Christianity Today: Emergent's New Christians and the Young and Restless Reformed
A new movement is attracting a younger generation of Christians, shaking up institutions, denominations, and churches along the way. Not everyone in the movement is attracted to it for the same reasons, but they gather at conferences and online to share thoughts, debate, and learn from the elder statesmen of the group. Now a new book attempts to explain, sympathetically, what's really going on.
Actually, it's two books, and two movements.
Collin Hansen's Young, Restless, Reformed started as a September 2006 Christianity Today article. Now editor-at-large for Christianity Today, Hansen has examined why many young Christians are drawn to Calvinism, whom these new Calvinists are listening to, and what they're passionate about.
Hansen's book begins with a note comparing the relative obscurity of the new Calvinism and the prominence of the emerging church. Among his interviewees was Tony Jones, national coordinator of Emergent Village, and author of the new book The New Christians: Dispatches from the Emergent Frontier.
Jones is the author of several previous books, but The New Christians is more journalistic in its approach, describing the origins of the emerging church, why it's growing, and how it's changing.
The books and movements share a number of themes: reaction against entertainment-driven church life, desire for transcendence, rediscovery of tradition, and a need to answer common misconceptions about the movements. Christianity Today invited Hansen and Jones to read each other's books and discuss how the rise of one movement might illuminate aspects of the rise of the other. Are both movements scratching the same itch? Are there internal tensions in one movement that also appear in the other?
The conversation will continue over several days. ...