So, there are around 400 here at the conference (my guess). Phyllis Tickle just gave a great introduction to the whole framework. She built the case for 500 year cycles, as I list them below:
The Great Emergence (present)
The Great Reformation (1517)
The Great Schism (1000ish)
The Great Decline (450-500)
The Great Transformation (Acts)
Judges to Kings
The ultimate question for all of these great cycles is Authority. From where do we get our authority? In the Reformation, with Sola Scriptura, Luther answered the question of authority by exchanging a flesh and blood pope for a paper one. Biblical authority requires interpretation, which causes division. Now there are over 27,000 distinctly differing protestant denominations in the US alone (registered with the IRS). Where will the Emerging Church find its authority? We must answer this question.
In the early church, there were two centers: Jerusalem and Antioch. Jerusalem was established. Antioch was a fresh expression. Jerusalem was quite worried about Antioch. Jerusalem had many questions about Antioch. Ultimately, Jerusalem didn't grow, but God's Kingdom did grow. So we are not here to save the existing established church. We are participating in this Great Emergence to serve God's Kingdom and see it grow.
More updates later...
Minister of Music & Adult Ministry
Our Place Christian Church
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