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Religions 2012, 3(3), 862-879; doi:10.3390/rel3030862

Emerging Churches in Post-Christian Canada

McMaster Divinity College, McMaster University, 1280 Main St. West, Hamilton, ON L8S 4K1, Canada
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Received: 2 July 2012 / Revised: 1 September 2012 / Accepted: 4 September 2012 / Published: 13 September 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progressive Evangelicalism)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [230 KB, 14 September 2012; original version 13 September 2012]

Abstract

The traditional mainline and evangelical churches in Canada, as in most western countries, are either in decline or static. Taken as a measure of the future, the prospects for Christianity in Canada, and more broadly the West, are bleak. Post-Christian Canada, however, contains thriving alternative and innovative forms of church, often called ‘emerging’ churches. They take many forms of expression, but share common theological convictions. Based on site research and personal interviews, this article describes the various types and contexts of these churches in Canada. It then highlights three of their central theological characteristics. First, rejecting the ‘culture wars’ social involvement of Christendom churches, they embrace practices and initiatives that transform their local communities. Second, they embrace an incarnational and contextual understanding of Christian life and ministry. Eschewing mega-church franchise models, they endeavor to shape their ministry to the their local communities. Third, they adopt a comprehensive rather than compartmental spirituality.
Keywords: emerging church; evangelicalism; secularization; Canadian Christianity emerging church; evangelicalism; secularization; Canadian Christianity
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Studebaker, S.; Beach, L. Emerging Churches in Post-Christian Canada. Religions 2012, 3, 862-879.

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