Thursday, March 23, 2006

Emerging Church In Postmodern Context & Clergy

Garth from emergingBlub emailed me a very interesting link to The Krow's site about "The Fallacy of Ordination" , which talks about the origin of the term 'clergy' & 'pastor'. According to these people, the origin of 'clergy' came from 3rd and 4th century Roman influences, rather than Paul's understanding.

I am doing an essay on emerging church (EC) in a postmodern context based on Paul's examples about the establishment and growth of new faith communities, so this is quite relevant. The EC (which is often without 'clergy') may well be more closely aligned with Paul's teaching than the current models of church institution. Wow that is really a challenging thought to me personally! I will need to chew on it and do more research on it.

If you have any ideas on EC, postmodern context, Paul's examples, clergy etc, I would be very interested in hearing them. Please send me a comment on your opinions.


Yadah said...

Hi Kitty . . . I've found several sites that might give you some interesting info.

just a few to check out

Kitty Cheng said...

Thanks for these links Yadah. Will check them out :)

The Krow said...


I'm glad you found the article and some of my thoughts on my blog. I look forward to reading what you write about clergy. please contact me when you've got this written.
It's interesting to note how the EC is taking a look at various things and willfully calling traditions into question to find the truth in them. It's weird to me someone studying to do pastoral work that the true idea of a pastor is not actually Biblical. In this we can't say that God has not accepted it and used our human created position or for that fact instituion (the church as we have seen it) to affect the world.

Yadah said...

I found another interesting blog about the emerging church movement.

You might think I'm obsessed by this stuff, but I have been looking at this for quite awhile. I have several different blogs on my roll that write from that perspective. I'll see if I can gather them up and put there here for you to catch. You might already look at them - not sure.

Blessings on your day!

Sivin Kit said...

as some one who is "ordained" in the Lutheran church I'd be interested to see your research :-)

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

A couple of weeks ago on my main blog, I poste a passage from J.N. Darby on clericalism. It was taken from a paper entitled 'The Notion of a Clergyman Dispensationally the Sin against the Holy Ghost'.

It should be in my March archive.

J.N. Darby's ecclesiology is the subject of my thesis.

Every Blessing in Christ


Mark D said...

I had never heard of the emerging church until I started blogging last November. I still am in the dark, but I have the following general observations:

Good things:
1) Challenging traditions of men that end up alienating people who need a church home. 2) Fostering a place that promotes open arms rather than judging eyes or backbiting tongues.

Bad things:
1) Catering to current "fads" in order to attract people...when the fads die out, it will end up looking stupid. 2) Compromising the Word of God in the effort to make its message "relative."

Garth said...

Small world Kitty. I was thrilled to see The Krow comment here and find his post useful. He writes some great stuff.

Hey Mark ...there's a great deal to unfold for emergents yet. I would beg to differ on your 'bad things' because the EC doesn't attract, by definition, modernist churches use attractional models. The Ec says rather than have them come to us....let's go to them...and while we're there lets reinterpret how we've done our faith in this new context!

I would suspect if you have seen attractional models, then you may have seen a modernist church attempting to be 'relevant' and even trying to interpret an EC style into their programs. Certainly their are some 'hip cafe' church services that are just modernist experiments with being relevant. While I have no problem with this...its not EC either. All the best with your endeavours mate.

Mark D said...

Hi Garth,

Thank you VERY much for your insight. It does explain more about EC and helps differentiate between those churches and what I described. By my own admission in my first post, I am still very much in the dark on this, but you helped shed some light on it...thanks!!

Garth said...

Cool Mark...I'm keen to check up on your site and see what your up to .

Kitty, you might want to check out my recent post on tithing and the EC. I think the 'collection' in the emerging church may better reflect Pauls intentions as it doesn't follow the tithing principle still alive and well in current churches.

Godwyn Lim said...

Dear Sister Kitty,

I do not know much but I pray for your essay, surely it will be good as led by the spirit!

Have a good week ahead! God Bless!

Kitty Cheng said...

The Krow,
I did find the article and some of your thoughts very challening and interesting. I will keep reading your blog for sure. Am doing more research on the topic, and will let you know once I've formed some informed opinions about clergy and EC etc.

Kitty Cheng said...

Yadah, I don't think you are obsessed by this stuff at all, I admire your commitment and interest in this area. Will certainly get out your roll and appreciate your perspectives and ideas. Surely will learn a lot from you. Thank you!

Kitty Cheng said...

Hi Sivin, good to hear from you again. It's been a while since we chatted hey?

So as a clergy "ordained" in the Lutheran church what have you found out about the biblical ideas on being a pastor. I'd be interested to know your perspectives too.

Kitty Cheng said...


I will check out your post and the subject of your thesis about J. N. Darby's ecclesiology sounds really interesting.

Kitty Cheng said...

Mark, I myself also only started to learn about EC since I started at Bible College 3 years ago, and when I joined LivingRoom. So there are still heaps to learn about it.

Kitty Cheng said...

Garth, your insights and expertise in EC are very much appreciated.

Kitty Cheng said...

Thanks Godwyn for your kind support. May this essay not only be an assignment that I need to do for acedemic study, but that something of value in God's Kingdom will be emerged from it. My desire is to glorify God in all that I do. Would appreciate your continual prayers brother.

The Krow said...

Garth thanks for the props. I as well enjoy your insight into the body of Christ from a EC perspective.


Blessings to you as you seek to uncover more on the pastoral role within the church.

As I continue to look through scripture and search for this apointed role in the body of Christ I still come up blank. The closest example of a "modern" pastoral role I can find is that of the leaders of the synagogues. *a.k.a. the Pharasee* My conclusion thus far has been in accordance with teh article I found on the pastoral role that it is a human institution, not of God as we have been taught it is... however God can use our fallacy for his glory which he has for centuries. All praise to God for this. But in a changing, morphing world it is important to look at how pastoral leadership affects the church, as well I think leadership in general in the body of Christ is important to look at. Maybe taking emphasis off the pastor as a CEO is a place to start and turning back to Jesus the true head of the church.
I look forward to your research and thesis. It's great to see others willing to challenge the current models in place. Somehow I fear people seeing it as a deconstruction of church as we post-modernists would be expected to do (down with heirachy and leadership, question authority)... but I believe that more so it is important to look into the traditions in the body of Christ and learn about them, and from them.
The EC has been refered to as an ancient future movement, so look to the ancient and let's see how we can shape the future :)

Kitty Cheng said...

WOW "the krow" - you are the one who's so insightful and your posts and comments very encouraging. Thanks for recommending me to your readers. I appreciate it heaps! :)

Garth said...

I agree with you Kitty that the Krow has put it very well. Let's not let this post get archived hey! I think its important that we take a hard look at our structures and institutions in the light of the early church and how that's best applied to our times.

If we were to pull it all apart (yes deconstructionist) and put it all back together again piece by piece, questioning the validity of each piece ...what would we end up with?

Kitty Cheng said...

Garth, the concept of 'deconstructionist' is relatively new to me, although more and more I think it's important to have a hard look at it.

The Krow said...


How goes the research? Have you come to any conclusions yet. I'm still looking forward to what information you can download to us. I find the more I enter into researching the pastoral role the more I am encouraged that others are seeking too.

Kitty Cheng said...

The Krow, thanks for your interest in my research. I have been quite swamped with my work and ministries etc...and haven't had much time reading lately. Will get on with it soon :) How have you been?

Little Black Rabbit said...

We are discussing the definition of EC, can you help us to understand more?

Kitty Cheng said...

Hi Little Black Rabbit, nice to 'meet' you. I am also exploring and learning about EC myself, but would love to go to your website and join in your discussion.