the eternal question

In Uncategorized on July 13, 2010 at 3:03 am

had a conversation this weekend about the eternal question: what is emergent?

usually i trot out the old standard, “emergent is nothing more and nothing less than a conversation among friends who are committed to following God in the way of Jesus.”

however, on this occasion – perhaps we can blame the saranac ipa – i said that emergent is one response to the rise of globalization.

growing up in tulsa i was ten or eleven years old before i really met an adherent of a non-western religion. our hindu neighbors were friendly enough, but we never got past hello in the driveway or a short conversation when dad’s weedeater decided to destroy the rear window of their cutlass.

tonight, kumar k, probably from india, worked with me online to reload a software program. i stupidly threw away the product key when consolidating boxes and he collaborated with me by accessing my computer and working in real-time on my hard drive from half a world away to restore the essential program. it’s hard to grossly reduce or ignore the diverse faiths of others when you share a world, albeit virtual in this instance, with them.

it seems to me, so it must be plain to others like phyllis tickle – if memory serves – that the rise in globalization is one of the primary causes of the emergent conversation. some of us are contributing to the conversation primarily as pastors and using the insights we discover to commune with those who need to continually reconnect with the God we follow in the way of Jesus. others are contributing primarily as theologians who are trying to identify the philosophical shifts that have resulted from globalization and reimagine a theology that is contextualized within this brave new world. but regardless of our vocational situatedness i would argue that globalization is one reality that leaves us all fumbling for a response.

side note: thus far, the pastors and theologians in the conversation get along quite well and cross-pollinate quite admirably. that’s one of my favorite things about the conversation.

that’s a long answer to a short question. but the question’s (apparently) eternal and pithiness eludes me.

  1. Carl Raschke’s GloboChrist seems to agree with you Jeff.

  2. So I’m cribbing from sources I barely understood. Talk about the mark of a pastor.

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