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December 05, 2005



While I agree the Emerging Church is not tied to a particular tradition, the more I hear the more it seems to confirm to me how much of the Emerging Church seems to mix the purposeful and communal sanctification and social action of Wesley with the open ecclesiology and Inner Light of the Quakers.

However, as denominations these days don't particular always follow their founders it's certainly not the case Wesleyan/Methodists or Quakers are more apt to promote Emerging Church concepts.

nate custer

Ryan, not going to share which denominations you think might have the easiest or roughest time?

Patrick, as a recent adopter of the methodist church (or maybe a better way to say it is they adopted me) I have been trying to learn about its roots. I must agree with a lot of your conclusions. One of the core things that shaped them was massive cultural change (in this case the industrial revolution) and their desire to reach out to those most effected by the change.

Existential Punk

Ryan, loved your and Eddie Gibbs great new book! I am buying it for my friends for Xmas! I am even writing my last paper for a Brian McLaren class this week on it. Thank you so much for all the work and effort you put into this timely and acccessible book! It was so great to be reading it and see my great friend, Pete Rollins of ikon, quoted! A job well done and in a beautiful spirit! I hope i get to meet you some day! Pax, Adele

Rhett Smith

thanks for this post....I fortunately have a lot of wiggle room in my church to do a lot of new and different things with the college group.....


Jamie Arpin-Ricci

Excellent post. I recently posted on how much nationalism (often pretending to be patriotism) deeply informs our expressions of faith and willingness to embrace ideas and practices.

Where we are at, I have been really encouraged by the Anabaptist communities engagement of culture and justice in their theology and practices.



Good stuff.

The question I recently posed was whether the Emerging Church is actually going to end up as a denomination itself. And if so, what that might mean.

Link: http://thecomplexchrist.typepad.com/the_complex_christ/2005/11/t_5_years_will_.html

+ Alan

Hey Ryan - you might have known I'd get on here and say something like this. Hmm, the emerging church is "about practices" - I'd have to take issue with that statement. It may not mean what it could be taken to mean. And of course, when we're talking about "the" emerging church, we're really not talking about one homogeneous ecclesial unit.

So, some of it may "merely" be about practices. I think I see what you might be trying to say. I would consider it, more widely, though, to be about a re-understanding of what it means to be the Church in the world, grappling deeply with what it has always meant, what it has meant to us coming from our different traditions, and what we are now discerning it means.

I think it's deeply theological - that if these "practices" people call "emerging" don't come from a deeper place than the passing whims of the present culture, then they may not be worth much. I guess, in connection with that thought, I'd challenge anyone thinking about "adding" something to what they already are, to ask themselves why they are doing this and where it's coming from. I could probably go on and on, but I'll hush now.

Not hollering at you man, just offering a thought that popped into my head as I read the post and some of the comments. Peace and Grace to you.

Ryan Bolger

Good conversation. Kester, I hope it doesn't become a denomination -- its influence would diminish greatly if that occurs. I personally don't see it happening.

Alan, practices are pregnant with theology, in fact they are thoroughly sociological and theological. So, I am not minimizing the changes at all. What I am advocating is an incarnational approach, one that can flip things over, redeem them from within. Thus, one will be able to find God both in the pub and, in the church...

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  • Hi, welcome to my former blog! My name is Ryan Bolger, and this is where I posted my thoughts on Jesus, culture, new forms of community, among other things. Come visit me at my new blog: http://www.ryanbolger.com. I still teach at Fuller Seminary in Southern California where I'm doing some writing as well. Feel free to bounce around the new or old website -- I hope it might stir your imagination -- feel free to stir mine as well by leaving some comments, preferably at the new site... Peace...


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