Friday, July 11, 2008

The Emergence of The Emerging Church

I realize that this blog was originally intended to be a “family blog,” at least according to my wife; however, I can’t help but to post on other aspects of my life (e.g., school, church, etc). As some of you know, I am writing my dissertation on the theological diversity within the Emerging Church Movement (if you need a definition, visit Wikipedia). Last week was an exciting week for me because I got my hands on the original The Emerging Church, a book written by Bruce Larson and Ralph Osborne in 1970 (this book is not to be confused with The Emerging Church written by Dan Kimball that was released in 2003).

The concept of the Emerging Church, as it is currently understood, first appeared in this book which was published in 1970. In the book, Larson and Osborne spoke prophetically of a church constantly transforming in light of a chaotic culture. Larson and Osborne’s “emerging church” terminology lay dormant for a number of years, but resurfaced in the late 1990s. Here is a quote from the book that resembles the ideas of contemporary emerging church leaders.

“We hear a sound of hope, a calling forth of a newly emerging Church, a demand for priority and commitment, and a word of instruction as to what the Church is to be. That voice among the voices says little to us about structure, institutional form, and traditional patterns. It speaks rather of new goals, considerable resources, and fresh strategies for the 1970’s.”

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