The Emerging Church’s Contribution to Evangelicalism

I have always had my feet in both evangelicalism and the emerging church/missional church conversations. From the beginning I have resonated with the questions emerging church thinkers were asking and the missiologies/ecclesiologies the missional thinkers were advocating. And yet I have also tried to maintain my relationships and my ecclesiastical accountability within evangelicalism, not only my own denomination but also evangelicalism as a whole. I believe I was born here and I should not go out and try to choose (in some sort of consumerist way) a denomination that suits my tastes. I was born into this tradition (I think we can call evangelicalism and certain denominations a tradition) and I should work for renewal and transformation within it. This is why the upcoming topic at Up/rooted North on September 20 is an important one for me – “Questioning the Answers: the emerging church critique of evangelicalism.” I look forward to being with Scot McKnight, who most of the emerging church crowd already is very familiar with as well as Wayne Johnson from Trinity Evangelicals Divinity School in Deerfield. Wayne is astute and open to understanding the emerging church and postmodernity. We’ll be asking what is the most profound and substantive critique the emerging church offers evangelicalism, and what contribution in terms of doctrine and/or practice has the emerging church made for the benefit of the evangelical church. This should be a good time. There will be lots of conversation. Will Prof Don Carson show up?
Below is the announcement posted at the up/rooted blog. Sorry about my ridiculous mugshot but I blame this amateur photographer whose name will go unmentioned over at the seminary where I teach.


Up/rooted-ers, have we got an evening for you: not just one thinker on the emerging church, but three! Up/rooted.north will be hosting a panel discussion called “Questioning the Answers: the emerging church critique of evangelicalism” on Thursday, Sept. 20th at 7pm at Life on the Vine in Long Grove, IL.

You’re invited to this open and provocative panel discussion of the emerging church’s critiques of evangelicalism, and thoughtful consideration of the way forward. Our panel will consist of:

Scot McKnight, professor at North Park University and prodigious blogger and author;

Wayne Johnson, professor and director of the MDiv program at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School;

Dave Fitch, professor at Northern Baptist Seminary, pastor at Life on the Vine, and slightly less prodigious blogger and author.

Each panelist will respond to a particular emerging church critique of evangelicalism (think issues of authority, church structure, worship, preaching, role of Scripture, etc.) and we’ll get a chance to engage with them in open discussion of these crucial issues.

Come and engage these thinkers, teachers, and pastors and each other as we gather together around the emerging conversation. Hope to see you there!

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