McLaren’s CANA Initiative marks new era for Neo Emergents

McLarenRemember back in May when Emergent Guru Brian McLaren asked for financial support in huge amounts to build a new progressive organization that would carry the Emergent Movement into a new era?


That era is apparently here and converging in a new initiative called CANA Initiative, pulling together a Who’s Who list of known false teachers and wolves (Rob Bell, Doug Pagitt, Tony Jones, Phyllis Tickle, etc.), as well as fresh movers and shakers most people have never heard of until they appear in the months ahead at Emergent conferences. See them here.

Rob Bell, whose interview with Oprah Winfrey airs this weekend on her Super Soul Sunday program, is pushing his latest book, What we talk about when we talk about God. In it he has this to say about the Emerging movement that is re-emerging with a vengeance:

There’s a growing sense that when it comes to God, we’re at the end of one era and the start of another, an entire mode of understanding and talking about God is dying as something new is being birthed.      (book excerpt)

Incidentally, Brian McLaren credits Rick Warren for inspiring him to start the Emergent Conversation more than 20 years ago. Warren also glowingly endorsed and wrote the forward for Dan Kimball’s book “The Emerging Church,” and announced to the world that Christian fundamentalism will be an enemy of the 21st century. Source

Jim Wallis’ Sojourner’s Magazine features an interview by Christian Piatt about the CANA Initiative with  Brian McLarenStephanie Spellers, and Doug Pagitt.

We had our own conversation about CANA Initiative today on our program, and here is a snippet of that segment:


CANA Initiative calls itself the “network of networks, designed to create an “ecosystem of connection among Emergence/Progressive/Missional Christians in the United States.” The word “Missional”among the seekermergent churches has become a catchphrase for the social justice “gospel” which has nothing to do with the Great Commission Jesus gives his followers to go and make disciples.

The CANA Initiative is ecumenical and will blend together all of the existing Emergent and liberal Progressive organizations around the globe under one umbrella:

The CANA Initiative is comprised of Roman Catholic, Evangelical, Mainline Protestant, Orthodox, and other Christians who believe the future for Christian life and mission will be different in many ways from the past and present. 

The CANA Initiative brings together innovative leaders from all streams of the faith to collaborate in the development of new ways of being Christian…new ways of doing theology and living biblically, new understandings and practices of mission, new kinds of faith communities, new approaches to worship and spiritual formation, new integrations and conversations and convergences and dreams.

On it’s to-do list:

  • Create a more attractive public opinion of Christianity
  • Launch a collaborative branding/messaging strategy for emergence/progressive Christianity
  • Facilitate ongoing training and equipping for a new generation of transformative leaders
  • Establish a social and mass media partnership to promote spokespeople for emergence/progressive Christianity
  • Encourage new, expanding, generative and meaningful expressions of Christianity in North America.

CANA Initiative leaders will meet for the first time on November 19th in Washington, D.C.

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3 Responses to McLaren’s CANA Initiative marks new era for Neo Emergents

  1. Ron Henzel says:

    Why are there no dates on your posts? There are dates on the links on the front page, but when you get to the post itself it has no date. That's fine when you're accessing the article from the front page, but I accessed this one from Google, and I have no idea when it was posted.

    Is it old news? Is it recent?

    I guess I'll just move along…


  2. Tim Wirth says:

    Hey Amy great article. The reason you will never see criticism from the likes of Rick Warren about the Emergent Movement is because they come from the same tree.The Leadership Network. You will see whole sections of Rob Bell books at Willow Creek and never hear any of these huge Seeker Sensitive guys criticize any of the Emergent bunch


  3. Denise says:

    2Jn 1:9 Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.
    2Jn 1:10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting,
    2Jn 1:11 for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.

    So when leaders endorse these false teachers, like John Piper endorsing Rick Warren, consider what 2John 11 says (see above). The biggest problem right now isn't the blatant heretics (they are always a problem, obviously), but the fake shepherds who embrace these wolves as "brothers in Christ" and welcome them into the sheep pen. They are just as treacherous as the wolves themselves and worse b/c they do it in disguise using the holy name of Christ and in the name of "grace".


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