13 July 2007

The Desert - Emerging Church Stories

The more I learn about this "emerging church" thing (see my earlier post), the more I realize that's the kind of Christian I am and want to be. I think it's a much more attractive and culturally relevant kind of faith in today's world.

Rather than focusing on the old "what would happen if you died tomorrow?" question - which made a lot of sense in a potentially apocalyptic Cold War era, with large quantities of nuclear weapons hanging over everyone's head - the Emerging Church tends to address "What if you don't die tomorrow? What if you wake up in the morning, and you're alive?" The focus is on loving and serving people today. I don't think you need to believe in Jesus to see the goodness in that approach.

So it hit me that my little book The Desert is really a collection of "emerging church" stories and reflections. I didn't do it on purpose - I didn't even know the term until a few weeks ago. I just wrote what I wrote, and it turned out to fit in with this emerging thing. The stories are about love and grace and joy. They are about service and community and hope. I really wrote them for my own amazement, but I do hope people will enjoy them (and the few reviews I've had so far have been very encouraging).

I think I'm going to change the subtitle to something along the lines of "Stories For An Emerging Church" or "Stories of Emerging Faith" - or somehow get the word "emerging" in there (even though, as I've said, I think it's sort of a dorky label).

PS: Here's a little excerpt from an article in Christianity Today, titled Five Streams of the Emerging Church:

Emerging churches are communities that practice the way of Jesus within postmodern cultures. This definition encompasses nine practices. Emerging churches (1) identify with the life of Jesus, (2) transform the secular realm, and (3) live highly communal lives. Because of these three activities, they (4) welcome the stranger, (5) serve with generosity, (6) participate as producers, (7) create as created beings, (8) lead as a body, and (9) take part in spiritual activities.

1 comment:

dad said...

Hi Dan: I like all your thoughts and new ideas and insights on the 'emerging' churches and movement.... it's like a theory Y approach (you can trust people) to Christianity as opposed as to the traditioanl theory x approach (don't trust anybody except your friends and folks that think the same as you) to Christianity......... good job....Dad