Sunday, March 30, 2008

Emerging and Progressive?

Stephen Lingwood has recently asked an important question over at his blog, Reignite.

Is it possible to be both emergent and progressive? While Stephen asks the question from a British Unitarian perspective, I think the question is just a poignant for us in the United Methodist Church here in North America.

Here is a snippet of Stephen's post:
Is it possible to be both progressive and emerging? In other words is it possible to be radical in content as well as in style?

Look at someone like John Shelby Spong: pretty radical in what he says, yet he still wears the dog-collar and purple shirt of a bishop. He looks entirely like a bishop...

But go to the congregation where the preacher is in jeans and a T shirt, where there is a jolly informality, or even where there are people with nose-rings and green hair, then the theology, the message is usually conservative... The emerging church, for all its radicalism, is still orthodox in its theology.

Is it possible then to be radical in both form and content? Is it possible to have a christology influenced by Marcus Borg and a ecclesiology influenced by Dan Kimball?
What do you think?

1 comment:

Becca Clark said...

God, I hope so!

But then why do so few people do it or even attempt it? Is it that when they see a pastor in blue jeans all the liberals run screaming or when they hear radical preaching all the people who like contemporary music head for the hills?

Actually, while I'm on the subject, the music is a big problem. Those Dan Kimball-inspired praise songs are really not so progressive in their lyrics. We need Ruth Duck to set a few of her lyrics to something with a drum beat.