There is no such thing as “emerging” community. There is either a coming together of persons into a viable community, or not.
There is no such thing as “emerging” authenticity. We are either truly who we are before God and others, or we’re not.
There is no such thng as “emerging” spirituality. We either engage in practices which connect us to God, or we don’t.
The “Emerging Church” is a descriptor that doesn’t create a new category. This isn’t a “new” type of church. Rather it’s a descriptor that reflects a desire to be faithful in a particular way. It describes a desire to be authentic in ways that the American church hasn’t always affirmed. It describes a desire for the beloved community that has sometimes seemed missing. It describes a willingness to open ourselves to new practices and revelatons from our creator.
The danger as we talk about the “Emerging Church” is that we create a new category which denigrates other expressions of faith. God works through both Bill Gaither and David Crowder. God speaks through expository preaching and narrative storytelling. If the scriptures tell us anything, they should remind us that this creator of ours is a God who transcends all our categories and busts them apart. Just when we think we’ve got God figured out, this creator moves in a new way, and we again find ourselves like Jonah on the outskirts of Nineveh, bewildered at God’s amazing and audacious expressions of love.