Most people are not familiar with the Emerging Church, and don't show much interest in it when articles go by in the magazines or in conversation. There have been all sorts of movements in the church over the decades, so why should we pay particular attention to this one?
Because it makes large, even universal claims, it deserves at least a look. The Emerging Church sees itself not as an option that Christians might choose, but the direction the church must move in if it is to survive at all. They believe the world has changed so much culturally that new forms must be adopted, and they intend to find them. Once one states it so broadly, most EC people will back away from such enormity and make a more humble assessment. But in their writings, they revert immediately to categorical statements of what the church has not done recently and must now do. Whatever they say when challenged, among themselves they have enormous assurance that they have the diagnosis right, even if the treatment remains obscure.
Secondly, EC is very big among seminarians at a wide variety of schools. It is especially popular in the evangelical and the liturgical churches - not ordinarily a natural mix. This is what the pastorate is encountering in its training, and so that will greatly affect the future of the church. Among Gen-X urban Christians, it is very much in the mix in all church-future discussions.
So I wanted to weigh in.