This is Emerging Grace

…and this is the post that I wish I had written on the emerging church.

From Rick McKinley*:

“There will be important contributions made to theological and ecclesiological work. However if we insist that this young emerging church declare their college major right now, we may be killing the very thing that God is doing by putting a yoke upon them that God did not ask them to carry, but was one that we invented out of the fear of what they might become.”

“Perhaps God is emerging something that is counter cultural to the way we have been doing it. He may be bringing about something that is seemingly small and insignificant but that will over time grow into something richer and fuller and more transformational than we have seen in some time.

We will never get to see it however, if we are impatient with the process, if we don’t have time or………………… grace to allow it to emerge…”

Don’t miss reading the entire post!

*Rick is pastor of the Imago Dei Community in Portland. I recently reviewed his book This Beautiful Mess here.

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5 thoughts on “This is Emerging Grace

  1. It is important to note, and if you have read much of McKinley and listened to his sermons you know this, he is not talking about theology, doctrine, or truth. And that is the main thing that critics are looking for us to “declare a college major” on. No one is asking us to land on a method and stay there. At least, I don’t see that. And don’t think they really care what we and our communities look like (ok, some do). They want to hear us emerging folk say something is true and stand on it. But we’ve let a bunch of wishy washy guys become the poster BOYS of the movement.

    I love what Rick says here and really respect him and what he is doing…

  2. Rich, there is some truth (pun intended)to your point. However, I find that often the failure to declare truth is a straw man that is used against emerging folks since the type of propositional truth that many of these critics are looking for may not be necessary or appropriate or even Biblical. Also, I think emerging folks are often using non-conventional statements and critiques as ways to ask questions not make statements of belief. It is a part of the process to better understanding not the final place.

    Grace,

    Yes, indeed, patience always seems to be in short supply, particularly in our culture of instant gratification.

    The idea of patiently allowing the Holy Spirit to work in us individually and in the “emerging” process appears to be quite difficult.

    One of the most difficult things for me to finally come to terms with was the idea, and reality in my own life, of enjoying the journey and leaving the ultimage destination to Father. Perhaps the reason we have so little detail in the Bible about the “future” and “heaven” is that Father wants us to focus on the journey today.

    I needed that reminder….enjoy this beautiful day and its part in my journey….

  3. Were it not for the Mclaren and Pagitt’s of the world, I could fully agree with you traveler. But your points are well made and I do understand where you are coming from.

  4. Rich, while I am not as disturbed about MacLaren and Pagitt as you and others, I do understand your views as well and respect your concerns. You may prove to be correct.

  5. Rich and traveller,
    What I liked about the entire post is that Rick does address the issue of heresy and doctrines that are in error, however he seems to have faith that those things will work themselves out in the long run.

    No matter what McLaren or Pagitt do, even if they go off the deep end, I am optimistic that God is doing something in the church that will continue whether or not it falls under the label emerging.

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