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Emergent, emerging, emergent? | Is Signs ‘Just Another Emerging Church Book’?

No this isn’t a lesson in Latin conjugation… but language and its evolving meanings are important.

With the release of the book, people have been wondering if this is just ‘another emerging church book’. I’d like to answer that with an emphatic no!

Part of the reason for that is, I feel less and less confident about the use of the term ‘emerging church’ anyway; like verbal spun sugar it appears to mean something, but on closer analysis, appears to shapeshift into anything you like.

Two points to make: firstly, when I wrote the original version – ‘The Complex Christ’ – back in 2003/4, I had never heard of the umbrella organization ‘Emergent‘. I think what Emergent is trying to do is, in many ways, fantastic, but my use of the term ‘emergent’ (lower case) in the book actually refers to the science of emergence/complexity/self-organzation.

Secondly, then, the book is not about the emerging church, but it is about how the church could ‘emerge’ – it is, as the opening sentence says, a book about change. I strongly believe that all arms of the church need to change – to listen to and adapt themselves to meet the challenges of their local situations. The thesis of the book is that this is what we see God doing in the incarnation, and that ‘theomorphosis’ gives us an archetype for how we too might change.

So the book is for all Christians who feel the divine itch of dissatisfaction with their church – Anglican, Baptist, Pentecostal, Alternative… I’ve had some wonderful feedback from all corners. It offers no ‘off the shelf’ solution for what the perfect church should look like, but rather some DNA code to take and evolve into some wonderful beast totally suited to the local environment the reader may find themselves in, whether that be South London, South Bronx or South Africa.

In other words, it’s for you, so click the link and purchase now ;-)

 

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2 comments to Emergent, emerging, emergent? | Is Signs ‘Just Another Emerging Church Book’?

  • I like your distinction here but we have to find another term for the phrase “how the chruch could ‘emerge.’” This is similar to my need to find a new word for “evangelical” and even “Christian” because yes I want to spread “the Good News” as someone who tries to follow Christ but at least in the States, these two words have come to symbolize the antithesis of Christ’s message.

  • Well, that’s what we’re hoping, anyway! Which is why I love this line from Chesterton’s introduction to “Orthodoxy”:
    “What could be better than to have all the fun of discovering South Africa without the disgusting necessity of landing there?”
    hehe :)