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Posts from June 2008

Emerging, Emergent and Missional

Interesting conversation going on about terms, in particular the words "emergent" and "emerging". I know some people use the words interchangeably and others draw clear lines in the sand. I have never liked the lines very much. I see churches inside the Emergent Village world that do not show any characteristics of emergent behavior and are therefore "emergent" in affiliation but not in structure. Thats confusing. Time to go back to the ant (Prov. 6:6) and observe.

The terms "emergent" and "emerging" have both been applied to church and missions for many decades. I find it hard to dismiss all that i have read and know and start over again as if the conversation is only a decade old and these terms are brand new. Is our reading of missions really that shallow?

Scot McKnight is leading a discussion on these terms. But before you go, read Dave Dunbar's article which has stirred up the chat. Emerging, Emergent and Missional: A Travelers Guide, Part B [PDF]. Btw, Part A is here and you can comment on Dave's blog as well.

I have a lot of respect for David. We chatted last year over coffee in a fantastic little breakfast restaurant in Washington State about terms and names and he gave me some excellent advise. I like what David has presented here and look forward to the rest. He mentions me in a kind way at the end and although he has been contrasting the various groupings, he says "there are key people—most already mentioned-- who by virtue of their high visibility and influence can not be limited to any one category. These would include Alan Roxburgh, Scot McKnight, John Franke, Tim Keel, Brian McLaren, and the affable Andrew Jones."

Thanks David!

Related: What I mean when I say "emerging-missional" church

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Graphing Social Patterns

Graphing Social Patterns East is a great Web 2.0 conference held over the next few days. I almost came over for it. Really . . . i was THIS close. But hey . . . another time. Watch out for the live-blogging on a new blog platform called Scribble Live. Could be a great app. for future collaborative blogging at events like this.
HT: East Coast Blogging which has info on Scribble Live.

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A few photos from my day on the island of Westray

Westray was great. Had a good time speaking at the church and then Stephen and Linda Hagan took me around the north of the island to see some sights. Plenty more photos are here on flickr.

2564445478 7Cebf3F6F9 2564445822 C5172B3596

Original: This morning I leave on a tiny ferry for the island of Westray. I will be speaking at Westray Baptist Church and will hang out with them until my evening ferry back here. Not sure yet what I will be preaching on because I just got up and haven't decided yet.

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Irresistible Revolution, by Shane Claibourne

Awake all night so I read a book. Fighting and swearing outside our window. After the police left around 3am I still couldn't sleep so I made a hot bath and read Shane Claibourne's book The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical. Its been on my shelf for (oppps . ) probably forever . .. but I didnt read it because Shane's a friend and I see him occasionally and get the skinny from him. But people talk highly of his book so i thought i would read it.

Shane Stern

And it was excellent. It took me almost 3 hours to finish it. It really is a good read and totally worth buying. I will put it on my top ten emerging church books list.

Shane;s great. I have blogged about him before. I didnt realize until I read the book how similar his community called The Simple Way was to our community that moved into an apartment in Haight Asbury exactly 4 weeks after his community moved into their space in Philly. Same stories - communion in the park, street kids everywhere, fighting for their spaces, being Freegans, being homeless, sharing everything, lots of people and ONE toilet, yeah . . . same stuff. But I am sure Shane tells it better than me.

Anyway, great book. Captures the heart of what following Jesus means in our culture. Totally recommend it. Maybe I am getting soft, but I just cant think of anything negative at all for this book which doesn't make me very objective but it does make me complicit in this revolution.

Mankini: Its NOT MINE! Honest!

This message was on my computer today. Be glad it was not on yours. Be VERY glad.

Picture 21-1

Well . . firstly, I didnt buy it. Really, its not mine [Austin Powers voice] but my teenage son really did bid on it and apparently won.
Secondly, it hasnt arrived but when it does, I will let them know that it took too long to arrive. We don't get many sunny days around here so you have to take advantage of them when they come.

Compelled By Love: Ed Stetzer and Philip Nation on TSK today.

Today I have special guests Ed Stetzer and Philip Nation on the blog to talk about their book Compelled By Love: The Most Excellent Way to Missional Living. The website for the book is worth a visit.

TSK: Ed and Philip, thanks for the book. I think it’s fantastic that you point to love as motivation for mission. I hope the book does really well. I have a few of Ed's books on my shelf - Breaking the Missional Code and Perimeters of Light: Biblical Boundaries for the Emerging Church. They are both very accessible books, accessible to a wide audience. I guess Compelled by Love follows in that style. Your conclusion reminds me of Milfred Minatrea's excellent book, Shaped by God's Heart: The Passion and Practices of Missional Churches. He also worked for the Southern Baptists, as did we all. Do you think the challenge of love is a unique contribution by the Southern Baptists to the global missional conversation?

 Images Page Cover CompelledED and PHILIP: I don’t know that our emphasis is unique. But I do think that many in our tribe have a mission impulse because of their love for the lost. And, the emphasis on a love for the lost makes it easy to connect to a missional impulse.
Ultimately, it is hard to get beyond the teachings of Jesus and the totality of scripture without seeing love as the motivation for mission. Now I don’t see it as the only motivation for mission. The increasing emphasis on the glory of God is a healthy thing.
But, the purpose of our book is to emphasize love as central to the missional impulse. A phrase like “compelled by love” – not ours, but borrowed from 2 Corinthians 5 – easily encapsulates this impulse. The whole point of the 2 Corinthians 5 passage seems to be that because of what Jesus has done on the cross, we are going to Be-Do-Live differently. And the underlying reason for that is love.

ANDREW: Do you think love trumps strategy? {I have always thought that loving is more important because if you really love someone or something, you will eventually find a way to do what you need to do. A strategy without love is just noise.}

All You Neede

[image from flickr]

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Emerging Church Movement: Since 2000?

Bolger"In the 1990s, there were very few examples of churches that were communicating within the perspectives and practices of new urban cultures. More typically at that time, the strategy consisted of making the church service relevant to outsiders . . . . In the year 2000, the emerging movement got its start"

Ryan Bolger has a great post on the emerging church movement. I have a lot of respect for Ryan because he co-edited one of the very best books written on the emerging church after extensive interviews, and because his insights are valuable.

2000 as a start date? I don't have a problem with this. While there was a lot going on in the late nineties, it didn't yet have the momentum to be called a movement. By 2000, I had left USA and was discovering like minded groups in UK, NZ, Japan, Brazil, Germany, Norway and it was obvious that something much larger than ourselves was going on. When I was helping to write the early definition of emerging church on Wikipedia, before it all got vandalised (an enemy has done this), I used Paul Pierson's ten characteristics of a movement to show how the EC was in fact a movement like many others. Paul Pierson was one of my teachers at Fuller School of World Mission.

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Blog World Expo 2008 - I am going!

Blog World Expo is the worlds largest Blogging conference. There will be about 2000 people there in Las Vegas, Sep 20-21 and I will be one of them because i am speaking at GodblogCon 2008, a smaller conference inside the larger that i will tell you more about in a few days. But since I was going to be there anyway, i also inquired about speaking at BlogWorldExpo as well as Godblogcon. Today is the last day for speakers applications and I sent my one in yesterday. I suggested a talk on the history of a decade of religious blogging and where it is headed, something similar to what i taught at Greenbelt Arts Festival. Lets see what they say.

Blog World Expo 2008 Las Vegas

Hey - if you are considering attending GodblogCon and BlogWorldExpo, please buy your ticket through me because I will get ten percent commission and that will help me pay for my Gospel Brunch on Sunday. Just wait a few days for me to get my affiliate program worked out. THANKS!. Watch this space.

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