Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The incredibly inarticulate emerging church...

Paul Mayers has this great post:

Choice

This post might not make any sense...

One of the things i've most noticed about the emerging church is just how much we struggle to say what we really mean. We sort of know what we don't mean and we sort of know what we do mean but it's just so hard to be coherent. Or maybe it's just me :)

We're conscious that words mean different things to different folks. The way we would have said something in the past now just doesn't capture what we once meant and we're not sure whether we need to express ourselves when we're still trying to deconstruct and reconstruct.

Most of the time we can get away with speaking in incomplete sentances with the fellow dwellers in the emerging church world, we kinda get each other's drift, we love the excitment and freedom from definition, not being locked in and tied down to one way/expression. We have our own common language/jargon/catch phrases that act more as sign posts then destinations as we seek to try and map out those thoughts on the tip of our tongue and the feelings that churn within our guts...

Compared to say the evangelical tradition which i grew up in and am still growing up in we sound terribly unclear. Ok that's not surprising given that evangelicalism has had 500 yrs to get its language together, for example, to deconstruct the gospel down to Jesus and a belief in him as Lord and Saviour.

To get saved so to speak an evangelical knows what to say and how to say it - there's no discussion about any wider theological/biblical world view, just a confession and profession of a belief in Jesus.

Something i am in complete agreement with and yet i know i'd stumble around like some mad drunk trying to say exactly the same thing but differently - is it the words, or the way i want to say the words - probably both. And the more i try the more i seem to struggle. And that's just first base, what about the rest of the faith framework and worldview that we are trying to comprehend and talk about, no wonder so many evangelicals think we've stumbled off the rails :)

So what do you think?

  • where do you find yourself being/feeling inarticulate?
  • any ways you've found to be better understood (i've tried shouting louder but that didn't seem to help)?
  • if i was interested in becoming a christian what would you tell me?
  • in our deconstruction i feel we all orthodox christians agree that belief in Jesus is the essence of the gospel which i find encouraging - do you think somehow this can be a centering point for decoding our conversations?

1 comment:

paul said...

Thanks Mike for your kind and comprehensible words :)