Charismania and Emergent Snobbery

Just when the Christian blogosphere was quietening down,

just when the EC critics were running out of things to say,

just when EC promoters were rehashing and remashing old posts,

just when the blog-dust was settling,

all of a sudden . . .

there came a man named John.

Mike Morrell joins the gazillions of others bloggers posting about John Crowder in what he calls his most ambitious blog post to date called Charismatic Chaos or (Holy) Spirited Deconstruction? in which he suggests there is a little “emergent snobbery”. You will find the post right under his incredibly long lists of tags including “glory realm” “sloshed in the spirt” and “gold dust”.

Also relevant: I just read the manuscript for Phyllis Tickles book ‘The Great Emergence’. FANTASTIC book! Comes out later this year. What’s interesting is that she ties the emerging church movement directly to the charismatic movement (as Luke Walker did in “Remembering Our Future”) and points to John Wimber as proto-emergent. Uhmmmm . . try squirming out of that one!

TSK: PostCharismatic? and New Charismatics

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Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.


  • Heidi Renee says:

    Love Phyllis & love Wimber – and so excited to hear/read the book. Thanks for pulling back the curtain!!
    I truly believe that an emerging pneumatology is crucial if we are to have a true reformation. And why I think I am so comfortable in our new home here in the Canadian Vineyard.

  • dan Wilt says:

    Beautiful and welcome links, Andrew. Indeed, a strong theology and praxis related to the Holy Spirit was vital in the nascent Church, and is vital now.
    Cheers to a fully-orbed faith, that transcends our smaller stories in both the church and the culture.

  • I know that some of these people like Todd Bentley overuse/misuse words like anointing and dynamic. But I can’t help think that John Crowder’s tongue is planted firmly in his cheek and I’m missing the point. He certainly is different.

  • Andrew … thanks for these links. I’ve posted a comment on Mike’s post – I feel like I’ve been down that road, so have some opinions on the matter!!

  • ok.. that had me laughing… and it’s nice to hear someone that has some of my concerns about the “snob” issue….. which i wouldn’t quite call it that… though if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck… it’s usually a duck…. unless it’s a dog with transference issues!
    I don’t think the dust should settle on this one Andrew… cuz at least from my spirit/head/heart space…. deconstruction of belief systems (not faith) is good and healthy… and hopefully it will transform into the reconstruction of Nehemiah’s Wall. Sword in one hand and mortar in the other. It’s hard to hold the sword and the mortar when someone is weighted down by all sorts of issues stuffed in their spiritual backpacks. And a big YES on the thoughts about Vineyard being part of the emergent- for all it’s sticky places and shadows…. it still was reaching outward to the marginalized.
    luv ya

  • As a Vineyard pastor who is also deeply embedded in the emerging church conversation (Resonate and it is my area of study academically) I see a lot of connections. I remember one comment that the Vineyard should be emerging, but it isn’t. The comment came from a pastor at one of our gatherings. I think the deal is that the roots (Wimber and Gullikson for sure) were extremely missional, so when Todd Hunter wrote “Where do we go from here” (appendix in Quest for the Radical Middle) it could be read as an emerging manifesto. But the movement attracted from all over the place (like the emerging conversation) and was adopted in varying degrees of fidelity to the missional core. I know in Ontario we have been working at trying to re-visit our theological roots, sorting through the mixed baggage of all the early adoptions and plants. I think there is a heart in what Wimber did that resonates with us, but unfortunately we, as a species, are great adaptors. So while there is a lot of flexibility in Wimber’s vision, it also allowed for lots of conserving forces – hence the Vineyard as a movement is not emerging. But some of us are, and I know that in Canada the emerging church is part of the regional discussions and I also know that there are many of us who have emerging and missional congregations. It’s an awesome time to be a practitioner.

  • andrew says:

    thanks frank. nice comment. and i should mention that Todd Hunter became a key player in our young leaders group with me and a dozen or so others in helping churches make this transition and thinking through future steps. Incredible guy!!!!!

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