I read a lot of articles written by people trying to explain emerging Christianity, or the SBNRs (spiritual but not religious). I usually have a few bones to pick with these pieces, and that’s no exception with this article by Steve McSwain, but I have to say he does a pretty good job of summarizing the issue. You can read the entire Huffpost piece here, but these two bits were my favorite:
Many of (the SBNRs) feel spiritually disconnected and displaced, while still desiring to know and to feel a vital spiritual life. Unable to find it in much of the madness they’ve chosen to leave behind, they turn to these rapidly growing churches, many of which have become “mega” churches as a result of this phenomenon, in a kind of last ditch effort to find something that resembles spiritual sanity. Regrettably, however, what many of them soon find even in many of these growing churches is just a polished-up and well-rehearsed, as well as well-performed, version of the same madness they left.
And of the 5 characteristics he lists as descriptors of emerging Christianity, here’s the fifth:
These Christians would view “hope” the way Jesus their leader viewed it; the way the prophets of old viewed it; the way the entire biblical narrative views it: as a vision of the world wherein peace and justice and plenty for everyone exists in the here and now; a world that reflects “God’s will on earth just as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).
Moltmann for the win, y’all. ;)
Thanks to Steve Knight for posting this article on the Emergent Village Voice blog at Patheos!