I have this almost-irresistable urge to quote the whole letter, breaking it down into two chapters with numbered verses and subheadings for easy reference. Andrew Jones has written a letter to the emerging-missional church in North America, titled “what i would say to the young american emerging churches.” It mostly addresses the American situation, though he does clarify that he’s addressing the North American milieu. In a flurry of blogdom linkage, Andrew is being called an apostle to the emerging church, or “Andrew Jones: An Emerging â€œApostleâ€? and His American Epistle.
Two things result — placing the sideline issue first, is Andrew Jones legitimately an apostle to the emerging church? Though interesting, what’s telling here is not the fact that people are suddenly using such language, even tongue-in-cheek, in linking to his observations. What’s telling is that people are generally referring to his observations quickly and receiving them quite favorably. You can decide for yourself what that means.
Secondly, there’s the actual content of the letter. Uh, Andrew, what wouldn’t you say to the young american emerging churches? The themes he hits are noteworthy: those who have lost sight of the fundamental reasons to be part of the emerging church and how this reflects poorly on others; why critics are focused on the issues that don’t reflect emerging church concerns; the danger of ‘SuperApostles’ seeking to draw young converts from the emerging church into the “real” (traditional) church; a series of warnings and a push to the Scriptures and to Jesus. All good stuff.
Not to overstate things too much, if you’re attempting to follow the emerging church conversation in any detail, it’ll soon be assumed that you’ve read this epistle. There ought to be a few things in it to leave you thinking.