In a longish but worthwhile post about the German church Carl Raschke makes this observation about post-modern/emerging churches in the US:
“But the result of this anti-authoritarian and anti-fundamentalist revolution, or ‘reformation,’ even in the churches, was a pure rootless and largely contentless subjectivity that could be sustained only by endless variations (including ‘spiritual’ versions) of the old Romantic idea of limitless freedom and the inexhaustible possibilities of ‘personal liberation’ and lifestyle choices, which back in the 1980s were dubbed ‘New Age;’ American postmodern Christianity, while it seeks nowadays to be ‘socially engaged’ and ’missional-minded’ in current parlance, has always been a form of ‘me-Christianity,’ a sophisticated Christian-tinted personal experientialism.
That is not to say the old evangelism was not that much different. ‘Seeker-sensitive’ megachurches followed the same pattern with a different appeal to a different generation. But if the ‘missional turn’ in American postmodern Christianity is ever really going to happen in substance more than in rhetoric, there will have to be a serious prophetic challenge to the kind of cultural DNA church structures in this country that forever configure the Gospel as a form of personal self-enrichment, not so much in terms of wealth but in terms of distinctive Christian cultural or intellectual ‘experiences.’”
It explains a lot, doesn’t it? One of the things that leapt to my mind was the way in which the Team Pyro gang likes to depict emergent Christians as being arrogant, crass, unwilling to listen, uncivil, and certain that everyone else is wrong. They do this through a series of mocking parodies of “motivation” posters that ridicule emergents as body-piercing relativists who just make things up and are unserious about theology. I’ll let the irony sink in.