House for All Sinners and Saints

  • House for All Sinners and Saints
    I am the mission developer for House for All Sinners and Saints in Denver, Colorado. We are an urban liturgical community with a progressive yet deeply rooted theological imagination. Check out our site for more info.

Cafe Press store for HFASS merch

  • Buy House for All Sinners and Saints stuff!
    You can go to our Cafe Press store and buy t-shirts and other stuff with out Parchment with a nail at the top logo on the front - and "radical protestants; nailing sh*t to the church door since 1517" on the back.
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books and magazines i dig



  • Chris Enstad
    The blog of a dad, husband, Lutheran pastor, emerging, failing, conversing, confessing.
  • Ian Mobsby
    Ian is the Anglican Priest at Moot in London.
  • Matt Stone
    This is a great blog from Down Under which explores Christianity and religious pluralism
  • Luther Punk
    Like Ward Cleaver with tattoos
  • Ian Adams
    Ian is the priest of the MayBe community in Oxford...I think he's pretty stinkin' cool.
  • Rachael
    cool chick...check her out
  • MayBe
    This is a great emerging church community we spent time with in Oxford. Their website is well worth a look, especially the page "the spirit of MayBe"
  • Mad Priest
    If I'm the Sarcastic Lutheran, he's certainly the Sarcastic Anglican...
  • Steve Collins
    Steve's an interesting and articulate emerging church brit.
  • The Mercy Seat
    This is a really groovey new church plant in NorthEast Minneapolis, amazing jazz liturgy. Their website is well worth checking out

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If you define the context of a movement it is no longer truly contextual because the movement is not emerging from the context - you are simply looking for situations where a model will fit. "The Emerging Church" may decide that their work should be in the areas you describe, which would be a good and valuable thing, but they should change their name to something more descriptive of what they are doing.

And I still think the movement is too dominated by leaders and celebrities to be truly emergent. In a truly Emerging Church you would rarely hear about the facilitators, let alone read their books.

I am wondering whether or not the EM can really be described as a movement in the traditional sense or if it rather a "move" of the Spirit. I know that in my personal experience it seems as though there is a general move in this direction (not without its problems) transglobally and that those who are being led this way are informally linking together and sharing ideas (networking) rather than following any one clear "missional" leader. This is what, in my own limited experience, is so exciting about the whole EM thing. I think it also makes it incredibly difficult to label or define it properly.

I agree about the problematic celebrity element. That is why Zondervan Publishing was on my "on notice" board, as I feel they have published so much of the emergent celebrity pablum, and since they have such a large market, we are now having to deal with their version of the EC in the public's mind. My friends in the EC are far from celebrities trust me.
More than anything I have a heart for my people: the postmodern, creative, urban young adults who would NEVER darken the door of a mainstream church. I feel as though I entered the EC thing so that I could establish a CHristian community that my friends would actually want to participate in. On a very deep level I feel that Christianity doesn't have to be embarrasing and that the Gospel and the liturgy is too fuckin' cool to remain soley in the hands of the current "church"...the traditional American expression of "church" IS culturally bound, and not the "default". I think in the EC people are discovering that there is a postmodern cultural expression of the church that a certain population can relate to. The mainstream cultural expression of the church has never been appropriate for them. Maybe we just need a new term for what I described.

I have found the theology component of EC literature to be the most intriguing and it certainly has the evangelical conservatives on the offensive e.g. vehemently against it.
From McLaren's book, Generous Orthodoxy, he bases his views on a foundation more toward the coherence philosophy of truth. Evangelicals base their doctrinal views on a correspondence philosophical view of truth. These views of 'truth' are pretty different and hence the great debate/divide has begun.

All this to say, that at the core, there is some other stuff driving this 'global conversation' besides the contextual and missional components of EC.

I've been reading through your (wonderful) blog - I'm sorry that I hadn't found it earlier. I really like this post, particularly where you say:

"Don't get me wrong, I think all of the church should be missional and contextual. I suspect that the way in which the emerging church will, in the end, influence the broader church is in this post-Christendom reorientation toward mission and context...which would be an amazing contribution."

To this end, I wonder if the emergent movement might not help mainline denominations such as ours to renew our sense of mission, identify our unique charisms (Jim Kitchens suggests this) and embrace these charisms in new and creative ways.

Also, as you honestly suggest in this post, the emergent movement is very particular to a younger crowd which, by nature, gets older, has kids, may get boring accounting jobs in cubicles, buys minivans, moves to the white picket fences of suburbia, and frankly grows up. I'm not sure if the emergent movement as we know it will stick around, but I think that some of its ethos will stick with this next generation of church leaders, who will begin to ask critically what it means to be Christian, Lutheran, etc., and thus in my idealistic world bring about a gradual rethinking of the enterprise of church and a renewal of our identity as a community of faith and mission.

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