This post is in response to the article Fast Friends or Future Foes: The Emerging Church and Southern Baptists by Dr. Mark DeVine. This article was brought to my attention by Cory at Church Communications Pro via this post.
I would like to respond to a specific quote from the document:
“Perhaps more likely is that the influence of the Gibbs/Bolger contingent of the emerging movement will mimic (only on a smaller scale) that of the charismatic movement in relation to established churches and denominations. Thus, the emerging movement may not result in a denomination or even in many sustainable local churches, but will instead serve as a conduit for certain ideas, values and emphases back into established churches” (page 20 – Dr. Mark DeVine, Fast Friends or Future Foes: The Emerging Church and Southern Baptists, link to post with original document).
The interaction between emerging churches and denominations was considered in a similar way at the Mainline Emergent / s, particularly in Karen Ward’s response to Brian from her particular context at the Church of the Apostles. (See this post for more). Karen presented a picture of the mainline church as a large cruise ship – one that has many decks and is takes a long time to turn. The picture of emerging congregations was that of speed boats that are lowered from the side of the cruise ship to take off into unknown territory and be scouts for the future that are still connected with the mother ship. There is great importance in a true dialogue with listening on both sides between denominational officials and both the individuals and communities involved in the emerging movement.