2008 will be about…

…action on climate change; governments will admit it will hurt

…reaction against privacy breaches: overuse of CCTV / government data-loss

…reaction against the classical liberal agenda: immigration caps / multiculturalism as a worthy but more-difficult-than-we-thought project / communitarianism

…serious criticism of democracy as a way of getting things done

…the collapse of the emerging church as a popular project

…nanotechnology: virtually invisible, DNA-scale activity, and thus:


…convergence: collapse of email/mobile/facebook/blog/linkedin/yada into synched platforms

…the realisation that, as McLuhan foresaw, “technologies are not simply inventions which people employ, but are the means by which people are re-invented,” and thus a retreat from screen-time, and thus:


Or… what do you think?




19 responses to “2008 will be about…”

  1. Kester,
    I’m not sure what you mean by “the collapse of the emerging church as a popular project.” Can you explain that a little further? What are you seeing? What is your take on the state of things? Has the emerging church just been too commodified in your thinking? Too many corporate sponsors trying to vie for the “emerging church pie”? Or what is the “popular project”? So much seems wildly unpopular with a vocal majority (at least here in the U.S.). I’d love to get your more of your insights on this.
    Steve K.

  2. It’s just a hunch, but I sense that some of the key players are less and less willing to work with that particular language. I think that, whereas a few years ago people were excited by the prospect, people are getting used to/bored/fed up with ’emerging church’ as a concept, and will thus leave it behind.
    Not that I think that that means ‘game over’ for all that people like Emergent stand for – far from it actually – but I think people may increasingly assimilate those ideas into their practice without taking the name. (I think for some time this has been foreseen in the collapse in usefulness of the term ’emerging church’, which is so tired as a phrase it has begun to mean nothing.)
    I think people have become tired of a whole lot of talking, and want to see things actually happen… and when stuff actually happens, it tends to be quieter and create less internet hum than the talking about it.
    But it’s just a hunch.

  3. The language is behind the actions. It seems to me that the real problem is that things ARE happening. People involved have changed and grown, and SOME of the language is no longer useful in describing what is actually happening. As with the media, our descriptors define where we were, not what is really happening or about to happen. So a term as fluid and transforming as emerging[ent] starts to strangle what is actually happening. The fact that it has become a swear word for a large number of folks in NA doesn’t help either.
    In my experience, one of the great things about emerging Christians is that their talking and actions are much more balanced. Honestly there is a lot more talking, books, articles coming from entrenched and ‘figured it all out’ Christians than there is from the emerging questioners.
    The desire to want things to happen is also a very different thing in the lives of Christians who most of the time just want things to stay comfortable and judge from a distance.
    I’m sure at some point the term will fall into disuse, but i don’t think the Spirit is relenting. Things have only begun to happen.

  4. first off, what a great list, kester
    it triggered 3 things for me:
    my experience of emerging/alt.worship/yada is that it is most like a bus terminal, a particular place that exists as a connector for groups of folks on a journey. setting up shelter in a bus terminal is not common & has some real shortcomings (the constant drone of the buses, lumpy benches, an excess of hot dogs). bus terminals are odd public spaces – long stretches of quiet interrupted by chaos. in the post-post communities i am a part of, we have the most trouble with the silence
    i am surprised by the contrast between “talking” and “making things happen” – maybe it is just my own experience, but so much of modern US churchianity depends on things actually happening – far too often as a means of distracting ourselves from the mundane practice of listening for where the Spirit of God is moving, then joining in
    the McLuhan quote is a keeper – I find myself yearning fort more collaboration & less singular/nano wandering
    best wishes to you & yours for a great ’08 (a year of the rat)

  5. Dana Ames

    Hmm. Nanofaith? Not sure that will last too long, if it means more of the individualistic thing. Even people who spend lots of time online have turned somehow to “community”, even if it is online rather than in person.
    I’m with you on Paradox, though.

  6. No, I don’t see the nano thing to be individualistic at all. Just about deep embedding, genetic intertwinement, rather than badges sown on. Just as nanotechnology isn’t about personalised technology… it’s about making it disappear so we can get on with being.

  7. MrWhippy

    … so to over-stretch your metaphor, the ‘grey-goo’ scenario would be an over-abundance of faith— drown in our own mirco production. Faith as technology.

  8. I think the ‘Grey-goo’ would be an over-abundance of mediocre religion. “I believe in something, but I’m not prepared to do anything about it, or stand up for it.”
    Faith as Windows XP. Ubiquitous. Shot full of holes. A hacker’s dream.

  9. If Bob Carlton is correct and EC is like a bus terminal, then where is it that the travelers are heading? What are some of the paths? It seems Deep Church is one, what are some others?

  10. MrWhippy

    Isn’t ‘Deep Church’ EC re-branded?
    Or at least the same pattern slightly reconstituted— tinkered and adjusted; maybe in this age of postproduction that can be considered a new direction?
    Deep Church, a machismo battle for nomenclature. Not many people get to christen movements.
    You say Pepsi I say Coke

  11. Dead right Whippy. And Laura, I think a lot of people are just hanging round the terminal, wondering what the hell’s going on.

  12. Kester, I have certainly read the evidence of the wondering multitudes. Hopefully, there are a few wandering around the terminal, figuring out which “bus” will get them where they ought to go.
    Whippy, you may be right on the re-branding and maybe that is enough. After all, if there are essential factors that define and identify church (like a recipe), then the cultural expressions are more like branding than we might like to admit. Jumping off your example, Coke and Pepsi are both brands of cola. Neither is a brand of root beer and neither is exactly like to other. They share essential factors that identify them as cola. I believe church is similar and what EC has done (like many movements/conversations before it) is raise questions about specific recipes.

  13. MrWhippy

    … the coke-pepsi thing was meant to be a non sequitur… … whoops.

  14. . . . first woman or black U.S. President and everything that goes with a liberal in office.
    how could you leave that out?

  15. This blog is written from London, not Washington, and when I think of a new liberal black or female president, my thoughts turn to Kenya and Raila Odinga, or Burma and Aung San Suu Kyi, rather than the still-far-off changes on the Hill.
    I think that might be why 😉
    That said, go Obama. I sense a darkness to Clinton that she’s just trying to hide till she gets the keys to the White House back.

  16. MrWhippy

    Where’s America? I’ve never heard of that country. Is it part of China?

  17. > Where’s America? I’ve never heard of that country. Is it part of China?
    No, but all the parts are made in China. Chew on that, just don’t chew on the painted parts!
    The first book printed with movable type (in the West, Chinese had been printing for centuries) was a book on how to make speeches. It took a while, but printing, and book design became a paradigm itself:
    > …convergence: collapse of email/mobile/facebook/blog/linkedin/yada into synched platforms
    This will happen, Christians tend to have a low Dunbar number, convergence is happening faster in the non-Christian (but still spiritual) space)

  18. Kester,
    I appreciate (from your comment in a post above) that you have listed a number of changes you see happening in 2008, but obviously you sparked something with your comment about emerging church. Could you unpack that a little more or point us in some directions for further study?
    I’m currently writing my disertation on the emerging church and would be interested in this aspect.

  19. I have been following Christ since 1966, through the Jesus movement into the administrative taming of what was wild, open, experimental and freespirited, then out the door asking questions, writing poems, trusting the real God would be happy with this. I still follow Christ, but the wild one, the primal Light of Existence, the keeper of Universes. If the church ever returns to Life from the abstract world of teachings about somebody elses burning belly I will sing for it. Meanwhile, what about the God of 100 billion gallaxies? What about transcending foundations forged in tribalism? Whatabout the expansive nature of Divine Love? What about the Soul of God getting richer and richer from thousands of years of experience, expanded by every soul who comes home from this dark valley in a sea of Light?
    Jesus created a cosmic earthquake. He transformed the image of God and the heavens to boot. Where are the creative followers of the Creative God? Where are those who transcend fear and emmerge into howling robustness?
    Jesus transcended Himself, His religion, His father’s God and found reality, pure, innocent as a Lamb, wild as geese. The first disciples had to transcend themselves or deny Him. If the church will not transcend itself again and again, as every follower must to be free, I wager it will shrink and wither, die of mindless repititions and formulas that make it safe.. from God. But reality is on the rise.
    There is no fear in Love… I have found Divine Love in all kinds of places, in strange cracks and wild crevices, for it is here… bubbling with photons in and out of what we call existence.
    Just beyond the tree of knowing good and evil the tree of Life still shines. We don’t need new information, rather new ways of processing information, new dynamics in our brains that suddenly see the One in beauty.
    Blessings to all brothers and sisters of the holy…
    And thank you for this site. It is one more sign of spring. When the sap starts to rise, nothing can turn it back.