A short definition
A very complex and varied movement which has contradictions within, but broadly is the teaching that Christianity has to be recontextualised for the culture and times in which we live. In "recontextualising" they are actually "redefining" biblical Christianity. In fact the Bible and the doctrines of the Bible become less important and, in some instances, of no importance. The main guide to spirituality is the experience of the individual.
As we are now living in postmodern i.e. relativistic times, absolutes are frowned upon. So one person's experience can be different to another's, but as there is no plumb line to measure against, each person's experience is equally as valid.
There is an emphasis on "spirituality".
romanticism/worship of nature
new age mysticism
interspirituality - leading to multifaith ecumenism deconstructionism – meaning it finds concrete experience more valid than abstract ideas and, therefore, refutes any attempts to produce a history, or a truth. In other words, the multiplicities and contingencies of human experience necessarily bring knowledge down to the local and specific level, and challenges the tendency to centralise power through the claims of an ultimate truth which must be accepted or obeyed by all.
In a nutshell the emerging church is the "world in the church" rather than "the church in the world". In order to attract people, the church adopts worldly tactics. It adopts an expression of church which attracts people, so instead of preaching the gospel of repentance of sin for fear it might impose a feeling of guilt, it preaches the gospel of feel-good-about-yourself, boosts self-esteem and let’s all have a jolly good time!
The music is man centred. They call it "worship". But in reality the music is the message, worship of worship instead of worship of the living God.