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  Hope for the Emergent Church
Brian D. McLaren

"I was a freshman in college when John Stott, Billy Graham, Rene Padilla, and others convened a group of Christian leaders from around the world to compose and affirm a document known as the Lausanne Covenant. I remember feeling a certain thrill that there was section of the document called 'Christian Social Responsibility.' Now, twenty-five years later, it's depressing to see how little effect that document has had on the sectors of the Christian community to which it was addresses. ... Perhaps momentum for change has been quietly building all these yars, and now the time has come for a global, Christ-entered, cross-confessional, justice-oriented spiritual/social movement to be born. 

My path to this moment came through getting involved with what is now referred to in the U.S. as 'the emergent conversation.' ... We were a little bank of lonely misfits on the fringes of the American evangelical world, glad to know that we weren't completely along. As that point, we had little to say about matters of justice. Mostly we were preoccupied with the priorities of the 'church growth movement' of the 1990s. ...

Many of us are coming together to say, The Christian faith isn't all about getting to heaven. It isn't all about the church. It isn't all about the individual spiritual life or 'persona relationship with God.' It is about all of these things, but they aren't the whole point, or even the main point. The main point is God's saving love for creation, God's faithfulness to all of creation, God's ongoing mission of healing a world torn by human injustice so that it can fulfill God's original dream. It is about God's kingdom coming to earth, and it about God's will being done on earth as it is in heaven."

McLaren is a leader in the Emergent church movement. "Introdution: A Conversation about Justice" in The Justice Project edited by Brian McLaren, Elisa Padilla and Ashley Seeber, Baker Books, 2009, 14, 18.

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