I read a lot from folks in what is called the emerging conversation. Being a dual citizen (Canadian and Brazilian), having lived in two different hemispheres for some time now, I can't help but "think with my two heads" and establish bridges between them.
Let me begin with one aspect of the emerging conversation: the charismatic tone.
I know that Brian McLaren is NOT the leader of the emerging conversation. (More on leaders after) But I can see his crush on the charismatic principles (nothing against it. More on it later...) I can read between the lines that there is a certain cross-polination between a charismatic discourse and the emerging conversation. And missional discourse, whatever that is.
- The conservative evangelicals are often depicted as those who apply logic and reason to faith. The charismatics put an emphasis on experience.
- There's a big discussion about science against faith as if they were contradicting sides.
- Conservative evangelicals are portrayed as those who interpret the Bible with reason. All revelation is (with)in the Bible. Charismatics will push this a bit further, assuming direct revelation from God to the person.
- Many conservative evangelicals and mainline protestants have a structured liturgy. Charistmatic services tend to be more spontaneous.
- The charismatic movement happens accross the board. So they are one step ahead of problems of inter-denominational dialog/cooperation. (Well, charismatics may not be addressing the issue altogether...)
- Charismatics have a relatively recent history. It's easier for them not to include symbols and not to refer to the historical bagage of the established denominations. (At which cost?)
- Conservative evangelicals may be more easily associated with the white Anglo-saxon. Charismatics may be more easily associated with multi-cultural groups (mainly from the Southern hemisphere).
- Let me try to pose this as a sincere and polite question: could it be that the charismatic movement will gain even more traction in the US now with an economic crisis, when the Americans will get poorer?
Other topics for the future: leadership