I am not sure what it is about all this “emergent church is dead” talk but I find it somewhat interesting (e.g. here and here). Especially because it is has become so satirically brilliant! Rick Bennett has written an ‘Obituary for the Emerging Church‘ which he followed by declaring the one thing the emergent church may not want to hear: you have emerged! This echoed Andrew Jones’ post of the types of emerging churches that “no longer upset your grandfather“. The thesis of these writers is pretty simple: Listen, emerging church, you have arrived and now you are just another aspect of global Christianity.
Others like Tony Jones (here) have tried to emphasize that the emerging church is as “radical” as ever. But as Andrew Jones told him, “The controversy you are stirring up seems unrelated to the main emphasis of the emerging church movement.” It seems to me that those in the emerging church who want to retain that aspect of being “controversial” aren’t doing anything that Anglican church or the ECLA are doing? As far as worship is concerned Catholics and Orthodox have been using candles and pictures for a long, long time. Even the virtual church movement is more cutting edge and controversial than the emerging church.
So what could kill the emerging church? Well, if it emerged. If it became just another aspect of Christianity. I think it has done just that. So welcome emerging church, you have done a lot to help change Christianity in some areas but it appears you have emerged.
So what’s next?