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Ordained Servant Online

A Journal for Church Officers

E-ISSN 1931-7115

The Emerging Church: What, Whence, Whither?

Ordained Servant Cover

February 2008

From the Editor. "What, Whence, Whither?" (1898) is the title of a famous painting by Eugène Henri Paul Gauguin. By idealizing Tahitian culture he sought to restore European painting through a primitive symbolism called post-Impressionism. In this issue we are concerned with a similar quest: that of post-Evangelicalism—better known as the emerging church. The Tahiti of this movement is ostensibly the ancient church, or something authentic like it. But I suspect that the emerging church is taking more of its cues from modern culture than any recognizable past. As we shall see, the dangerous omission of the Reformation and post-Reformation history and theology from the emerging conversation presages a church that will become hopelessly lost in the morass of modernity. So we are compelled to ask: Emerging from what? and Going where? We hope to convince emerging Christians that their postmodern questions are amply answered in the very tradition they seem to be avoiding.

Dale Van Dyke's review article of Rob Bell's Velvet Elvis provides a window into some central aspects of this danger. In my editorial I look more broadly at what moves the movement—providing a lens through which officers can view the terrain. Darryl Hart reviews a helpful new book on worship song.

Blessings in the Lamb,
Gregory Edward Reynolds

Ordained Servant exists to help encourage, inform, and equip church officers for faithful, effective, and God glorifying ministry in the visible church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Its primary audience is ministers, elders and deacons of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, as well as interested officers from other Presbyterian and Reformed churches. Through high quality editorials, articles, and book reviews we will endeavor to stimulate clear thinking and the consistent practice of historic Presbyterianism.

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