Update: I have made an attempt to “tone down” most of my blogs about Evangelical Friends/Quakers, to not be so hurtful to my many friends in the EFCI (and EFC-ER). Yet when I see what is going on, I still feel compelled to speak out. Read on.
In a word, Convergent Friends are various branches of Friends/Quakers who are converging together within the Emergent Church movement. And therein lies the danger: this movement consists of Friends who are abandoning most if not all biblically sound beliefs, joining the ungodly Emergent Church and Emergence Christianity movements. Evangelical Friends especially, who are known for their traditionally sound biblical doctrine, should have no part in this.
Consider this repost. The entire article can be found in the its entirety at the following link. In all excerpts, I have emphasized certain phrases by bolding them and/or adding comments in [brackets]:
About Convergent Friends
Robin M. coined the phrase in early 2006 in her post “Robinopedia: Convergent Friends.” She wrote: “It describes Friends who are seeking a deeper understanding of our Quaker heritage and a more authentic life in the kingdom of God on Earth, radically inclusive of all who seek to live this life. It includes, among others, Friends from the politically liberal end of the evangelical branch, the Christian end of the unprogrammed branch, and the more outgoing end of the Conservative branch.”
Emergent Church Movement: The Younger Evangelicals & Quaker Renewal. Martin Kelley, 9/2003.
Faith Enough to be Outrageous. Claire, Winter 2006
Convergent Friends Introduction. (PDF), Rachel Stacy, spring 2007
Unraveling the Myths about Convergent Friends. LizOpp, 3/2007.
Convergent Friends: a Long Definition. Martin Kelley, summer 2007.
Converging around Jesus: A Personal Story. David Male, summer 2007.
Convergent Friendship and Playing around with the Other Kids. C Wess Daniels, summer 2007.
What Convergence Means to Ohio Conservative. Martin Kelley, 8/07.
Convergence Among Friends: From Kitchen to the Parlor, Robin M and C Wess Daniels, 10/2007.
Convergent presentation at Woodbrooke Study Center. C Wess Daniels, 5/08
Where is the Convergent Conversation Now? Robin M, summer 2008.
How do I find other Convergent Friends? Robin M., summer 2008.
Joining the Convergent Conversation, Angelina Conti, Friends Journal, 5/2009.
What Does a New Kind of Quaker Look Like?, Scott Wagoner, Quaker Life, 1/2010.
And here is a repost of excerpts from Robin M.’s blog. The blog can be found in its entirety at:
This [Convergent Friends] is still my favorite phrase (so far) to describe the coming together of several strands of Quakerism. It describes Friends who are seeking a deeper understanding of our Quaker heritage and a more authentic life in the kingdom of God on Earth, radically inclusive of all who seek to live this life.
It includes, among others, Friends from the politically liberal end of the evangelical branch [the EFCI], the Christian end of the unprogrammed branch, and the more outgoing end of the Conservative branch. It includes folks who aren’t sure what they believe about Jesus and Christ but who aren’t afraid to wrestle with this question. [Huhhh? Is Robin M. saying that Jesus and Christ are two different concepts? This sounds very New Age-ish to me.] It includes people who think that a lot of Quaker anachronisms are silly but who are willing to experiment to see which are spiritual disciplines that still hold life and power to transform and improve us.
Metaphorically, it suggests that Friends are moving closer together towards some common point on the horizon. Put otherwise, I would say that the winds of the Spirit are blowing across all the branches of Friends, blowing us in the same direction. The convergence of Friends is a fuzzy, changing concept, not an example of pure mathematics or philosophy.
Linguistically, it alludes to an affinity for both Conservative Friends and the Emergent Church. [It appears to me that by “conservative” Robin M. is not referring to biblically sound doctrine, but to the original Quaker teachings of mystic Quaker founder George Fox.]
Many of these Friends owe a great deal to the work of Lloyd Lee Wilson and especially his book, Essays on the Quaker Vision of Gospel Order. I believe our Quaker history offers us the common ground we need to walk on now, in order to all reach a point of greater spiritual depth and commitment to social justice.
When I first suggested this term, it was just an experiment, an attempt to more efficiently name a trend that was happening around me. Since then, many more Friends have begun to consider what the term “convergent Friend” might mean to them. Some of them are communicating across vast distances of geography or institutional theology. Some of them are communicating across dinner tables, while consuming take-out pizza and home-made chocolate chip cookies.
Welcome to the conversation!