I was up again at 4 this morning, reading and surfing, drinking way too much tea, refusing to shave or look good as a part of my Sunday morning ritual. I was reading “Aftershocks: the End of Style Culture”, (by Steve Beard) in the bathtub and I stumbled on his unpublished PhD dissertation fragment from 1991 on postmodernism.
In this fragment, Steve Beard mentions “emergent and residual social formations”.
That got me thinking – emergent church and residual church. Residual is a more value-free term than “traditional” or “mainstream” (words we apply to existing church rather than emerging).
Residual Church: The existing church that remains, that has existed and functioned previously and the impact of which still remains. The early church in the Book of Acts (emerging at the time) was influenced by the synagogue structure, secular assemblies (ecclesia) and Temple culture. Emerging Church today is paritally inherited from Residual Church and Residual Church is challenged and impacted by Emerging Church.
Both are cool. New and Old Wineskins have their place and appeal to different demographics. Both are needed. The Residual Church of our fathers and the Emerging Church of our children.
What kind of church will you go to today?