Derek Melleby has a review of a seminar he is attending with Brian McLaren.
McLaren is saying that the church and the culture is in the midst of a paradigm shift much like that proceeding the protestant reformation. Two elements of this change in the church will bring the church to have two new defining characteristics.
The first is presenting the Gospel as "God loving the World" as opposed to God saving the individual soul (sound familiar). This ideas is the same as the diagram I presented here. The difference is that I believe it is not modernism that we are shaking off but Greek thinking. This Greek thinking entered the church as the church moved northern in the 3rd and 4th centuries. This Greek thinking found its pinnacle in modernism, but its roots are far deeper and need a deeper understanding to really be changed.
The second principle is the need for a monastic lifestyle. This Christianity as a lifestyle is the meaning of the term "Morally Beautiful Community". Both McLaren’s points are descriptions of the church as a community in the 21st Century. This view of the church becomes the emergent ecclesiology.
The church (evangelical. liberal, Reformed, Baptist, Catholic, etc) needs to come to realize that this is a no brainer. McLaren is biblically correct. This need for a return to a Hebraic understanding of both the Gospel and the church is an idea whose time has come.
This emerging paradigm is not about nuances of our views of atonement or philosophical ideas about sovereignty. No!! This whift is about the observable life of the church and our witness. It is time for all of us to simply bow down low and accept that the bible calls us to be the people who continue the story of the redeemed community. Our story must manifests in our corporate life the Moral Attributes and love of God. Having the right ideas simply will not work and never really did.
May we, in unity bless, the work of the Holy Spirit in our generation.