Friday, January 16, 2009


At the end of Jack Kaputo's book, "What Would Jesus Deconstruct", Kaputo highlights 2 churches that he says exemplify a deconstructive approach to Christianity and they are completely different. I think, though, that where as he might be correct in describing them as deconstructive, they both fall short of the ideal that I beleive the Emerging Church is (or should be) striving for. (admittedly I am basing this only on Jack's descriptions, I know next to nothing about the churches themselves).

The first is an inner city Catholic parish in downtown Baltimore. This church is deconstructive in that it is truly doing the work of the KOG among the least the last and the lost even though the community has, "no money and no Catholics". So the faithfulness of the parish in spite of the lack of support from the institutional church deconstructs the institutional church as not being about the KOG among the LLL (kingdom of God among the least, the last and the lost).

The second is Icon, Pete Rollins church in Dublin. Icon is creating truly experimental worship experiences for its people in order to deconstruct the peoples preconceived notions about God, Christianity, and religion, and force them to seek these things in new and vital ways.

So here's my point. I think that for a church to be "Emerging" it has to attempt BOTH of these things. It cannot be content with serving the LLL while every Sunday continuing the same old patterns of communication about (and with) God. On the other hand it can't be content to spend Sundays experimenting with new ways to communicate about God without being about the business of bringing the KOG to the LLL.

Furthermore, I think that an Emerging church also has to strive to be a place of authentic community -- whatever that may look like.

Now maybe its just my way of coping with a severe inferiority complex, but it seems to me that if a church tries to do all 3 of these things as well as it can its not going to do any of them as well as the examples in kaputo's book. But I think that striving for all 3 is more true to the ethos of Emergent then being truly great at just one.

But like I said, I don't know anything about the actual communities, I'm sure they do all three of these things to some extent.

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