South Africa: new emerging church hotspot, or are we just behind the times?

August 7, 2008

Sorry for the long title. I just got this on Andrew Jones’ blog. See the pretty picture:

Searches for the Emerging Church

Searches for the Emerging Church

Google Insights. OK, so basically what it does, is Google showing you what the consertration of searches on a spesific term is in a specific geographical area. And South Africa has the highest concentration of searches on “emerging church”. What should we make of this? Maybe South Africa is the new emerging church hotspot, but is that a good thing? Why would this be? South Africans extremely disillusioned about church? I’ve been thinking about how frantically the Dutch Reformed Church is grabbing onto the emerging idea, almost as if we are grappling for anything just to find something to stand on again after our bad history.

Or maybe we are just behind the times. Maybe we are just now getting onto the emerging wave.

What do you think? Should we read anything into these statistics? And if, what?

9 Responses to “South Africa: new emerging church hotspot, or are we just behind the times?”

  1. ripplegirl Says:

    I think everyone is just trying to find out what in the world the emerging church is. I have googled ’emerging church’ and for someone with no theological background it helped me none at all. Seems just like every other church to me. My concern is that the emerging church is like Rob Bell’s church… so that is what my search was about.

  2. cobus Says:

    Although some would consider Bell part of emerging, he doesn’t use the description on himself.

  3. ripplegirl Says:

    Well to me (again totally uneducated in theology, so my layman’s perspective) the emerging church is represented by books like Blue like Jazz, Sex God, Velvet Elvis and The Shack. It’s basically ‘let’s redefine God so it makes us feel good’ or have I totally missed the plot of the emerging church?

  4. cobus Says:

    mmm, no that wouldn’t really go down. None of these writers wrote with the emerging label explicitly on them.
    If you’d like to look into the emerging church, then the most important book is probably Emerging Churches: Creating Christian Community in Postmodern Cultures. Second I would say is the two books by Dan Kimball, The Emerging Church: Vintage Christianity for New Generations, and Tony Jones, ; haven’t read Kimball’s book yet, but have been following his blog for a while. Then, going back in history a bit, Brian Mclaren’s A New Kind of Christian: A Tale of Two Friends on a Spiritual Journey was responsible for a large part of the current energy in emerging. That story put into words what many Christians was feeling.

    For a good summary you can read this article by Scot Mcknight (himself not really part of the emerging church, but a definite friend) in ChristianityToday.

    And feel free to ask. Many misconceptions exist regarding the emerging church. You would find those of us who identify more than willing to take the time to share our thoughts with those interested.

  5. cobus Says:

    Sorry about the Tony Jones link. His book is entitled: The New Christians: Dispatches from the Emergent Frontier.

    Again, please ask!

  6. ripplegirl Says:

    This is great stuff, thanks, I’ll look it over:)

  7. cobus Says:

    pleasure. Hope to hear from you again.

  8. Roger Saner Says:

    Nah, we’re just behind the times…!

  9. Cobus Says:

    that’s what I thought:-)


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