Thursday, August 03, 2006

Why do we care about the Emergent conversation?

Several years ago, I was teaching a SS class and led the class in a discussion of Brian McLaren's book, THE CHURCH ON THE OTHER SIDE. It was not an easy study, and I realized why it was so hard when we came to the last session and someone observed, "Well, all this is important only if you really want to reach postmodern people."

Suddenly I realized that the speaker and I were on two completely different paths! Yes, I really care about reaching postmodern people. I care about reaching anyone who is not part of the Kingdom. This is not trumphalism but compassion. I believe that a person who is a Christ-follower has a better opportunity to have a fulfilled life and to bless others than one who is not a Christ-follower. I believe one is better off knowing God!

Mike Young and I talked today about the importance of being involved in the emergent conversation. Why? Because we think it is important to reach postmodern people and we will only do so through relevant dialogue, authentic concern, and genuine compassion for them as people. CBF talks about ministry with the marginalized of society. Who is more marginalzed than one who is alienated or disinterested in a relationship with the Creator? Many of the folks who find a home in emergent gatherings are sincerely seeking a deeper spirituality. They may not perceive this as a relationship with God, but perhaps we can introduce them to God through a loving, intelligent conversation.

We care about the emergent conversation because we see it as a way to open the doors of the Kingdom to those who are outside. I think that's what Jesus was trying to do as well.

1 comment:

Dr. Danny Chisholm said...

After a Wednesday night service several of us went to grab a bite to eat in downtown Chattanooga. Walking along the sidewalk, I saw a group of college age folks sitting outside a coffee house with the book "Blue Like Jazz" on the table. I finished that book during a mission trip. They were saying something about telelevangelists which wasn't too supportive (wish I could have stuck around). I started thinking about this emergent conversation and believed we ought to make an effort to find out more about it. I agree, let's do our best to engage our culture with the gospel.