Out of the Shadows

5 03 2008

Assemblies of God, meet Emergent.

Emergent, AG.

First, to dispel with some basic caricatures: Emergent is not candles and new age meditation. AG is not brainless snake-handling tongue-flappers.

With that out of the way, It’s time for us to start a conversation.

it should be stated at the outset that there are no endorsements from the Assemblies of God, or censures for that matter. My prayer is that this space becomes an open forum for followers of Jesus, particularly Assemblies of God people, to learn from each other and from people outside our tradition about living:

  • in a way that reflects God’s redemptive dream,
  • in a way that is responsive to the spiritual questions of the world around us, and
  • in a way that is faithful to the dynamics of our pentecostal distinctives.

I was reading George O. Woods’ recent booklet outlining his core values as our new Superintendent, and was greatly encouraged by his statement,

I see a lot of young people having problems with our Pentecostal distinctive because we in the older generation have focused so much on initial evidence and our young people are looking for substantial evidence of the Spirit’s work. It’s not an issue of either/or, it’s got to be both/and.

My hunch is that there’s a groundswell of movement, motivated by the Spirit of God, to bring this dynamic tension between initial evidence and substantial evidence into alignment. If it turns out that my hunch has some legs to it, I hope that this online conversation can begin to spill out into our local churches, sectional meetings, and district councils. It doesn’t mean we need to copy the people who are already engaged in conversations about neo-monasticism, emerging spirituality and missional Christianity, but I hope that it means we can learn from those conversations and have something to contribute to the greater whole.

So let’s climb out of the shadows. Let’s move forward from eavesdropping to conversation.

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2 responses

10 03 2008
Marvin Miller

In all my reading on the emergent church, I can still see distinct lines between Pentecostal emergent churches and non-pentecostal emergent churches. The pentecostal emergent churches have a chance to redifine pentecostalism and lose some of its traditional American baggage.

10 03 2008
johnohara

Marvin:

Welcome to the conversation! And congratulations on being the first to post :).

I think your assessment is correct, insofar as Emergent is acting as a reforming movement across ecclesiastical boundaries. I also believe that the pentecostal movement has much to offer in the way of personal, mystical experience in relationship with the Holy Spirit… absent the “traditional American baggage.”

In what ways do you believe pentecostalism might be reformed by the influence of emergent?

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