Emergent is a growing generative friendship among missional Christian leaders. (Read more from the source here.)
Today's topic is the word "generative." This is what emergentvillage has to say:
The growing friendship that constitutes emergent is more than a matter of valuable interpersonal relationships. This friendship is intended to be generative: to generate new thinking, new art, new dreams, new conversations, new discoveries, new action – in many places and forms, among many people inside of emergent and beyond.
Well, well! I could have saved some time yesterday if I had read ahead a little bit! This desire to be generative is something I really value about Emergent. Does this mean people will be criticized if they're not doing something new all the time? I hope not. None of us want that. We do live in a culture of change, however, and should probably expect change to be more a part of our lives.
There are many who want to plant new churches and start new services in order to reach out to "postmoderns." This is not, from my experience, what Emergent is all about. The people who are a part of what we might call "emerging churches" are simply trying to express who they are in Christ. They are postmodern and they are living that out in everything they do, including in their churches.
I suspect some Emergent fellows may resist being labelled postmodern for various reasons, but this is what they are in my estimation. One must keep in mind, however, that postmodernism is a complex phenomenon (I struggled to figure out what word to use there). Too many people either oversimplify it or just dismiss it as a fad.
Getting back to the statement above, this is the kind of fellowship that I hope will prove to be very valuable to me. To have friends who push you to change, to grow, to think new thoughts and do new things for the glory of God—that would truly be a worthwhile fellowship to be a part of.
Update: Tony Jones has posted some thoughts on postmodernism today over at theoblogy. Check it out.
Better yet: Read Brian McLaren's article here. It includes a description of what he calls "emerging postmodernism."