Recently I have been doing research on the Emergent Church. Just in case you are not familiar with this movement, let me give you a little background. The Emergent Church movement originated in conversations between various pastors, youth pastors and church leaders back in the 1990’s. They were concerned about certain trends and practices they saw in the church. They were especially concerned about how relevant and effective the church was in reaching a postmodern culture. Out of their conversations arose an entire movement which has swept through America, Britain, Australia and other parts of the world.
The original ambitions of those involved in these conversations were noble and good. However, in their efforts to address the concerns of a postmodern society, they ended up becoming a postmodern movement. It seems, at least in their thinking, that to be relevant you must accommodate yourself to the culture—even if this accommodation involves sacrificing some of the foundational truths of the Christian faith. Continue reading →
I became a Christian during the Jesus Movement of the early 1970’s. I look back with a fond nostalgia to that time. It was an exciting time to be alive, to be a believer in Jesus. Yes, there were many troubling things happening in our country, in the world. Yet despite the troubles God was moving in mighty and dramatic ways. How many thousands, if not millions, of young people came to Christ during that time? Some of the excitement of that era is captured in the film Woodlawn. (If you haven’t seen it, you should check it out.) At the climax of the movie emphasis is placed on an iconic image from the Jesus Movement—the “One Way” symbol. It was a common emblem in those days. Young believers would hold up their hand with the index finger extended. You would see posters emblazoned with a picture of a hand with one finger raised, boldly proclaiming “One Way.” (I used to draw that symbol on the back of my school notebooks.) It was a simple yet effective statement of faith in Jesus. We all were declaring, “Jesus is the only way!” Continue reading →