Deep Ecclessiology: What is the Emerging Church Part III


This image (click on it for larger version), comes from a slide Brian Mclaren has been using recently to try to show the idea of Deep Ecclessiology in the context of the larger question what is the emerging church?

It follows on from the diagram and previous post I made which uses a tree to show the shared context for emerging church, of all churches.

1. Value: Deep Ecclessiology (a phrase Brian attributes to Andrew Jones), is a value of many of those in emerging church, and certainly those of us in Emergent. That we value the church in it's broadest sense. Not in a lowest common denominator, ecumenicalism, but a value of the body of Christ across it's many forms.

2. Progression: Over time the church has progressed into new forms, many of which have become lower in terms of their ecclessiology. Some of the most recent churches, at the bottom would aspire to as little structure as possible. Whilst some of these groups (as did all the above groups as they emerged), see themselves as post-church, or the authentic emerging church, we would see them as part of the emerging church in it's broadest developments.

3. Affirmation: The churches at the top are increasingly affirming of new forms of church at the bottom, e.g the Church of England's 'Fresh Expressions' and other support from the Archbishop of Canterbury. Many of the lower forms of church are retrieving beliefs and practices from the higher and early traditions.

4. Harder: The last form of more dominant modern churches that emerged previously in modernity, are probably finding it harder to value churches above them and below, them. Similarly the churches above and below find it harder to value those in the middle.