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Kary Oberbrunner Writes on Emerging Trends

Feb 13, 2007

Kary Oberbrunner, from the pastoral staff of the Powell, Ohio, Grace Brethren Church, and one of BMH Books’ most recently-published authors, was published in a recent edition of Ministry Today magazine. To read his entire article on practices of the Emergent Church, click here. Here is a brief excerpt:

Doorways to Deception?

By Kary Oberbrunner

From labyrinths and meditation to prayerwalks and yoga—a postmodern preacher examines the pros and cons of alternative spirituality.

To put it simply, I’ve decided my favorite colors are black and white. I prefer it when issues are clear, easy and not confusing. For many evangelical churches, there’s a whole lot of gray when it comes to conversing about emerging ministry trends that many feel knock on the door of New Age ideology.

For instance, Minneapolis pastor Doug Pagitt’s book Reimagining Spiritual Formation showcases a few of these trends, including yoga, energy workers, massage therapy and gifts of intuition and premonition.

Evangelicalism is becoming less and less your grandmother’s faith characterized by hymnals, potlucks and Wednesday-night prayer meetings. In light of these new “worship” expressions exploding in popularity, what’s a church leader to do? Discern or consume? Boycott or bless? Accept or reject?

Obviously, for many it’s a mixed bag, hence the controversy. However, I’ve noticed that not all leaders are blindly accepting or rejecting. Some seem to be dissecting, interacting with Scripture, reflecting and then taking a stand. This is not only a novel concept, but also the fulfillment of the great command to love the Lord our God with our hearts, souls and minds.

Here’s a glimpse of the controversy surrounding three of the most common expressions.