Perriman on Emerging Church

The evangelical mind has become a closed loop. It has evolved into a ‘Second Life’, a vivid, exotic alternative reality, with its own intrinsic plausibility and coherence but only an approximate and in many respects spurious relationship to the real world. The emerging church, therefore, stands for a deconstruction of this alternative virtual reality and a wholesale rethinking of the reasons for asserting a Christian identity in the world.

Andrew Perriman, What does the Emerging Church Stand For? P.OST



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.


  • Alan Cross says:

    Good critique. I love the “second life” analogy. Really got me thinking. But, I wonder if conservative theology has within it the seeds of its own renewal? Is Perriman saying that you must become Emerging to get out of the closed loop? I would disagree. I think that Conservative, Evangelical theology, if actually lived out in all its implications brings us out of the loop and interfaces with the world directly. Every thought system has the ability to push us into the corners if we don’t continually allow for renewal.

  • PaulDz says:

    I do see some people in a closed loop isolated from the world around them. But evangelicals as a global community are far from being in a closed loop. In the West, and particularly in the US it seems to be the case. Is emerging simply recovering what was lost?
    I do like Perriman’s Parragrraph nine, “The emerging church stands for a renewal of discipleship” where he says, “The emerging church stands for a renewal of discipleship, an activism in the name of Jesus, a preference for practical and missional expressions of faith over self-absorbed theologizing and the fussy oversight of personal beliefs. Although the lively pragmatism of the movement can easily lead to theological muddle and incoherence and a lack of clarity with regard to moral and spiritual boundaries, the emphasis on discipleship provides an important means of anchoring our more inclusive forms of community in an authentic biblical identity.”

  • Robert says:

    Simply more quasi-philosophical hubris from a movement that is rapidly going the way of the buffalo.
    The over-realized self-importance of the emerging movement is akin to my five year old believing he knows everything there is about the world and that he is clearly the cener of it all. At some point he will mature out of it, I have less hope for the emerging group.
    You can use all the disjunctive, pop-academic language (usually by attaching “post” to everything or attempting to use deconstructive language ala Derrida) you want but the sad truth remains that the emerging group has yet to offer a realistic alternative (well other than sliding back to the reductionistic modernism of the early 20th century) to a context that needs this voice.

  • Andrew says:

    Thanks Robert. Why not leave a link to your church website so that we can see how a ministry in today’s world should be done?

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