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Has the Emergent Church Stopped…Well, Emerging?

25 April, 2010

The two very interesting articles below, and their links, claim that the emergent or emerging church as a movement is effectively dead — even according to its leaders.

Check out Anthony Bradley’s ‘Farewell Emerging Church, 1989-2010‘, and Suzanne Hadley Gosselin’s ‘RIP Emergent Church: 1989-2010‘.

Some of us may have known or suspected this for a while, some of us not, but all of us should probably take Bradley’s sage advice: treat this like a historical movement to understand, rather than a living movement to refute (or advocate).

You will find a very ironic obituary here.

  1. 26 April, 2010 3:35 am

    I attend Broad Street Ministry
    here in Philly and we might be a
    part of the ,”emerging” church
    thing but really its about doing
    the “love thy neighbour” thing.

    Good articles; I always find some
    good links from your blog….as
    a newly baptized person I need
    folks like yourself to give me
    inroads into contemporary


  2. Darren permalink
    26 April, 2010 3:37 am

    Haha, great obituary.
    And as it points out, she may be dead, but we’re crawling with her children. So critiques of the emerging/emergents may still have more than simply historical value. After all, classic liberalism died a long time ago, but Machen’s Christianity and Liberalism is still eerily relevant today. In fact, it was eerily relevant most recently in light of the late emergent church.

    • 1 May, 2010 9:23 pm


      I agree; but if we only call something like classical liberalism by its name when we speak against it, then we might miss something else — the emergent church, for instance. So the value is more than historical, but I think primarily as an approach, set of assumptions or practices, etc., that is continually in play, no matter the name and specifics (although the specifics are certainly important).


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