• Emerging Church, Invisible Gap

    陶恕牧師「受教的心」一書裡看到這樣一段話:
    在某些教會中,把青年人和老年人分開聚會的作法,令老年人和青年人在聚會地方碰頭時,竟面面相覷,彼此不能有生命裡的交通。
    回頭看看在SLP的經驗,的確如此。尤其是當青年禮拜由十樓搬下七樓專區後,問題似乎更為嚴重。

    尤其複雜的是,當青年開始走起敬拜讚美或靈恩路線時,往往會覺得枯燥乏味的台語禮拜是不屬靈的;年老的脂油竟無法點燃年輕的火熱,讓人一嘆。這些抱怨教會過於守舊顢頇的青年,有的去了別的教會(例如靈糧堂、真理堂、新店行道會、新生命小組教會),有的就脫離教會生活但卻堅稱自己才是耶穌基督的真門徒。

    我不知道近來在美國的Emerging Church Movement(新興教會運動,ECM)是否也源於類似的情境,不過在聽Scot McKnight,這位JESUS CREED部落格主持人、Emerging Church旗手訪談時,的確是有這樣的感覺。


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    在這個點簡短的訪談裡,Scot首先先談到自己的學術興趣與相關著作,然後就開始談起。簡單的說,對他而言,所謂的ECM就是有一群人開始尋找在「非教會(神聖)」的尋常處所(例如:咖啡店)傳講福音與小組聚會的可能,他們並且透過各種媒介的組合(例如:文字、音樂、繪畫、舞蹈、多媒體)讓人感受耶穌的教導;他們也對聖經進行新眼光(尤其是「文化式」)的詮釋。之所以採取這樣的作法,是因為他們想打破的就是「教會的封閉性格」--神聖場所、週日聚會--進而使聚會成為一種「每日都可進行」的日常生活。

    訪談中有一些有趣的問題:
    • Q:「該怎麼看ECM?是教會還是運動?關乎神學嗎?」
      A:「與教會無關,該視為一種(文化)運動,而且沒有涉入神學的討論。」

    • Q:「這跟鉅型教會(Mega Church)有何不同?」
      A:「相對而言,鉅型教會還是建立在主任牧師的傳講與個人魅力上,而ECM卻不是;而且,他們不會去追求『大』這件事。」

    • Q:「為什麼這不會在教會中發生時?」
      A:「你不覺得當代有很多人接受或相信耶穌,但是一聽到教會就必之唯恐不及嗎?上AMAZON查詢暢銷書籍,拿耶穌當關鍵字可以挖出一堆,但是教會卻一本都沒有。」
    而在訪談的最後,Scot則對「宗教和解與教會合一」這議題表示悲觀。他認為平信徒乃至牧者之間的交通是有可能的,但是層次越高,則「權力」問題會更為嚴重與明顯,這樣都會讓教會合一致礙難行,更不用提不同宗教之間的和解了。

    可想而知,ECM的出現對於主流教會必然造成一定的衝擊,而D.A.Carson就提出了三個值得繼續思考的問題:
    • First, the Emergent Church movement must be evaluated as to its reading of contemporary culture. Most of its pleas for reform are tightly tied to its understandings of postmodernism. The difficulty of the task (granted the plethora of approaches to postmodernism) cannot exempt us from making an attempt.

    • Second, as readers will have already observed from this short survey, the appeals to Scripture in the Emerging Church literature are generally of two kinds. On the one hand, some Emergent church leaders claim that changing times demand that fresh questions be asked of Scripture, and then fresh answers will be heard. What was an appropriate use of Scripture under modernism is no longer an appropriate use of Scripture under postmodernism. On this gentler reading of Evangelicalism’s history, traditional evangelicals are not accused of being deeply mistaken for their own times, but of being rather out of date now, not least in their handling of the Bible. On the other hand, the Emergent Church’s critique of modernism, and of the Evangelicalism that modernism has produced, is sometimes (not always) so bitter that Evangelicalism’s handling of Scripture can be mocked in stinging terms. This is not meant to imply that this is true of all emerging pastors.

    • Third, granted that the Emergent Church movement is driven by its perception of widespread cultural changes, its own proposals for the way ahead must be assessed for their biblical fidelity. In other words, we must not only try to evaluate the accuracy of the Emergent Church’s cultural analysis, but also the extent to which its proposals spring from, or can at least be squared with, the Scriptures. To put the matter differently: Is there at least some danger that what is being advocated is not so much a new kind of Christian in a new Emergent Church, but a church that is so submerging itself in the culture that it risks hopeless compromise?
    不過,印象中台灣應該還沒有出現ECM,倒是可以觀察像CHC這樣的教會如何在「開放與基要」之間建構一個宣教的策略,甚至還頗得青年人喜愛。當然,我們是不是同意這樣的宣教方式,那就是要另外討論的了。


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    6 comments:

    dannyboy said...

    豬小草:

    Scott McKnight在Christianity Today寫過一篇Five Strems of Emerging Church,不知為什麼沒有貼在他的部落格上
    http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2007/february/11.35.html

    你如果想要留這篇文章的話,趕快剪貼起來
    不然過一陣子,就只有網誌訂閱戶才能閱讀了:pp

    Emerging Church的宗師是Brian McLaren, 校園出了他的頭兩本著作"新品種基督徒"跟"教會大變身",在台灣沒什麼迴響

    目前在美國由John Piper颳起的"新改革宗"風潮也吹不起台灣這池春水.目前看來還是小組於靈恩主導的趨勢...

    豬小草 said...

    dannyboy:

    感謝報馬。經你這樣一提,我想起「新品種基督徒」剛出版時,我有略略看過這本書,但是沒有細讀,或許應該趁這機會找出來看看。

    至於為何當時沒有細讀?一方面是因為那時候還沒聽過Emerging Church這件事,二方面是因為我對教會談「後現代」的方法持保留態度。

    littleho said...

    我認為ECM在香港也並不受到留意的,ECM需要很多的條件,例如信徒的主動性、創意、靈活、以及一種不咁站在後面的心態。香港教會的文化仍以MegaChurch為模範,以跟「大佬」(即魅力領袖)為重心。ECM對建制和權力的顛覆,大概對好些大佬都是一種威脅。
    今日香港最有活力一群,或許與台灣一樣,是有靈恩背景的教會。或許ECM會最早出現在他們當中

    Houghton said...

    I like the way how Scot McKnight shared about the next generation, "I hope I could see a congregation at the grass root level actually creating alternative churches genuinely ecumenical based in gospel living."

    Missional Community...I like this idea.

    Anonymous said...

    Hello there,

    Brian McLaren is one of the leaders in the ECM. However he is one of those least accepted by the Evangelicals because he reckons the dead and resurrection of Jesus Christ is not the only way to salvation.

    However, please note that not all emerging churches are like the Emergent Village (founded by Brian McLaren). He is the far right of the various forms of emerging. There are other ECM writers such as Kimball, Gibbs, and Driscoll are more readable.

    This article is highly recommended if you are interested in finding out more about ECM.

    Driscoll, M 2006 ‘A pastoral perspective on the emerging church,’ in Criswell Theological Review, 3(2):87-93.

    Anonymous said...

    赞同以上的说法,并非所有 ECM 都如 Brian McLaren。Mark Driscoll 的路向会对圣经与神学抓得更紧(特别是for改革宗信念的)

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