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Switch to Forum Live View Emergent Christianity and Swedenborgian Thought
8 years ago  ::  Nov 30, 2010 - 11:46AM #1
Posts: 43

Emergent Christianity is a fascinating movement occurring in  Christendom.  The name grows out of the belief that a re-focusing on the  core of the Christian message is “emerging.”  This emergence is not marked  by sectarian or doctrinal divides but by a deep agreement on what  matters most.  Swedenborgian thought clearly saw this as key to  Christianity as well as well as other denominations: “The Lord’s Church  is not in this particular location or in that, but, it  resides wherever  people lead lives in keeping with the commandments.”

Listed below are several key components.  This movement is exceptionally well aligned with New Church theology.

Less Appeal of Biblical Literalism:  This trend  should be regarded as extremely favorable to the New Church.    Individuals moving from a literal-factual orientation to the Bible to an  orientation that is far more comfortable seeing the Bible as  historical-metaphorical. [1]

a.     In 1963, 65% of Americans reported believing in the literal letter of the Bible

b.     By 2001, only 21% reported the same.

Focus on here-and-now of service vs. then-and-there of salvation:  More Christians appear to be focused on the here-and-now of  transformative Christianity that calls them to a more hands-on  relationship with God and others vs. an individual approach focused  solely on Sunday church attendance and personal salvation.

a.     Don’t want body of belief but a way of salvation/ healing.    Not about set of propositions about ultimate reality but showing a way, a  life that fixes the problems that they see.  Therefore about “living  out” Christianity.

Christ as Model vs. Christ as Salvation:

a.     Christ as teacher, example, master and we are to be disciples.  Therefore imitate the example of Christ.

Increased interest in Spiritual Disciplines and Sacraments: In NCL this trend while anecdotal is very interesting.

a.     Large Interest in the broader culture around spiritual  disciplines Yoga, Meditation, the study of Buddhism, books like “The  Secret” etc…

b.     Clear interest in the sacraments of Marriage and Baptism

c.      Clear interest in the spiritual disciplines of Meditation and  the 12 Steps as measured by our two most successful small group  programs

As these concepts gain mainstream acceptance, it should be a fun decade ahead!

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4 years ago  ::  Feb 07, 2014 - 8:09AM #2
Posts: 3,687

Nov 30, 2010 -- 11:46AM, ceblair wrote:

Christ as Model vs. Christ as Salvation:

a.     Christ as teacher, example, master and we are to be disciples.  Therefore imitate the example of Christ.

I am not exceptionally hopeful about a "drift" to the New Church.

The "core capability" that the New Church offers to a curious public, is the idea of a Visible God.  At least in my humble opinion.  Christ Jesus is more than a model and teacher, when His presence becomes real.

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