Jun 14 2010

Submerging truth in emergence

Category: churchharmonicminer @ 10:12 pm

I’ve had other comments to make about the “emergent church” or the “emerging conversation” or whatever they are calling themselves these days.  (Funny how much they care what they are called, when words with specific meanings are so post-modernly passé.)

So I think I’ll just let Mike Adams say his piece without much comment.

5 Responses to “Submerging truth in emergence”

  1. Bob says:

    “This Sunday I’ve decided to take a friend to the local Emergent Church. I plan to steal from the offering plate, rape the pastor’s wife, and then kill anyone who gets in my way.Then, I’ll remind the congregation that Christianity is not about rules. It’s about a relationship with God. And one has nothing to do with the other.” See, those in the traditional church are just about being sarcastic and mean-spirited. If they don’t stop with their sarcasm soon, they will unintentionally turn off millions of people who don’t appreciate a little tongue-in-cheek humor. That’s the problem with those traditional folks: they just can’t take anything seriously.

  2. harmonicminer says:

    I’ll check out the book. But have you noticed that people from the “right” or “traditional” side of things rarely write books with titles like this? The title gives it away. “Beyond Emerging/Traditional”? To a traditionalist, nothing IS beyond the core of the faith.

    The “real” truth is not an average or blending of two competing perspectives. The truth is the truth… which is not likely to be in the middle between competing points of view. Some perspectives really are almost entirely wrong.

    Much of the “emergent” criticism of the church is itself based on caricature and almost deliberate misunderstanding. Of course, that’s what the emergent will say about traditionalist critiques of emergence. The charge that the church wasn’t concerned about “social justice” before “emergence” is risible on its face, though. From monasteries to Wesley, care for the down-trodden has always been a large part of the church’s work. Some of the emergent critique is based on sheer ignorance of that fact, as far as I can tell. The Salvation Army existed before there was an emergent church, and pastor’s and lay people have done all manner of things for people in their communities before McLaren began writing books.

    I sometimes wonder if the emergent folk were simply raised in sheltered environments where they were out of touch with what most churches have always been doing, down in the trenches.

  3. Bob says:

    I completely agree with your assessment, usually books with titles like this side decidedly with the emerging crowd. Try giving this one a look, though. He’s a pastor who has pretty strong connections with both groups, and has come to the conclusion that both camps make caricatures of each other and talk past each other. There are parts of both movements that he outright critiques, and from my reading he actually comes down harder on the emergents than the traditionals in that respect.

    For example, he is quite ciritical of one emergent guy, Doug Pagitt, and his preaching style. He believes it really does fall into the “there is no orthodoxy” category, and shows why he thinks it’s dangerous for the church. His goal seems to be to call out caricatures when he sees them, and in the process identify a few problematic features for what they really are. If nothing else, he very much avoids the strawman fallacy.

    I think you would like the book. He’s adamant about sticking to a Nicean version of Christianity, which is very helpful in preventing the caricatures. For someone like me who has not been sure how to think about the emerging church, it was very helpful. I don’t completely agree with all is conclusions, but I very much liked his attitude and general direction.

  4. harmonicminer says:

    Thanks Bob, I will check it out.

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