I spent 31 hours in the state of Washington and got lost more times than I care to remember, but I did have the joy of sitting in on Emergence 2007 which is a conversation about the emerging church.
I'll admit that I was hoping for a bit more verbal sparring and maybe even a bit more passion at times. It occasionally felt like the moderator (who I completely can't recall a name for right now, but let's call her "radio lady") was completely taking the steam out of things. Come on, I paid good money (and traveled a good distance) and wouldn't mind a heated debate between Mark Driscoll and Doug Pagitt about the innerancy of Scripture. (Wow...I never thought I'd say something like that. I nearly bored myself to sleep writing an ordination paper on the subject of innerancy. I'm rambling...)
With all that said, this was a fascinating event to eavesdrop on. I wish I could summarize it into one blog post, but I have about 8 pages of my own notes (sheesh, when did I become such a nerd?). But I think anyone who has issues or questions about the emerging church should sit in on one of these.
I know a good deal of people with some serious baggage about the emerging church movement that should have sat in on this too so it could break down some of their misconceptions. Misconceptions that they probably share with a lot of other people who raise their eyebrows at the very mention of the word "emerging".
At the end of the day I'm convinced that these four people (Driscoll, Pagitt, Karen Ward & Dan Kimball) are just trying to figure out what it means to follow Jesus. Are they confused and off base on some stuff? No more than the rest of us. Let's be honest, who really has this whole Jesus following thing figured out?
Anyway...if you have the chance, pay your $49 and go sit in on one of these things.