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Blog // Thoughts
July 3, 2005

The Emerging Trend For 2005-06

OK, let’s put our futurist hats on; what will be the big trend for the emerging and alternative church for the coming year? My guess is that there will be a theological scramble; with a number of players will competing to be seen as the “official theology of emergent.” This won’t just be individuals jostling […]

OK, let’s put our futurist hats on; what will be the big trend for the emerging and alternative church for the coming year?

My guess is that there will be a theological scramble; with a number of players will competing to be seen as the “official theology of emergent.” This won’t just be individuals jostling to be seen as ‘key opinion leaders’ but also I suspect we will see thelogical “brands” emerging as well (or maybe existing brands being repackaged and relaunched). At present the e/a-church does not really have a default theology, which creates an interesting situation (and an openess to criticism). However, that the e/a-church does represent a growth market in the kinds of publishing and speaking opportunities that young theologians need cement their careers (and maybe older theologians need to concretise their power and influence).

That’s not to say that nothing good will come of this scramble. On the contrary, we may well find some new voices, some fresh ideas and some exciting reformulations (at least I hope so). But we will also encounter a lot of tired old ideas being wheeled out and a number of proposals that will warrant cynicism.

My hope is that people in the e/a-church will not latch on to quickly to the new theological brands (I have a wild theory that theological systems being a lot like dark magics in the buffy/angel-universe). But I guess my big hope is that whatever theologies take precendce in the e/a-church (and lets barrack for a plurality) that they will be embodied theologies whose priorities are driven by mission and lived encouter with culture. Real, sinewy, tactile theologies that look and smell and taste of a place; resident theologies as rich, diverse, cosmopolitan and mutlicutlural as the expressions of faith they seek to explain and expound.

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