Emergents=(really) old Methodists?

This story by David Reid from the United Methodist Reporter is getting some major run– “Reminiscent of our roots: Church experts liken emergent movement to early Methodism.”

Good stuff, plus it includes a bunch of quotes from good friend Taylor Burton-Edwards.

One of the critiques of the emergent church is that it really isn’t anything new at all. The hallmark practices of the emergent church are not dissimilar from other counter-cultural Christian movements.  Are emergents really that much different from Quakers, the activist Christians of the civil right’s movement or the Franciscans?  No, not really.

Add the early Methodists to that list.

Methodist societies forced people into direct contact with the poor, prisoners and the marginalized, and to do something about the situation. They were the driving force behind the abolition of slavery and child labor in Britain.

Wesley proved to be “absolutely horrible as a pastor,” said Mr. Burton-Edwards, but he was “a tremendous community organizer.”

What makes the emerging church exciting is not that its anything new but that its old!  The emerging church just gives us 21st century folks an opportunity to walk this ancient path in ways that could challenge and transform both the church and society.


One thought on “Emergents=(really) old Methodists?

  1. Pingback: Beyond the United Methodist Emergent-cy? Maybe a United Methodist Emergent insurgency? « The New Methodists

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