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The Emerging Church and its discontents

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The so-called 'Emerging Church' constitutes a growing, if ill-defined, Christian movement that has surfaced in North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and other nations of the Western world. The movement constitutes a theological and organisational critique of the conventional Christian Church, while offering a new mode of evangelism. This paper commences by briefly exploring the major attributes of the Emerging Church. It argues that although the movement can be understood as a means by which a distinct Christianity constituency has attempted to forge a juxtaposition with contemporary culture, the arrival of the movement has spurred widespread debate and produced a complex discourse indicative of the arrival of post-modernity. The paper considers the controversy, and even acrimony, evident in the broad world of evangelicalism, in particular conservative evangelicalism, that the Emerging Church has generated.
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Keywords: Christianity; emergents; evangelism; post-modernity; theology

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of the West of England, Bristol, UK

Publication date: December 1, 2008

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