Over my holiday break I read Tony Jones, The Church is Flat: The Relational Ecclesiology of the Emerging Church Movement.

I will be blogging about this over the next few posts but want to start by laying some cards on the table to make it clear where I am coming from.

First, my doctoral studies are in Ecclesiology.  Second, I have used the work of Richard Osmer to teach Practical Theology.  I used Practical Theology: An Introduction while Jones’s thesis  uses The Teaching Ministry of Congregations.  Third the methodology in my thesis uses the work of Nicholas M. Healy as reflected in Church, World and the Christian Life, Jones uses an article by Healy and then adopts some of the terms.  My final comment is that last semester I completed a unit on Introduction to Educational Research.  This has been helpful to bring me up to speed with some of the latest methodologies in Social Science style research which are mentioned by Healy, Osmer and used by Jones.

Now I agree that Jones’s thesis is necessary and a useful one, it contributes to knowledge as all good doctoral theses do, it has good insights and good warnings to the Emerging Church movement but I am not comfortable with it.

The following posts will demonstrate where and why I am uncomfortable about what Tony has written and what further consideration I would like to see.