I blogged elsewhere about the latest issue of Leadership Journal, which is one of the better ones in recent memory. Two statements stood out relating to the emerging church, which I found pretty much right on:
Dieter Zander: The emerging church is really saying that the kingdom of God is bigger than the evangelical Christian world. Sometimes that is communicated in constructive ways, sometimes not. But I believe they have a healthy desire to bring together what was separated during the Modernist-Fundamentalist split…They want to reunite social justice and Scripture – the inner spiritual life and the outer social life. That is spiritual formation – allowing the gospel to transform us internally so we live differently externally.
Dallas Willard: They have a justifiable and healthy reaction against the model of programmatic church, and I think that it’s good in many respects. I hope and pray that they find their way and bring us something really positive and good. That remains to be seen. The great challenge for the emerging church is determining their message. Reacting against the modern church is not a gospel. But if their message becomes living in the kingdom at the street level, then that’s going to be wonderful.
I don’t know if I’ve read a more concise summary of what drives the emerging church, what it can offer, and what work still needs to be done.