We continue this week in our discussion of Becky Garrison's Rising from the Ashes: Rethinking Church
. I've appreciated reading this book for a number of reason, but especially for how it reveals the diversity of ways people are rethinking how we do church. The interviews included in the book represent voices from different countries and church backgrounds. The issue that appear important and how the church responds differ from context to context. I was especially interested in seeing how the emerging/missional streams are expressed in different countries.
In my American context I see people in this conversation beginning to realize that not all expressions of the emerging conversation are the same, but we often fail to realize how different the conversation is in places like England or Australia (just to limit it to places that share a common language at least!). While such differences are not the main theme of this book, it serves as a good resource to highlight them nonetheless.
In his interview, Jonny Baker mentions the differences between the UK Alternative Worship movement and the emerging conversation. He mentions too that "one of the huge differences between the uk and the us is that in the uk a lot of the emerging stuff has happened in and around the edges of the main denominations - particularly the [church of england]." (p.18). And Steve Croft of England speaks of differing terminology - "the phrase 'Fresh Expression of Church' was a neutral term. We wanted to find a new useful phrase to describe a collective range of phenomenon such as emerging church, alternative worship, and new ways of being the church." (p21).
And when asked why the emerging church conversation has been going on longer in the UK than in the US, Ian Mobsby replied - "because there is more of a crisis of faith in the church in the UK than there is in the US - we are slightly ahead of you in the postmodern context - and this is why Australia and New Zealand are ahead of us both - as they have an increasingly post Christian postmodern culture." (p. 28)
So I ask the questions to us here -How do you respond to these differences?
Have you noticed how the conversation varies from country to country?
What are the major differences that you see at play?
And it would be great to hear from our members from around the world on this.
Labels: Book Discussions, Emerging Church, Rising from the Ashes