply connected to the story of God and the Bible.
6. Living with the guidance of the Holy Spirit - not culture or understandings
7. Theologically active - thinking deeply about these practices
8. Openness to the "other" - outsider, foreigner, doesn't get freaked out
9. Want the good news of God to change the world and be the good news for all creation.
10. We understand community to be an essential part of the Christian life.
11. We are interested in the future more than fighting the battles of the past - we are people who are trying to live the story of Jesus in our world in ways consistent to where we have come from.

I really liked Doug's tone of voice and playfulness and Bob seemed a good sport also.

Kimball on "Emerging" and "Emergent"

Dan Kimball is blogging out a brief history of how "Emerging Church" and "Emergent" came into USA's ecclesiastical vocabulary.

Emerging Church 1970 2Emergent Church Cover
1970 (I bought a hard copy) and in 1984

Many people don't know this but Zondervan contacted Dan and myself at the same time and asked us to both write something on this subject. Dan wrote his book "The Emerging Church" which was very well received.

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Dan's book in 2003

I, on the other hand, being more dysfunctional than Dan and perhaps more overreaching in my aspirations, suggested a multi-media book that was hyperlinked and layered. At the time (I think about 1999), neither I nor Zondervan could see a way to accomplish this but both of us were keen on the idea. As it turned out, I never did create that book but technology has been catching up and this blog has become a kind of hyperlinked, biographical, subjective, multimedia journey of the emerging church. Now if i could just find a way to edit it down to a layered PDF . . .

But in the meantime, check out Dan's Origin of the terms "Emerging' and "Emergent" Part One and Part Two

Dan's history is American so he has not added the European dimension. But Dan actually worked in England for a time before he returned to USA to start Graceland (pre-VintageChurch). The word "Emerging" has been used in Europe for some time. Cultural Shift had a huge event in 2001 in Frankfurt that I attended. it was called "Emerge". When I type "emerging church" into google, the first entry that comes up is an English site called " - which, funny enough, is sponsored by CMS, the missions organisation mentioned in the last post.

Oh, Dan . . . heres another "emerging church' book for your library that the Reformed folk will love.


My own thoughts on the usage of Emergent Vocabulary
Dan Kimball interviewed on Next Wave
In a recent post, JR Woodward says, and I agree, that students of emerging church should be accessing primary sources.

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Missionary Man in the Guardian

Guardianscoot-Tm 1-2"Hearing that he'd been discussed in the fan forum of Telford Football Club, Mark began posting in it himself, quoting from the Eurythmics song Missionary Man; then he recreated his pub meeting idea as the Chill Space at Joshua's Bar in the stadium. "You don't really find opportunities to talk about Jesus at a match," he admits, "but Jesus tells the parable about the kingdom of God being like a bit of yeast hidden in flour, and I feel like a little bit of yeast in the stand." Guardian

So yesterday i am at Luton Airport, awaiting my flight and there "in the Guardian newspaper is a picture of Missionary Man Mark Berry on his scooter. Mark was with us a few days ago in London at the Church Mission Society HQ. The article is very fair and worth a read. Well done, Mark!

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Meetings and Movings

Still in London. Moving out of Ashlee House Youth Hostel this morning to another down the road. I should have reserved all 4 nights - it suddenly filled up with people.

Meetings with CMS (Church Mission Society) are going well and it was good to see Jonny Baker and Mark Berry yesterday at the office. More today. Last night I met up with the Texans - Shannon, Brian and Whitney etc at Hamstead Heath.

Big news is Maggie and PT had a baby girl yesterday in Cambridge and have to move house tomorrow.

Continue reading "Meetings and Movings" »

Bible Prophecy Page Gets Humor

I checked out the Bible prophecy page at the rip-off address (thats right - leave off the "s" on my old blog address and you get there) and found a FART button on it. Either the owner had no control over it (the banner, not the fart) or he has added some humor to the site. Good move. Nothing like adding some fresh wind to an online Bible study.


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Stephanie at Oh Me Of Little Faith posts an interesting image. Its a good idea . . . but a little on the sexist side - what about the men? I know my wife looks at my skinny bum all the time. Maybe I should put a message there? And also, I have seen some churches that might consider a larger tag - or double up with two messages. And whereabouts on their woolen dresses would the fundamentalist/anabaptist churches place their tag? Makes the mind whiiirrrrlllll!!!

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Church Today

This morning we were part of the Baptist Church celebration in Stromness, Orkney - the "traditional" church service that our kids really enjoy. About 75 people came which is great for a 3-4 year old Scottish church. The service was profound and moving and very multi-generational. There were puppets for the kids. A moving testimony from a lady that was at the point of suicide when she found God. Music was good.

Mark Taylor showed a video that he just got from Highway Video and edited it a little with Matt Redman's music, overlaying it with another video of a cross that gave it a more Resurrection Sunday effect and to make it fit with a British context.

We had a potluck after with 3 tables full of food - cant beat a potluck. I personally think that the potluck is one of the closest moments that the inherited church model gets to the Last Supper. The gospel brunch, also.

After that, most people went home but the teenagers packed the chairs away and had a dance.
This is Sam (our son) in the middle. He's the only one not wearing blue jeans - he always was rebellious when it came to church.


Probably half of the youth here follow Jesus and the other half are interested in Jesus and ask if they can come along to church. I guess they are figuring out what it means to pilgrimage with God as a teenage Scot.

And then they played some silly games. In fact, they are still playing games over there right now as i type this. Good to see them enjoy church so much that they dont want to come home. Anyway . . . teaching, singing, eating, dancing, laughing. Church happens.

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