One big part of the emergent conversation is about missiology - the study of how to communicate the gospel cross-culturally. I actually have a degree in Christian Ministry which is half bible and half missiology. The idea is that the culture of the church we have now was designed for a culture that existed 30 or 40 years ago in the case of many evangelical churches (parents of baby boomers), and 15-20 years ago in the case of seeker sensitive churches (baby boomers).
But since then, over that last 20 years, an entirely new generation has grown up, and they have the distinction of coming of age at the same time we are quickly transitioning from modernity to post-modernity. So not only are they a new generation, but they "coincidentally" happen to reside on a line of cultural divide that is greater in significance than the mere generation gap experienced by previous generations. In other words, the generation gap between the "modern" parents of baby boomers, and their children, the "modern" baby boomers is far smaller than that between those "modern" baby boomers and their "post-modern" children.
If that is true, then the missiological task of understanding this new cultural context and how to communicate the simple gospel and set up churches within it, is a greater, larger, more significant task, than it was for the mere generation gap between recent generations.
So, for example, here is some raw field data to help with the missiological task: in my church gatherings, there is a lot of time where people are free to talk and share ideas in open dialog. I have been keeping track over the last 5-6 weeks since we have gotten a little larger, and so far every single week, at least one swear word has been spoken out loud in the group during dialog. I am talking the shit word, and the fuck word (in order to be technically accurate in my missiological observation).
In addition, as I tried to explain to my Mother and my very dear friends who I have known since I was 16 and who both cringe when I say even the crap word; almost all the Christians I know who are culturally engaged, creative, educated New York style Christians, including pastors and elders almost all swear on a regular basis within our own cultural group. We would refrain if we were around older people, certain mixed sex groups, or out of towners, but amongst ourselves, the occasional word that used to be a swear word, is now just a word that gives a special emphasis in certain situations that helps communicate a more heightened point, and is a totally accepted and normal part of our vocabulary.