There seems to be a lot of interest in the emerging church conversation right now throughout the church. When it pushes too far against the envelope that it starts questioning scriptural truth, there’s certainly a problem! But there are some valuable things that the emerging church discussion has brought back to the surface of our faith.
1.) Emphasis on cultural understanding and relevance. This is of critical importance, especially in an international ministry perspective. The Bible was written in culture, is understood in culture, and is taught within culture, and we need to ensure we are doing our best to be true to each of those.
2.) Examination of what’s true and what’s tradition. Styles and expressions vary from era to era, and from country to country. We need to make allowances for those differing styles and their meanings, and use the benchmark of truth rather than familiarity.
3.) Focus on outreach. We are told in the Bible that we have the good news, and that we need to share it. That’s a foundational truth in scripture that is returned to within the emerging church conversation.
In recent times the words ’emergent church’ have become polarising, turning some off. This is unfortunate and unnecessary. While we need to be cautious and prayerfully reflective as we consider these things, I think the discussion gives us a new impetus to gain a deeper understanding of our faith.