Last week Mark and I got to spend some time with Mike Lewis who is pastoring a new church here in Birmingham, Fellowship of the Valley.
Mike made some comparisons between the emergent stuff happening today and the Jesus movement of the 60's and 70's. One big difference he observes is the solid base of theological reflection that is going on in the current re-imagining of church, which was often lacking in the Jesus movement.
I also think that the current ties to ancient liturgies and the creeds helps keep us from simply going off into some jelly-bean and fluff kind of spirituality. The contemporary church movement which wants to make the Christian experience so relevant seems to me to want to be relevant in the wrong ways.
My missions training makes me desire relevance - but being relevant to the culture's desire for everything to be pre-packaged and microwavable (just for example) won't be the right type of relevance. Making following Jesus a self-indulgent experience for a self-indulgent culture is the problem.
We need to talk about the real areas for relevance . . .