I have been following the Emergent conversation for a couple of years now. To be quite honest I initially thought it was simply a bunch of white dudes seeking to make fundamentalist forms of Evangelical Christianity more appealing to a younger generation. But after reading and dialoging with some of the good people participating in this Emergent conversation I have learned that the wells are very deep here. I was also taken by the hospitality that is typically displayed by those that are serious about having this conversation. As one coming from the prophetic Black church tradition I realize that there are some family resemblances between my particular tradition and what many in the Emergent conversation are attempting to bring to the table of North American Christianity and in American Evangelicalism in particular.
1. That the gospel calls us to a much more broader concern than personal salvation. The gospel calls us to concern for issues in society.
2. That the church is God’s vehicle to witness to God’s justice, mercy, and love in a fallen world not only in individual moral piety but in our alignment with causes and concerns for the marginalized, poor, and oppressed in society.
3. That the church has been called by God to model proper stewardship over God’s creation. Which means that Christians should be leaders in concern for care of the environment.
These issues and more I find to be family resemblances between the prophetic black church tradition and the Emergent conversation. There are some more that I will get into later.