Emerging Churches: Transforming Secular Space

The fourth chapter of Gibbs and Bolger’s book is concerned with the sacred/secular divide of modernity. The modern ideal suggests that there are some spaces that are cut off from the influence and presence of God. Emerging churches deny this split. Dwight Friesen of Quest, Seattle exemplifies this in a brief quote, “Even times of coffee turned into worship and to a centering on Christ.”

For emerging churches, there are no longer any bad places, bad people, or bad times. All can be made holy. All can be given to God in worship. All modern dualisms can be overcome (p. 67).”

I appreciate the way the emergent movement refuses to “know it’s place,” so to speak. In doing this, the emergent movement seems to have the potential for transformative effects on culture as a whole. I agree with the refusal to live with the dualisms of modernity (invisible/visible, body/mind, sacred/secular), but I’m not very comfortable with the extent the emergent movement, as described in this book, seeks to deconstruct the Church. I don’t see that the refusal of dualism necessarily leads to the deconstructing process.

So…I don’t think the equation looks like this: overcoming dualistic modernity + taking holism serious = stripping away Church tradition. I’m not sure what the equation looks like, but hey what do you expect from a early morning blog post.

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