Chris, in responding to my post on Emerging Church and Cultures, asked if ancient/future leanings are aspects of local theologies. That brings up another topic and I thought I would start a different thread.
Yes, I see the ancient/future disposition as an element of developing a local theology. Within postmodern culture there is an eclecticism, one that seeks to borrow from the marginal voices outside the mainstream. Correspondingly, emerging churches borrow from many traditions and feel limited by just one. Traditions that seem to be the most retrieved are those that exist (ed) outside of the modern world, either in 1) ancient times or 2) modern times outside the West, or within 3) Western culture as minority faith traditions.
Besides a healthy eclecticism, there is nothing magic about the ancient per se. The key missiological benefit of these retrievals, in my opinion, is the positive example of communities whose lives embodied a faith that overcame the sacred/secular split -- where their spirituality encompassed all of life. These communities are exemplary role models for those looking to construct a 24-7 faith, one of our most pressing tasks today...