Theology Conference on Beauty
Robert E. Webber (1933-2007)

'Beyond the Emerging Church'

Lbretherton Chapter 2 of Remembering Our Future is Luke Bretherton's helpful chapter on the emerging church. He writes not as an outsider but as a 'fellow traveller' (p.32). He sees the UK emerging church conversation growing out of the alternative worship movement, the Nine O'Clock Service and Dave Tomlinson's 1995 The Post-Evangelical. He argues that emerging churches are an off-shoot of the pentecostal charismatic movement (p.36-44). He questions how much 'emerging churches can avoid  an overly therapeutic and 'me-focused' approach' (p.40) and whether it is too capitalist orientated (p.41). Bretherton also raises some concern other the emerging church pick-mix appropach to tradition and says 'the challenge for emerging churches is how to avoid being a novelty act playing bits and pieces of undigested material produced by great acts' (p.47). He ends on a note that there is need for faithful improvisation, which is echoed by Jonny Baker and Doug Gay in Alternative Worship (SPCK, 2004). This is a well-written essay with which those engaged in the emerging church should wrestle with. I wonder whether they would agree with everything Bretherton says. The emerging church I believe needs to have deep roots and continue to be a theological conversation.


Douglas Knight

This is turning into a great blog and handy resource, often first with the news. I like the theology-in-London slant.

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