Celtic Christianity?

Elements of Celtic Christianity are attractive to me. Not everything though. I haven’t studied too much about it. Only read a few articles here and there. Not everything is exclusively Celtic tradition, but here are some of my pros and cons:


  • Sees creation as a hymn of praise to the Creator
  • Acknowledges God’s providence in daily living
  • Focuses on experiencing God through all the senses
  • Encourages creativity and contemplation
  • Sympathizes with ethnic churches and contextualization
  • Appreciates a healthy view of sexual pleasure
  • Perceives the Christian life as a pilgrimage
  • Emphasizes humanity in God’s image, male and female
  • Views the church as a community of hospitality
  • Prays earthy and yet very poetic prayers
  • Disobeys biblical view of male eldership
  • Denies the priesthood of all believers
  • Misunderstands original sin (i.e. Pelagianism)
  • Takes an exclusive house church approach
  • Overly mystical about saints and angels
  • Confusion about the Creator/creature distinction

As I was reading some of these characteristics to a friend, he noticed how similar it sounded to some Emergent approaches to Christianity. I don’t think he meant those characteristics should be qualified as strictly “Emergent,” but I do see some Emergent approaches adopting some of these characteristics.

Understanding that some Emergents are less ahistorical actually helps me to empathize with them to some degree. While some are vocal about re-inventing their own kind of Christianity, others are actually trying to get in touch with more ancient expressions of Christianity in a sort of ecumenical spirit. While there are valid concerns with that approach, I think it can be very beneficial as long as Scripture is continually held in high regard. I’m sure people on both sides will disagree.

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