Friday saw CMS bring their excellent Blah tour to Bristol. Featuring Ryan Bloger, an academic from Fuller seminary in the US who specialises in emerging church; Karen Ward, Abbess of the Church of the Apostles in Seattle; Jonny Baker from CMS; Ben Edson from Sanctus1 in Manchester; and loads of folk from Foundation.
I was a bit of a grouch, I confess, but a number of things struck me:
1. I am allergic to the word 'postmodern'. It is either meaningless, and so shouldn't be used, or it is a seriously flawed description of the world, and so shouldn't be used, or else it is describing something anti-Christian, and so shouldn't be used positively by Christians. I have ranted about this before, and I feel another one coming on ...
2. Emerging church looks remarkably like 1960s and 1970s British liberal Christianity. In fact I was sent straight back to reading John AT Robinson's The New Reformation. More to explore here, but as a liberal Christian I fear for the state of liberal Christianity and hence for the future of the emerging church!
3. All the talk of flat leadership, democracy and peace-love-and-flower-power is simply rubbish. Karen Ward said that anyone who goes could tell you about her church. So why did she get the plane ticket to the UK? I don't dispute that she should, I'm just saying that she does have a clear leadership role that should be more truthfully owned. In truth, I think that the charismatic/evangelical personality cult has made it through into post-evangelicalism and the emerging church, whilst the denial continues. Only this time the leaders have blogs!
I did say it was grouchy (displaced impatience, I suspect). But it was a superb day, with much food for thought.
Developments on this thinking later, perhaps. But right now there are other things to occupy my mind ...