There is an upcoming conference that will discuss “Big Tent Christianity.” In the 1980’s and 1990’s everyone loved boxes. People fit themselves into boxes and they fit others into boxes. Now there is a feeling of lots of lines crossed and that there can be a big tent religion again like in the1950’s. Lines between denominations are more fluid. In addition, mystic and rationalist, social activist, and those who want a return to the medieval or are more vision centered than denominational now feel they dont like the institutional boundaries. If there was a Conference on “Big Tent Judaism,” would people come? probably
Who would speak? Not those who are branded by a specific slice of the pie. Who is cross denominational? The Left side of Orthodoxy is clearly labeled as narrow and denominational. Who are the boundary crossers? How many are Rabbis? How many Academics? How many psychologists or journalists?
Limmud -NY attracts pluralists of all denominations – How would a big tent conference be different? Is there interest in creating a big tent and taking down walls? Or will Jews be against it and will only do it 4-5 years after the Evangelicals, Catholics, and Mainliners change? So is this the jewish trend for a decade from now?
Apparently, the next big thing on the agenda for some in the movement is a conference that will be held in Raleigh, NC on September 8-9, 2010, called “Big Tent Christianity.”
There’s a new ethos emerging. It’s a Christian identity that hasn’t fully discovered itself yet, but knows it doesn’t fit in a lot of the standard categories…
…What happens if you’re a fundamentalist who starts asking questions, or an Evangelical who is tired of having to defend yourself from a fractious right flank, or a mainliner who dreams of a faith that is more mission-driven than institution-bound, or a Catholic who has more affinity with St. Francis and Mother Teresa than Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly, or an Eastern Orthodox who wants to share their ancient treasures and receive gifts from other newer traditions too?
I think some folks – not all, of course – who know they don’t fit in with these established spaces are seeking a more expansive and open space – to think and dream together, pray and worship together, serve and reach out together. The “big tent” image works beautifully for this because it evokes both the American revivalist phenomenon of the Pentecostal tent meeting and the more “liberal” sense of hospitality and welcome.
Is Emerging moving toward a “new ecumenical movement”? Is that the next step? And how “Big” is this “Big Tent”?
full version here
In the same entry- there is a question- What is happening to the emergent Christians who broke from the Evangelicals? Answer- some are becoming liberal, others are returning to their Orthodox base, and some are actually still trying for new expansive visions.
“Some emerging Christians will become mainline liberals (or progressives as many prefer to be called now), some will retreat a bit by assuming their old seats in evangelical churches, and others will continue to impact the evangelical movement in a missional or expansive, robust gospel direction.”