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I agree Jonny - the church has been emerging since the time of acts. What happened is that any time you try to market and brand what's God's doing in her people, the global spirit like Elvis has left the building and moved on. I remember the tipping point when a backlash started against the church growth (tm) movement - those who didn't change with the spirit soon found themselves out in the cold despite the gifts they brought at the beginning. Seems a similar dynamic is happening here - it's 2008 and if we're still debating the nuances between emerging/emergent, perhaps we should move on. I'd rather put my energies into how we can be the "church" in the 21st century especially given the US is about to face a serious economic crisis that will undoubtedly impact the rest of the world just as our military actions have global ramifications. I don't see how we're going to survive unless we change our consumerist attitudes and explore what it really means to be the body of Christ tending to each other's needs.

Steve Lancaster

Yes, great post by Mark, and here by you and Becky too.

His analysis of current experience - especially mention of multiphrenia (the holding together of many viewpoints without cultural dissonance), and of life as acting - resonate.

But they sound like opportunities to me, as much as sources of tension. If the locus of our heartlife is, as it always has been, the love of Christ, then our ability to play with the multiple selves He gives us, the performances we can enjoy even as we give them to others, become a source of wonder, not fear.

And, in this age where the consumer options once open to us are being closed one by one, it may be worth pointing out that become adept at manipulating each of these experiences is tremendous fun and comes free of charge.

But Love, always Love, first.

Chris Garner

thanks Jonny - love your links!

Again though, its all just talk and monologue on church. I wish melbourne church talk was woven more biblically! Mark discusses observations on modern culture from a theological perspective - which is great if you are having an intellectual christian in-house philosophical session to feel better...but the reality is it just doesnt relate to average jobs with average aussies who need the good news of Christ as He commanded!

its all good to discuss the application of theology to this culture and the impacts on church structure - but the total lack of reference to Christ's words, great comission, ephesians (2 at least) bothers me. Again, i love mark and he's enthralling to listen to..great heart, love him - but its just intellectual fluffy conversation and needs more solid application for everyday Australians.

i think the biggest downfall of emerging and missional church in Australia is the massive amount of talking ABOUT it in some attempt to be leading the way..but lacking DOING the stuff. Looking back 4 or 5 years, it could have become FAR more of an impact for the lost by now..if only it wasnt so much philosophical opinion!

Sorry, but rhetoric never revolutionised anything

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    i have been blogging for a decade or more in fairly eclectic fashion. i am an advocate for pioneers, lover of all things creative, an explorer of faith in relation to contemporary culture, a photographer and writer. explore the presences section below to find me in other spaces

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