I'm very excited about Doug Pagitt's new book, Church in the Inventive Age. Listen to what he has to say about it:
In recent months I've been trying to put my finger on just where the Emerging Church movement really fits on the Conservative/evangelical to liberal/mainline spectrum. I've noticed that in many respects the Emerging church is both mainline and evangelical. They share many of the stylistic and aesthetic elements of the evangelical churches, but into that they seem to take with them a theology and message that is actually quite similar to that of the mainline churches. I've often noticed that in practice my own denomination (the UCC)--a mainline liberal denomination--shares many of the same values and theological perspectives as those of the emerging church folks I know and read (not without some important differences which are worthy of note). But if you were to put them in the same church service, though they might share appreciation for one another's style and aesthetic, there's definitely be differences. The consistencies and inconsistencies with both sides of the spectrum that the emerging church demonstrates makes it a very illusive entity when it comes to drawing clear distinctions and categorical definitions.
That's why I'm excited for Pagitt's new book. As a definite insider of the emergent movement, he seems to have noticed the same consistencies and inconsistencies that I have noticed, put some thought to it, and has now formulated something of a clarifying response. This book has the potential of being extremely helpful and even vital to the discussion surrounding the movement.
P.S. I think it's worth mentioning that this marks my 1,000th post on this blog. That's a bunch of words... feel like I should throw a party... but I won't.