Friday, March 06, 2009

Ten Years Out: A Retrospective on the Emerging Church in North America

Stephen Shields has a cover story in the January Next-Wave ezine offering a retrospective within the North American emerging church.

For the article, Stephen interviewed several major players: Brian McLaren, Jordon Cooper, Tony Jones, Scot McKnight, Andrew Jones, and Dan Kimball.

Here are the four questions that he asked each of them:
  1. How would you characterize the current state of the emerging church conversation? What's positive? What concerns you?
  2. What are the most significant developments within the conversation in the last 10 years?
  3. In your view, what have been the primary benefits of the emerging church conversation to the larger church?
  4. What are some trends that have not been helpful in the conversation over the course of the last 10 years?
Now sometimes when I post stuff on the emerging church, the comments are pretty predictable. There's no obligation to go and read these articles--but if you don't, there's really no need to share your opinion about them. Secondly, if you do read them and comment, remember the crucial rule of seeking understanding before expressing praise or criticism. Mortimer Adler, take it away:
The only polite thing to do is to ask them to state your position for you, the position they claim to be challenging. If they cannot do it satisfactorily, if they cannot repeat what you have said in their own words, you know that they do not understand, and you are entirely justified in ignoring their criticisms. They are irrelevant, as all criticism must be that is not based on understanding. When you find the rare person who shows that he understands what you are saying as well as you do, then you can delight in his agreement or be seriously disturbed by his dissent. (How to Read a Book, pp. 144-145)
With that said, happy reading and commenting!