Churches -- Emerging & PoMo & Seeker

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Pastor Larry, Jun 10, 2004.

  1. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    What is the essential difference between these types of churches? My understanding is is that emergent and post modern churches are closely related, both in opposition to seeker churches.

    Can anyone with actual knowledge comment here?
     
  2. Marcia

    Marcia
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    I hope others who might know more will add their comments because I am not an expert. But I've been reading The Emerging Church by Dan Kimball and have followed several discussions on this.

    The aim is to reach the pomo generation, and the pomo generation does not like the loud, big, rock-music, praise song seeker churches or their power points. The pomo generation likes the sacred and the quiet and the experiential. They like stories. So pomo churches do what they call "vintage" services where the sanctuary (or wherever they are) is darkened, there might be candles, maybe incense, and sometimes the music is in the back, not the front.

    Communion might be done by having a table to the side with the wafer/juice/wine and people go take it when they want. Stories are told throughout the service, some Bible passages read, but the sermon or message is usually not the focus.

    Emerging churches do not do all the same thing, but the above is what is being done in many of them.

    I see both the good and bad in this. The good is that they are trying to reach the pomo young people and I think it's fine to have a darkened worship place. I have no problems with the dark or the candles.

    What concerns me is that often there is an emphasis on stories instead of the propostional truth of the Bible, and there is an emphasis on the experiential. Some of these churches are incorporating mystical Catholic practices like lexica divina (sp?) which is a mystical way of praying or reading the Bible, I believe.

    The concern many have is that in seeking to reach the pomos, churches may be adapting pomo outlooks themselves. Bruce McLaren's A New Kind of Christian was sharply criticized by some because of his apparent downplay of absolute truth in the book. I have not read it, only going by what I've heard.

    I would suggest if you really want to see what this is about, read The Emerging Church and/or A New Kind of Christian to get a good idea. Douglas Groothuis of Denver Seminary wrote a very harsh review of the latter book that was in the Christian Research Journal a few issues back.

    I just found the article. It's online here:

    A New Kind of Postmodernist

    I think reading this will give you an idea of what the issues are in this, at least from Groothuis' view.
     
  3. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    Is the Kimball book the one that has five contributors in it? If it is the one I am thinking of, I flipped through it but didn't have time to read it. I read Martoia (Morph) and McManus (Unstoppable Force) and have listened to several messages by Driscoll at Mars Hill in Seattle.

    Any other thoughts from anyone who knows something??
     
  4. All about Grace

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    There is no one way to characterize what pomo and emerging churches look like. They differ in their approaches (which is one of their defining marks), but I do think there is a tendency to shy away from the popular mega-church images of recent decades (Rick Warren is old school among pomo & emergents!). I think Marcia is correct in identifying some of the traits of many pomo churches. The two books mentioned are good starting points (Emerging Church & A New Kind of Christian). You might also look at The Church in Emerging Culture (edited by Len Sweet). It presents different perspectives from some heavy weights in their own traditions. Leonard Sweet has written several books that help define the pomo generation but his reading is fairly heavy and takes some time to digest. If you are looking for a general overview, I would look at Kimball's Emerging Church.
     
  5. All about Grace

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    I should mention Brian McClaren is a controversial writer. He is sometimes linked to Tomlinson and his "Post-Evangelical". I personally think the two differ in their foundational beliefs. McClaren is great at stretching your thinking by painting close to the lines. Another book you might consider is "The Younger Evangelicals" by Webber. It also somewhat defines the new emergent and pomo approaches.
     

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