Why the emerging church movement died

Is the emerging church movement dead?

When the emerging church (EC) movement first caught my attention during seminary, I was impressed with a certain open-mindedness about it. As I learned more about it and about some of the people in this movement, I learned that were not as open-minded as I had initially thought.  Some sectors of the EC had moved away from the core doctrines of the faith that I held as being essential to the faith; otherwise, Christianity would no longer be Christianity.  The EC projected itself as a movement that was in constant rebellion against traditional Christianity. Almost everything the EC movement said was against the status quo and it identified itself as a new brand of Christianity that was “not like the others”. Although I do not consider myself traditional, I do not dislike tradition because it offers countless benefits for all Christians. My view of the EC movement eventually turned from positive to negative in a short period of time. Since then, I have never paid much further attention to the emerging church movement.

However, to the emerging church movement, I give credit for two main things I admired about it:

  1. For seeing traditional Christianity from a critical perspective.  Much of traditional Christianity fails to see itself from an outsider’s point-of-view.
  2. For being open to making some positive changes to traditional Christianity.

HT: Out of Ur blog has a positive eulogy on the dead emerging church movement.

2 thoughts on “Why the emerging church movement died

  1. Moving away from orthodox doctrines puts the church on dangerous ground. We can’t risk that; otherwise, it will drift away like some of our churches have already gone. It’s sad how some churches like mine no longer teach and practice scripture being the final authority for faith and life. I can’t imagine where we will be in another 20 years?


  2. I’ve been reading obituaries about the EC for quite a while now, Kevin. I’m kind of like you, in that I started out with some positive thoughts about it which quickly changed to negative, and since then have pretty much just ignored the EC. I think it’s much more important to discover all I can about the historical church, see when and where it got off track, how it got back on track (when it did!), and make sure my own beliefs and what I teach lines up with the historic, orthodox teachings of the scriptures. To my mind, the scriptures are the final authority for the Christian, and I think that’s where the EC got off track the farthest.


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