Friday, March 20, 2009

"Change in Tide" - part 1

Translation of the article "Mudança de Maré", published by "Cristianismo Hoje" (Christianity Today), issue #9, in Brazil, written by Sulamita Ricardo.

Translation by Gustavo K-fé Frederico.

The Emerging Church movement reaches its adolescence facing opposition and questioning itself. Having appeared recently and having achieved much strength in the evangelical segment by the late 90s, it already begins to show signs o exhaustion. It is the so-called Emerging Church, announced by its adherents as a kind o answer by postmodern Christianity to questions that bother the people o God for a long time, such as "What does it mean to be Christian?", "What is the function of the Church?" or "What does it mean to make missions in the world today?" After multiplying over the world mainly by virtual means through sites and blogs, the movement reaches adolescence without being able to satisfy the expectations of its most enthusiastic defenders. And it has been identified as a tortuous way that may lead to the secularization of the faith and to relativism of biblical values. Some even speak of a "New Age" in disguise.

In October 31 of last year, the Board of directors of Emergent Village - the umbrella that hosts the movement, decided to lay off its leader, the pastor Tonny [sic] Jones. The decision takes into account the desire by the organization to keep its original purposes, that is, the decentralization. The Emerging Church started with a group of friends that started [sic] to gather in the 90s, disillusioned with the traditional ecclesiastic institutions of the 20th century. For them, living the gospel - worn out by the presumed commodification of mega-churches, would need to be sought again informally, exactly as it happens in a conversation among friends. With time, other people joined the group. The movement grew to the point of yielding books, events, sites and blogs. In 2001, the expression "Emerging Church" was crafted, already as a counterpart to the so-called ecclesiastic system.


Click to continue to part 2

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