Theories of Emergence | Intersections With the Church

Tony Jones has been dialoguing with an emergence theorist, Dr. Philip Clayton, at Jones' blog - The New Christians. I believe that the theories of emergent biology Clayton references are exactly why folks like Brian McLaren began using "Emergent" in the first place. It's fantastic to hear some of those dots connected from a scientific perspective, though. If all the emerging church does is re-brand its evangelical language to match the vocabulary of cutting edge science, then nothing has really changed. We're 6-day literalists trying to appeal to a scholarly crowd.

BUT if - as Clayton suggests - there really are theological ramifications for a new approach to understanding biological/ecological systems, then it doesn't just make our language more "relevant" - IT CHANGES EVERYTHING!

Click here for more dialogue between Jones and Dr. Clayton. Really fun stuff!


Tripp said...

glad you are enjoying this conversation.

Elaine Jones Hansen said...

This is great! It is another confirmation for me of what I have been feeling...that something big has shifted and our brains, systems, processes, governments haven't caught up with it - but something has shifted in enough "brains" to begin to make a difference - maybe a "tipping point" kind of thing. (the election of Obama was an outward sign that this has happened.)

Organization developers Meg Wheatley and Christina Baldwin talk about how we are at a hinge point in humanity...that is why all this chaos, economic crisis, etc. is happening. They spoke of this as an Emerging time...that something new is being born. (I think Christina said this happens about every 2000 years or so.)

Last weekend, I heard Phyllis Tickle talk about this being a hinge point in Christianity - calling this The Great Emergence. Phyllis tied this to 500 year cycles. Read her book for a better explanation. (The Great Reformatin, the Great Schism,...)

It makes me feel less crazy to think smarter people than me are noticing this too.

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