Some people have emailed recently looking for the official address for Emergent, in part so that they can send end of the year checks. Here it is:
1617 West 42nd Street
Kansas City, Missouri 64111
Some folks have emailed me, asking me how to use the new Emergent logos in Typepad. Here is the quickest way you do that:
1. Make a Typepad Typelist. Mine is called "causes i support". I think that you can leave it blank - I did not try that.
3. Take the HTML from the banner image post and copy that into the section called "Notes".
4. Make sure that your blog is configured to show your new typelist.
I have this configured on my site in this way, and it works fine. You can also insert this into your custom template, but that is beyond the scope of this post. Email me if you have any questions. Hope that helps.
As a Christmas present to the whole Emergent community, we are offering these banners for your site or to otherwise identify with Emergent. These are the result of the contributions of so many within the conversation, with special thanks to Paul Soupiset for his efforts.
The first is a basic image. The other two are banner images, with the accompanying HTML below each. If you have any problems, email me. If you associate with Emergent, we would love to have you use these to promote the conversation. It should go without saying, but these are for speaking well of Emergent - please don't violate the spirit of this offering and use these derogatorily.
Merry Christmas from Emergent!
<a href="http://www.emergentvillage.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://emergentvillage.com/images/em_button_88x31.jpg" width="88" height="31" ></a>
<a href="http://www.emergentvillage.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://emergentvillage.com/images/em_button_120x90.jpg" width="120" height="90" ></a>
All of these works are created and presented under the following Creative Commons license:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.5 License.
by Tim Hartman
When you think of the values of Emergent what words to come to mind? Worship? Theology? Church? What about Justice? Much of what has given Emergent its initial impetus has been the process of re-inventing or re-shaping the understanding of the Christian life and of ‘Church’. Meanwhile, many within Emergent have been encouraging us all to consider God’s calling to the poor and to issues of justice in our world.
As a result, I was asked to represent Emergent on the board of Micah Challenge-USA. Micah Challenge is a global Christian campaign with two aims:
The name comes from the words of Micah the prophet: “...what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” There are Micah Challenge campaigns in over 20 countries worldwide, each of which focuses around the Micah Call:
The Micah Call
This is a moment in history of unique potential,
when the stated intentions of world leaders
echo something of the mind of the Biblical prophets
and the teachings of Jesus concerning the poor, and
when we have the means to dramatically reduce poverty.
We commit ourselves, as followers of Jesus,
to work together for the holistic transformation of our communities,
to pursue justice, be passionate about kindness and to walk humbly with God.
We call on international and national decision-makers
of both rich and poor nations, to fulfill their public promise
to achieve the Millennium Development Goals
and so halve absolute global poverty by 2015.
We call on Christians everywhere to be agents of hope
for and with the poor, and to work with others
to hold our national and global leaders accountable
in securing a more just and merciful world.
More than 500 organizations, campaigns and countries worldwide have set their political, religious and cultural differences aside to become one voice united together against extreme poverty under the Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP). Micah Challenge is championing the global Christian response. The ONE campaign is invoking action in the US. Make Poverty History is moving people in the UK and Canada. All have the same goals. All want the same result.
All of these groups desire the fulfillment of all eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)—which were agreed to by all member nations of the UN and all the world’s leading development institutions—by the target date of 2015.
Specifically, the 8 goals of the MDGs are:
Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.
Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education.
Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women.
Goal 4: Reduce child mortality
Goal 5: Improve maternal health.
Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDs, malaria and other diseases.
Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability
Goal 8: Develop a global partnership for development.
The MDGs have galvanized unprecedented efforts to meet the needs of the world’s poorest. To achieve the MDG’s, GCAP has four goals:
Micah Challenge—USA is an aspect of the national level action. It is a collaborative effort among a number of organizations including: World Vision, Bread for the World, Evangelicals for Social Action, Sojourners, and others. Emergent was invited to partner with these organizations—across denominational and political boundaries—to work on a global campaign to help those in developing nations. Sure there have been the awkward moments, such as responding to questions of whether my “organization” can endorse such-and-such. (How does “a growing generative friendship” officially endorse anything?) The way for Emergent to take the Micah Challenge is for each of us—as individuals and communities to sign the Micah Call (click here to sign the call) and to implement various action steps in our specific contexts. Through this post, I want to invite you and your communities to take the Micah Challenge. Together we can raise awareness, encourage our government to make the necessary changes and implement the appropriate policies to impact the condition of global poverty, and transform the situations for poor and marginalized peoples in our own settings.
I encourage you to take a moment to consider how you and your community can respond to the Micah call and help the global campaign against poverty. We who live in the way of Jesus have a particular responsibility to the poor and to speak prophetically about the place of the poor in our world.
Here are some web links for more information on the Micah Challenge and ways that you and your community can become involved and start working towards justice near and far:
"Only Connect..." wrote E. M. Forster as the opening to Howards End, his critique of a London beset by the automobile and other machines, changing at an enormous pace, a city of "anger and telegrams". It was good advice. "If only I could connect..." we still cry; no telegrams now, but spinning blogs like cotton candy, conferences like desperate arachnids, trying to find some pathway, some connection, some del.icio.us tag to hold with people as they speed by our screens at 10Mbps...
Therein lies the irony of Forster's epigraph, for as technology roared us into urbanity with such speed, and perhaps ripped apart some vital connections between us in doing so, it is now coming full circle to aid us in our interconnection.
However, it is my belief that while we need to welcome the connecting possibilities that technology offers, we need to do so with cautious arms. We must be careful to ensure that this new connectivity we are being sold is a proper replacement for the one taken from us, and be mindful of those who are threatened by its democratising potential. More importantly, we must reflect upon the theological roots of our togetherness.
by Si Johnston
Christianity has sided with all that is weak and base, with all failures; it has made an idea of whatever contradicts the instinct of the strong life to preserve itself. Friedrich Nietzsche in his book "The Antichrist"
It was on studying genetics at university in Scotland that I understood the concept of 'phase growth'. There have been eras in the emergence of our world and universe when growth seemed to happen at an accelerated pace. Consequently, there appears to have been more sleepy moments punctuating the historical timeline of evolutionary theory, and thus we have phases of growth and phases of relative dormancy.
Actually, this pattern shouldn't really come as a surprise to us. Take the growth of our kids, or, if you're like me and don't have any, yourself. I went from being the second smallest guy in my year at school to being one of the tallest over the course of a summer. I distinctly remember coming back to school and having my English teacher ask me if I'd stood in a bucket of manure for the summer. Those of us reading this in the northern hemisphere can look out of our windows and see summer's life perish into winter's death as the seeds of potential new life are scattered, whereas our friends in the southern hemisphere are witnessing sensational abundance. And so the examples could go on. But what of church and mission? It's clear, particularly in the Old Testament, that life with God for Israel ebbed and flowed. There were moments when great gains were made and promises were being fulfilled, and yet there were many moments of apparent abandonment, exile, and despair.
by Steve Bush from GenerousOrthodoxy.net
Progressive evangelicals just don’t seem to fit in anywhere. We find the political and theological conservatism of U.S. evangelicalism too confining. But we’re too evangelical to be anything else. We’re not Roman Catholic. We’re not Orthodox. Many (most?) of us aren’t mainline Protestant. We like all those folks, and we have a hard time distinguishing ourselves theologically from our creed-affirming friends in those worlds, but those worlds just aren’t our world.
So are we destined to alienation and spiritual homelessness? Often we feel isolated and alone. But this is not accurate. Millions of evangelicals don’t wear the political conservatism badge. And theologians like Stanley Grenz, Roger Olson, Nancey Murphy, and John Franke have forged a path toward a postconservative evangelical theology. Activists like Jim Wallis and Ron Sider represent an alternative vision of evangelical social engagement. Bloggers like Anthony Smith and Christy Lambertson apply a bold Christian vision to vexing social issues. Authors like Brian McLaren tap into the dissatisfactions and hopes of churchgoers. Communities like Communality, the simple way, and Camden House challenge our set notions of Christian discipleship.
Nevertheless, the institutions of evangelicalism—churches, para-churches, seminaries, colleges, societies, media outlets—for the most part represent evangelicalism in its most conservative guise. Too frequently, these institutions are actively hostile toward moderate and progressive versions of evangelicalism. The postconservative mood is, as Roger Olson puts it, “embattled but thriving.”
We don’t resent the conservatives’ control of evangelical churches and organizations. After all, it was conservatives who formed those organizations. Evangelicalism, in the current sense of the word, was birthed in the 1940s when a group of pastors and church leaders broke from fundamentalism. They immediately set about building from scratch churches, para-church organizations, educational institutions, and ministries of all sorts. We readily acknowledge their labor, courage, and innovativeness. And yet…we can’t help but believe that their break from fundamentalism was too small a move.
Conservative evangelicals and postconservative evangelicals are not so different that they cannot inhabit institutions and organizations together. But they are different, and their differences are in large part theological. Postconservative evangelicals believe that the conservatives’ privileging of the doctrine of biblical inerrancy is mistaken. Inerrancy is a data-centered approach to Scripture, whereas postconservatives practice a person-centered approach. In our view, the Bible is not a repository of facts, but rather a witness to a living person: the resurrected Jesus Christ.
We have other theological questions for our conservative friends. Conservative evangelicals tend to see salvation as an individualistic affair, postconservatives emphasize the communal dimension. Conservatives tend to see hell as a place of eternal, conscious torment after death; postconservatives are concerned about this-worldly hells of genocides, slums, and diseases. The postconservative attitude towards non-evangelical and non-Christian thought is an attitude of critical but receptive openness. We are not zealous to debunk non-Christian views, but instead seek to find what is valuable in other perspectives.
And we postconservatives have social and political differences, too. We’re not trying to fashion America into a Christian nation or put God’s stamp of approval on the imperial ambitions of the United States. We do not think that one's gender disqualifies one from any position of leadership in home, society, or church. Further, within progressive evangelicalism, you will find not uniform prohibition, but a variety of opinions, regarding the moral status of committed homosexual relationships. Our response to poverty goes beyond charitable gifts and soup kitchens. We want to talk about and practice justice. We’re concerned about educational funding disparities, inner city unemployment rates, and global trade inequalities.
Despite all the differences, we refuse to demonize or despise conservatives. We seek an honest conversation with them, so we can acknowledge our commonalities and respectfully dialogue about our differences. Postconservatives view conservatives as reasonable people of good faith and good will.
Insofar as postconservatives subscribe to the positions I have attributed to them (and I confess I have had to over-generalize), the motivation behind their theological and ethical stance is not to accomodate to popular culture or water down the gospel, but to be faithful to the gospel.
Few forums exist for conversation among progressive evangelicals, so we are excited about Emergent. In this conversational space, we’re finding that we’re not alone. We’re finding a spiritual family. And we’re grateful that the Emergent conversation brings us together with conservative evangelicals and non-evangelicals. We support Emergent, and we hope for its continued flourishing even as we contribute to that end.
Now a new forum for the progressive evangelical conversation exists. Generous Orthodoxy, a nod to the same Hans Frei quote that inspired Brian McLaren’s latest book title, is designed to foster networking and dialogue among progressive evangelicals and their friends. The highlight of the site is Generous Orthodoxy ThinkTank, a collaborative blog whose authors are all progressive evangelicals in the academy. Please stop by and check the site out.
The hope in all of this is that someday progressive evangelicals will find a welcome place to share institutional space with conservatives. Also we hope that progressive evangelicals will match their conservative forebears’ creative energies and form new churches and organizations. Finally, we hope that the term “evangelical” will return to the sense it had in a previous era, before the twentieth century and its fundamentalisms, when “evangelical” was a broader, more inclusive term, spanning the Protestant spectrum. Then the need for the label “progressive evangelical” will be no more, and we will celebrate its demise. Until then, our work is cut out for us.