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Christian Interests => Theology Forum => Topic started by: Bon Voyage on Mon Mar 06, 2006 - 17:03:59

Title: The Emergent Church
Post by: Bon Voyage on Mon Mar 06, 2006 - 17:03:59
I've seen Rob Bell, of Mars Hill Bible Church (an emergent church) plenty of times at corporate worship over the years where my father preaches.  Jeff Manion, a guy who sometimes preaches at Mars Hill, and is the pastor at Ada Bible Church not too far away from Mars Hill, used to belong to the same church planting mission as my folks (don't know if
he is emergent).

I don't know much about MacLaren, except for a few quotes I've read that I find troubling.

Are all these guys on the same page?  Are they all presenting the \"I'm OK, you're OK\" gospel?  Or are their methods different, are they showing love in a way others aren't?

Feel free, if you know more than I do, to share what you know.
Title: The Emergent Church
Post by: Nevertheless on Mon Mar 06, 2006 - 20:57:16
What do you mean by \"emergent\"?
Title: The Emergent Church
Post by: david johnson on Tue Mar 07, 2006 - 04:17:45
Quote
What do you mean by "emergent"?
a buzzword that isn't too old yet, but will soon join the other cliches.  the last 'emergent church' fan i spoke with didn't comprehend the difference between various learning styles people exhibit and aspects of his new found interest.

i am not one of the e/c fans.
i believe there is a lot of info available for you, though.  the idea may help you & yours.

dj
Title: The Emergent Church
Post by: Skip on Tue Mar 07, 2006 - 09:12:58
In my experience, the 'philosophy or idea', the 'way of thinking', is called \"Post-modernism\".
The believer or church (assembly of believers) that is attempting to follow Post-modern ideas describe themselves as Emergent.
HTH
(Corrections welcome...)
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: Lee Freeman on Tue Mar 07, 2006 - 17:26:34
From Emergent Village's website

http://www.emergentvillage.com/Site/index.htm:


EMERGENT IS …

Emergent is a growing generative friendship among missional Christian leaders seeking to love our world in the Spirit of Jesus Christ.

Our dream is to join in the activity of God in the world wherever we are able, so that God’s dreams for our world come true. In the process, the world can be healed and changed, and so can we.

In English, the word “emergent
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: ellisadam on Wed Mar 08, 2006 - 07:19:09
I posted this last night in a discussion that now seems oddly out of place in the book review section (It's under a thread on how to get a free advance copy of McLaren's new book, if you want to read the whole thing).  Lee Freeman suggested I weigh in here, so I'll start by posting this.  On the other thread I have been asked to provide a bit more clarity, which I will do on this thread when I have a bit more time.  Wednesdays are busy for youth ministers.  Anyway, here's what I posted:
Quote
Ok, I wasn't going to say anything else, but it's getting really frustrating, so I'm back in.  Many of you are simply misrepresenting Emergent/the Emerging Church.  I really don't think you are doing it intentionally, but you are doing it nonetheless.  I have read almost everything written by "Emergent" and have read most of what's critical of it.  I have personally discussed many of these issues with several leaders in the emerging church, including the National Coordinator of Emergent, Tony Jones and also Doug Pagitt.  I'm not dropping names here, I'm just saying that I'm not just speculating or judging simply based on what I've read on the internet.  So, I'm going to offer a couple of observations for whatever they are worth.
a)  I can find absolutly noone who is advocating "postmodern Christianity".  There may be someone, but I haven't found them.  What is being advocated is that some of us engage a changing culture.  What is being suggested is that maybe we don't have to convert people to modernity before we can convert them to Christianity (you know, since there were Christians before the advent of Modernity).  What some of us are wondering is if modernity (which is arguably more humanistic than postmodernity) maybe wasn't the best thing that ever happened to Christianity.
b)  What is being suggested in the emerging church is that while it was quite appropriate for Christianity to engage modernity and take that philosophy "captive for Christ", we make have made a mistake by totally embracing modernity to the point that many feel Christianity is utterly dependent on it.  What I hear being constantly cautioned against in the emerging church is that while can and should take postmodernity "captive for Christ", and while we should and must listen to postmodernity's critique of modernity to untangle it from Christianity, we must NOT make the same mistake that the church made with Modernity.
c)   Leaders in the emerging church are quite clear that they are not calling on everyone to abandon existing church structures.  They are simply asking for support, or at the very least that traditional/modern Christians would focus their energy on reaching the significant part of the population that a modern version of the Gospel can connect with instead of tearing into those of us who are trying to find another way to express the truth in a radically changing culture.
d)  The accusation that the emerging church is presenting an "I'm OK, You're OK" Gospel or that they have an "everybody's in (universalist) ecclesiology is simply false.  What is being questioned is the practice of "motivation by exclusion" that most churches practice.  What many of us are wondering is if belonging to a faith community might actually lead to believing more effectively than doing it the other way around (and may actually be more Biblical).  Read McLaren's new book "The Secret Message of Jesus" when it comes out in April (or just read my reviews of it for the quotes).  He will surprise a great many of his critics on this point.
e)  Postmoernism, as a philosophy/epistemology is still in its embrionic stage.  So far it simply points out the flaws of modernism (deconstruction) and is just beginning to reconstruct an alternative.  It can't be defined yet because it is still in the very early stages of it's development which may/will take hundreds of years.  Even so, many of it's criticisms of modernity are valid and should be headed.  Thank God some are willing to actually consider what this shift means for the Church and for the Gospel rather than hiding their heads in the sand and hoping it will go away.  (It is quite possible that our overcommittment to modernity stems from the fact that the church vacilated between ignoring it and declaring it "evil" and "foreign to the gospel" for years until they realized this was not the case and doing a pendulum swing.)

I need to get back to some other things, but I'm sure I'll be back with more observations later.
AE
AE
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: kanham on Wed Mar 08, 2006 - 07:25:02
This is my response to the above post in the Book Review section.

Ellisadam,

Quote
What is being suggested is that maybe we don't have to convert people to modernity before we can convert them to Christianity

What does that mean? How does that play out? Any examples?

Quote
What is being questioned is the practice of "motivation by exclusion" that most churches practice.

What does this mean? What is motivation by exclusion? Can you explain that? How do you define most churches? Are you specifically talking about the Church of Christ?

Quote
What many of us are wondering is if belonging to a faith community might actually lead to believing more effectively than doing it the other way around

What is the other way around? Where does the other way around happen and how?

My only issue, not knowing if this is directed at me in anyway, is that it is easy to attack the incumbents making claims about how it will be better but no way to find out if that is really true for 50 years so maybe we better go slow since what is being demanded isn’t even defined.

I have read many books and I have been to emergent churches or at least churches that claim to be emergent. I have read their material and talked people who go there. If I thought that these experiences were making people who were more faithful then I would be pushing full force. I have not interviewed or seen anything close to that. They claim to be emergent and they claim to have read the books you talk about too.

I am not trying to be combative but I need more information. I would love for someone to give me more clarity on this discussion because I simply have not been impressed to date.  Sorry, all I have is what I have observed.

Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: marc on Wed Mar 08, 2006 - 07:47:56
What percentage, what sector of society is currently reached by our approach to Christianity?  Will this percentage increase or decrease in the coming years?

I see the emergent church movement as a searching, as a way of both catching up with the way the language of our culture is changing and anticipating the way it will change.  I think it's an effort to make Christianity relevant in our current world, not only as a way to reach more of those around us, but also as a way to make spirituality more reachable for those among us, those who are living in this changing culture.

There are struggles, of course.  It's a struggle to hold on to eternal truth as part of a culture that views truth differently than we have learned to view it.  The sifting process, the discovery of what needs to be held on to and what needs to be rejected, is a painful one.  Being human, we won't always arrive at the correct answers. 

One thing that's surprised me about this movement, btw, is the way that the leaders are holding on to old forms and finding ways to make the forms relevant in the changing culture.

One reason, I think, that this is all been so controversial is the fear of losing core doctrinal truths.  This is understandable.  I don't know that it's an either/or proposition, though.  A second reason is that how much we are to engage our culture is an open question.  I do think of Paul's words about being all things to all men, and I look at the way Jesus in his teaching and Paul and the others in their writing approached people where they were, in their culture, and while I see a separation as far as holiness is concerned, I do see a recognition that even followers of Christ live in a certain culture and a certain time. 

Me, I'm just a modern who is enough of a child of the sixties that I grew up believing that questioning everything was a good idea.  I haven't read all that's come before on this thread because of my current vision problems (I hope to have the new specs in the next day or two), and dont' know how relevant I'm being to the discussion, but these are my thoughts.

I think it's too early to judge a movement that is only just beginning (and seems to me to have a lot to offer.)
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: david johnson on Wed Mar 08, 2006 - 07:56:52
 'modernity (which is arguably more humanistic than postmodernity)'

backwards.

'I think it's too early to judge a movement that is only just beginning (and seems to me to have a lot to offer.)'

they already judged the rest of us.

dj
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: Jimbob on Wed Mar 08, 2006 - 08:22:56
Quote
Quote
What is being questioned is the practice of "motivation by exclusion" that most churches practice.


What does this mean? What is motivation by exclusion? Can you explain that? How do you define most churches? Are you specifically talking about the Church of Christ?



Adam & Phil Wilson address this in episode 2 (Community & Belonging) of their Post Restorationist podcast (http://postrestorationist.podomatic.com), which mirrors conversations we've had in our household many times.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: ellisadam on Wed Mar 08, 2006 - 08:35:01
Quote
'modernity (which is arguably more humanistic than postmodernity)'

backwards.
David,  you are welcome to your opinion, but there are many who (not just in the emerging church movment) who would disagree with you.  There are many who would say that part of the reason for the advent of postmodernity is a reaction against the humanism of modernity.  Like I said though, it's arguable.

'
Quote
I think it's too early to judge a movement that is only just beginning (and seems to me to have a lot to offer.)'

they already judged the rest of us.

This is simply not true of the majority of the ec movement or any (that I can find) of it's leaders.  I am quite sure that you can find a few people who self identify as "emergent" who are angry about their traditional upbringing and cast judgment on the traditional church.  However, the overall thrust of the ec movement is, as I said earlier that: 
Quote
Leaders in the emerging church are quite clear that they are not calling on everyone to abandon existing church structures.  They are simply asking for support, or at the very least that traditional/modern Christians would focus their energy on reaching the significant part of the population that a modern version of the Gospel can connect with instead of tearing into those of us who are trying to find another way to express the truth in a radically changing culture.
It is a falicy to assume that just because some choose to do something a different way, that they are judging you as wrong. 
AE
P.S.  jmg3rd, thanks for plugging our podcast.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: johntwayne on Wed Mar 08, 2006 - 10:07:18
Well, my gift is in the area of taking complicated things and stating them simply so I will give it a stab....

To understand what "emergent" and "post-modernism" are we have to understand what modernism is/was.

Modernism is/was the spirit that has basically ruled for the last 250 years.   It is the idea that man, through science, knowledge and reason, can solve his most fundamental problems.  We have, based on that idea, made some terrific leaps in science and knowledge but instead of these solving our most fundamental problems we are finding that our new knowldge and science may even be exasperating our most fundamental problems.

Post-modernism is simply a term used to describe people who see the flaw in modernism and are searching for another view.  There are a lot of alternatives being offerred.

The "Emergent" movement is a Christian form of Post-Modernism and like Post-Modernism it really doesn't know yet what it is.  It just rejectes modernism and affirms that the answer to it is found in Christ, Christianity, Church, or similar ideas.  Its not entirely sure or agreed yet on just how these are the answer to modernism.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: Nevertheless on Wed Mar 08, 2006 - 21:26:32
Lee, thanks for the definitions.  Unfortunately, though I read the whole post carefully, what I heard was something like:  "Blah, blah, blah,  “emerging postmodernism
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: ellisadam on Thu Mar 09, 2006 - 08:46:28
Quote
So how can people promote a philosophy if they don't know what it is, and why would anyone be persuaded to adopt it?

Nevertheless,
It's becoming clear to me that maybe this is the heart of the misunderstanding about the emerging church movement/conversation.  Emergent is not trying to pursuade people to adopt postmodernism.  It is not trying to encourgage churches to become "postmodern churches" or Christians to become "postmodern Christians".  Postmodernity is a philisophical and cultural shift in the way people "come to know things" that is taking place in the culture at large.  It is in it's early stages, but it is catching, particularly in younger generations.  Because it's in it's early stages, it is, of course caught up in deconstructing what came before it (modernity), which is why it has a clunky, silly sounding name like "post-modernity".  This is not something that people are trying to "convert" others to.  It is something that is developing all on its own.  What some of us are trying to figure out is, what is the church going to look like?  How are we going to accurately and effectively communicate the Gospel, when the old ways of "coming to know things" don't communicate the same way anymore?  (this most certainly does not mean that the old ways are "wrong", "bad", or even "stupid".)  What you will find if you look is that many of us in the EC movement/conversation either are or were Youth Ministers.  The reason for this is that we see this stuff first and are having to change our methodology and how we even construct our arguments because what once communicated, now just doesn't with many people.  So, it's experimental in many ways.  It's often confusing, and sometimes scary.  But, for many of us, it's where we must go as a matter of faithfulness to God, the Gospel, and our Calling.
AE
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: Lee Freeman on Thu Mar 09, 2006 - 09:39:20
Lee, thanks for the definitions.  Unfortunately, though I read the whole post carefully, what I heard was something like:  "Blah, blah, blah,  “emerging postmodernism
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: OldDad on Thu Mar 09, 2006 - 10:36:19
I'm no pomo.  Not mo either as far as that goes.  But I can recognize the influence of both in my thinking.  I'm not sure I have anything to contribute, but here are some hopefully semi-coherent thoughts, rambling and disconnected though they might be...

Post Modernism is not new.  The concept has been around for over a hundred years in the areas of art, architecture, etc.  Toynbee used the term in the 30's and 40's in a social sense, and most folks credit Charles Jencks, writings in the 70's with popularizing the current use  and understanding of the term.

So, we have a philosophy/mind set/paradigm, etc. ad nauseum, ad infinitum, that is at least 30 years old, that tells us it probably won't be able to define itself for a long time (as much as 50 years?), and some of you wonder why we are slow to get in that line?

I hope this doesn't sound cynical, but the vast majority of people who are embracing "Pomo-emergent"-ness couldn't give a rat's about the philosophical underpinnings.  They are adapting a style - of dress, worship, etc.  For most folks "pomo" means their preacher looks like he was dressed by the boys from "Queer Eye", they can wear flip-flops to church, and there's a Starbucks in the lobby.

"Engaging culture" doesn't have to mean being immersed in culture.  John Stott says the message of Jesus was a "counter culture" message.  Yes, you earn the right to speak to people through relationships and not by bashing and attacking, but maturing faith should move us away from the world's culture, to a God centered culture.  Perhaps what Pomo is trying to do is define what the God centeredness should look like.

I am by nature jaded and sarcastic, and I tend to look with jaundiced eye on the "theoriticians" - Pomo pundits like McLaren, Bell, and some others have been and are pastors, but many have never pastored a church in their lives (Len Sweet?).  I will listen a little more to the guy who's done it rather than the guy who's just written about it.

The dialogue needs to continue.  In this issue, as in most issues, the ground of truth is found somewhere in the middle of the extremes. 

OD
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: memmy on Thu Mar 09, 2006 - 10:44:47
I am pretty sure that Paul/Peter/John etc. also got labeled in their day.

Anytime there is change in any direction as far as being more contemporary in any "day"/time period, it has probably stirred up some stuff.

It all boils down to heart.........again!

Where is the intent of the heart? To bring Christ to others, no matter what way is used to do so, is the key element here.

The major key!

Memmy

Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: ellisadam on Thu Mar 09, 2006 - 12:15:22
Hey Everyone,
I stumbled across this radio interview with Doug Pagitt (author and leader in Emergent), in which he talks about the EC movement/conversation and even takes a few questions from callers.  He deals with a lot of the things we've been discussing on this thread.  Doug is very engaging and understandable.  Give it a listen.  I think you'll enjoy it.  Click on this link to listen:  http://web.mac.com/pagitt/iWeb/Doug%20Pagitt.Com/PagittCast/B983370B-F515-4826-A44A-BA1C692B118A.html (http://web.mac.com/pagitt/iWeb/Doug%20Pagitt.Com/PagittCast/B983370B-F515-4826-A44A-BA1C692B118A.html)
AE
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: Nevertheless on Thu Mar 09, 2006 - 12:30:25
Lee, I wasn't meaning to be critical of what you posted -- I appreciate it.  It is all just so difficult for me to get a hold of.  Someone mentioned nailing jello to a wall and I think that's appropriate.  The only ones who seem to be willing to name specifics are those who deny being "pomo" or "emergent" or whatever you want to call it.

Now Adam, that was very helpful what you said about not wanting to convert anyone.  So maybe you can help us a little.  What do you think about OD's statements?  Is it mainly style?  The whole bit about trying to figure out what the church will look like in the future is not a distinguishing characteristic.  I would think that most Christians have thought about that as well.  So what is it that makes a church "emergent"?  How would I know if I visited one?

If it's just about using contemporary methods to reach people, and the label is just one of those methods (maybe it sounds cool) then I should probably just quit trying to understand it.  Somewhat like Ebonics or rap music (or opera for that matter!) it's just something that doesn't apply or appeal to me.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: ellisadam on Thu Mar 09, 2006 - 12:51:15
Never,
What do I think about OD's statements (I wasn't going to comment on them, but since you asked...)?  I really like OD and on many other threads agree with much of what he says, but here he seemed overly flippant and dismissive.  He certainly knows his stuff as far as PM's beginnings in art and archietecture, and I would agree that many who are being reached by the EC movement have no clue about it's philosophical underpinnings.  Are some simply embracing a "hip" style?  I'm sure.  However that isn't the point of the movement and is an unavoidable byproduct.  I'll actually go farther than that.  I think many who are rushing to "hitch their wagons" to EC are simply what McLaren calles "angry young men" who have a chip on their shoulder about the church they were raised in.  This is also an unfortunate byproduct.  However, this is not the desire or intent of EC.
What makes a church "emergent"?  How would you know if you were in one?  The interesting thing is that from what I understand, many members of what are considered "emergent churches" have never heard of that term.  They simply know that they have found a community of faith where they can connect with the living God and learn the Way of Jesus.  If you were to visit an "emerging church", I'm not sure if you would know it.  I think you might notice that some, but not all make use of "experiential worship" practices that involve some kind of physical symbolic response from the participants.  In some you would find the "sermon" to be a lot more interactive with the audience, looking much more like a conversation than a lecture.  I could go on, but honestly there is no overarching structure or form.  Mainly all that is required to be an "emerging church" is self-identification as one and a willingness to enter this "conversation".
I really recomend that you listen to the Pagitt interview I posted above.  I think you'll find it helpful.
AE
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: Nevertheless on Thu Mar 09, 2006 - 13:15:17
I might do that when I have a little more time.  I have a very slow connection, so audio/video downloads take a while.  Thanks.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: mwilson1382 on Thu Mar 09, 2006 - 13:27:10
I am not very good at message boards and things like that (ask my online graduate school teachers) but I wanted to strongly encourage people involved with this conversation (which is in my opinion what the emergent conversation is--a conversation about culture, God and the knowledge of God through Jesus) to listen to the interview with Doug Pagitt that Adam suggested.  I think it will help with some of the conversation and discussion that is going on. 

http://web.mac.com/pagitt/iWeb/Doug%20Pagitt.Com/PagittCast/B983370B-F515-4826-A44A-BA1C692B118A.html

matt
www.matthewjameswilson.blogspot.com
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: OldDad on Thu Mar 09, 2006 - 13:34:41
I don't mean to seem flip or dismissive - well sometimes I do, but not on this issue. 

There are some things being expressed by those who identify themselves as Pomo-Emergent that have value and potential aid for the church.  I'm just not sure embracing the underlying philosophy is anything more than trading one "ism" for another that will eventually have to be discarded in favor of yet another.

Quote
They simply know that they have found a community of faith where they can connect with the living God and learn the Way of Jesus. 

There have always been reformers, iconoclasts, and visionaries in the church (pre-mo, mo, and pomo eras)- who challenged assumptions, practices, and status quo.  Their "agitation" brought about change that was important and necessary and has helped the church better accomplish it's mission.  I sincerely hope that whatever comes of all of this, that the church will be stronger.

Quote
honestly there is no overarching structure or form.  Mainly all that is required to be an "emerging church" is self-identification as one and a willingness to enter this "conversation".


I appreciate the honesty, and frankly the modernist in me is puzzled at the growing influence of something that cannot define itself and resists any efforts to try.  Saying over and over "You just don't get it" doesn't help us with understanding.

It seems more and more to me to resemble that overworked, cliched parable about the blind men describing the elephant.

OD
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: boringoldguy on Thu Mar 09, 2006 - 13:53:09
 
I don't mean to seem flip or dismissive - well sometimes I do, but not on this issue. 

There are some things being expressed by those who identify themselves as Pomo-Emergent that have value and potential aid for the church.  I'm just not sure embracing the underlying philosophy is anything more than trading one "ism" for another that will eventually have to be discarded in favor of yet another.

Quote
They simply know that they have found a community of faith where they can connect with the living God and learn the Way of Jesus. 

There have always been reformers, iconoclasts, and visionaries in the church (pre-mo, mo, and pomo eras)- who challenged assumptions, practices, and status quo.  Their "agitation" brought about change that was important and necessary and has helped the church better accomplish it's mission.  I sincerely hope that whatever comes of all of this, that the church will be stronger.

Quote
honestly there is no overarching structure or form.  Mainly all that is required to be an "emerging church" is self-identification as one and a willingness to enter this "conversation".


I appreciate the honesty, and frankly the modernist in me is puzzled at the growing influence of something that cannot define itself and resists any efforts to try.  Saying over and over "You just don't get it" doesn't help us with understanding.

It seems more and more to me to resemble that overworked, cliched parable about the blind men describing the elephant.

OD

I think that the refusal even to try to find any structure gives us a good clue about what postmodernism really is.

From what I've been able to figure out,  postmodernism is really just the onset of cultural (or perhaps civilizational) entropy.    All systems tend to become disorganized and unrecognizable as the organizational mechanism runs out of energy.   I think that's what we're seeing in regard to post-modernism and really in regard to the Church -  western modernims (including western Protestantism)  is running out of steam and as it does so,   it will tend to become progressively more disorganized.

The real challenge is whether some new idea or impulse will inject new energy into the system,  and where that energy will come from.

As far as the emergent Church is concerned,  from what I can see about,  I believe that it's started to develop because the traditional Churches lost their nerve, their courage,  their belief in what they were doing.    It's no suprise that there's a reaction,   but it's a big question to me whether the reaction is beneficial.   In general,  it appears to me not to be beneficial because it seems to be a disintegrating trend.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: mwilson1382 on Thu Mar 09, 2006 - 14:16:54
I feel in some ways we are trying to define something that wasn't meant to be defined.  This was not intended (or from the teachings I have heard) to be a movement of Christianity.  Many of the quote "main stream emergent faces" don't want to be considered that.  They are not the leaders of a movement but faces of a conversation.  

"Emergent is a growing generative friendship among missional Christian leaders seeking to love our world in the Spirit of Jesus Christ.

Our dream is to join in the activity of God in the world wherever we are able, so that God’s dreams for our world come true. In the process, the world can be healed and changed, and so can we." (http://www.emergentvillage.com).

Here are 4 core values of the emergent conversation:

1. Commitment to God in the Way of Jesus:

We are committed to doing justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly with God, as the Scriptures teach. In the words of Jesus, we seek to live by the Great Commandment: loving God and loving our neighbors – including those who might be considered “the least of these
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: Skip on Fri Mar 10, 2006 - 07:50:40
I feel in some ways we are trying to define something that wasn't meant to be defined.  This was not intended (or from the teachings I have heard) to be a movement of Christianity.  Many of the quote "main stream emergent faces" don't want to be considered that.  They are not the leaders of a movement but faces of a conversation.  
Not to pick on you, but your quote (above) encapsulates many shortcomings of Post-modernism.

We begin with "I feel in some ways we are trying to define something that wasn't meant to be defined". This is entirely arbitrary, and is couched in typical Emergent jargon, with a whiff of "you just don't get it". The basic problem with the statement is that communication is stunted when there are no definitions -- kind of like trying to read Swahili with no dictionary or Internet translator.

Second, Post-modernism is a movement (or, at the very least, a 'market segment') whether it wanted to be or not. That is true even though I strongly suspect that Post-modernism sprung out of raw Deconstruction, which was never intended to birth a movement, and would therefore appear to be inseparable from Modernism! That is borne out by the fact that prominent Pomo voices are sounding very Modern (in the sense of Liberal Theology) -- leading me to the conclusion that Post-modernism is new packaging for Liberal Theology.

Third, if "main stream emergent faces" don't want to be considered that, then they need to get out of the limelight (if they can do without the considerable revenue they are generating by living in the public eye). As someone suggested, if a "main stream emergent face" feels "spokesman-like" enough to suggest a moratorium on arguably the hottest moral issue in American Christianity -- then let him lead by example. Please.

Finally, we have another characteristic Pomo ambiguity -- [t]hey are not the leaders of a movement but faces of a conversation. How odd it is to have Emergents state, on the one hand, that Moderns* cannot understand Pomos / Emergent ideas on the one hand, yet claims to be a way to engage with and communicate with today's society! What good is a method of "engaging" society (Emergent Christianity) when it alienates and cannot communicate with - "engage" - a large segment of society? It leaves non-Pomos with the sense that Post-modernism is either a fad or a deception.

* ISTM that everyone who is not a Pomo is labeled "a Modern"

Hope that wasn't too "rant-like". Enough for now...  :-X
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: mwilson1382 on Fri Mar 10, 2006 - 09:00:53
I had no intention of saying "you just don't get it".  Honestly that would be counter to what I feel my life is about and for that matter what the emergent conversation would be about.  I come from a rich hertiage of the restoration movement and I hope to continue for many years to minister within this tradition.  I did not share my thoughts and information to convince you to think like me or to think emergent or to think post modern like.  I have no intention of that at all. 

I honestly feel that you and I and many other modern/post modern/emergent/conservative/liberal/etc/etc/etc are searching to become the image of Christ to the world.  I pray that we can continue to effectivly do God's will here on earth no matter what our feelings are or what paths we choose to journey.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: Nevertheless on Sat Mar 11, 2006 - 23:02:26
Quote
It leaves non-Pomos with the sense that Post-modernism is either a fad or a deception.


**AMEN!**

[Where's that smiley when I need it?]
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: ellisadam on Sun Mar 12, 2006 - 07:18:02
Quote
It leaves non-Pomos with the sense that Post-modernism is either a fad or a deception.


**AMEN!**


[Where's that smiley when I need it?]

OK. Once again, no one is trying to convert  here to "postmoderism" or to the Emerging Church.  We are trying to convert people to Jesus. (see the bit above about translating the Gospel.  I don't wish to restate things I've already said.)  Those of us who have chosen to involve ourselves in the Emerging Church Movement/Conversation are simply asking those of you who haven't chosen that path to follow Gamaliel's advice in Acts 5:38-39:

"Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: memmy on Sun Mar 12, 2006 - 13:05:36
Quote
"Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: da525382 on Sun Mar 12, 2006 - 13:19:01
Quote
"Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”  TNIV


Amen Adam!

I wonder so much why so many believe if the approach to how Jesus is shared is not the same way as we do it, then it has got to be wrong. Many will respond to Jesus in the way that He has been shared in previous years, but to those who need a new way, as many do, it can be done in the way of the "emergent church".

I could almost bet that Jesus was likely an emergent type in His day, and look at how He was treated also. He has remained the same, yesterday, today and will tomorrow, but the world has changed, and we must move along as it has, so as to be able to share with those who can only relate to the world.

In many ways, we should all be praising God when there is a new approach to sharing His Son, even if it does stir some of us up, since most of the time the stirring means that there is activity being brought out to Light.

Remember "A house divided cannot stand", and when Jesus is the center of our focus in what we are trying to present, and He is no doubt the Rock and foundation of His church, then it will stand, even against all pressure of outside forces, trying to destroy what many see and believe with all their heart is good.

Let's all try to find the good in Him, and His movement, in all of us and in others as well, no matter what we want to call or name it, instead of trying to tear it down just because we don't understand the method ourselves. After all, it is or should be all about Him.

Blessings to all who share,

Memmy

Memmy, 

You've once again brought me to that most peaceful inner silence.  I think I will be amazed to see the many jewels you will have in your crown on that day.......

Don
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: memmy on Sun Mar 12, 2006 - 16:06:00
Wow, Don. Once again, thanks for those very kind words.

I am only sharing what is put on my heart, and I can only say that it is not I who lives there anymore, although being human, I do creep in there once in awhile.  ;)

We, all who are His, has Him there in our heart. It's sometimes when we allow ourselves to come before Him and His ways that get us in trouble.

Since we all are human, and although I appreciate it when I hear those kind words, I can't take the credit really. He is taking me to places I am in awe of myself. That happens to us all when we rely on Him completely to take us to new places, and don't think we have already seen them all already.

Our God is just an amazingly awesome God.

The praise goes to Him.

Memmy
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: Arkstfan on Sun Mar 12, 2006 - 16:07:49
The emeregent church movement isn't really all that new.

Carefully scan what most "emergent" churches are doing and you will see that basically they:
1. Pick up elements of ritual that the protestant movement shunned in favor of a sermon focused service but typically not incorporating the ritual each week, instead flexing between style.
2. Tend to have interactive elements, more chances for members of the body to participate with readings, prayers or songs that weren't pre-arranged by the person in charge of organizing the service.
3. Tend to flex between somber reflective services and higher energy praise services depending on that week's message. May use new "contemporary" songs traditional hymns and even older chants all in the same service.
4. Less likely to base fellowship or to teach pat answers on the "mysteries" of the faith (ie. where was Jesus between death and resurrection, just how does the Trinity work, etc.).
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: Nevertheless on Sun Mar 12, 2006 - 22:10:52
Adam, I didn't mean to oppose you or your group or to demean you.  I'm just saying that from my point of view it all sounds like nonsense or a tempest in a teapot.  You probably can't understand my viewpoint any better than I understand yours.  *shrug*

The main thing is that Jesus is glorified, not matter what language we speak!
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: ellisadam on Mon Mar 13, 2006 - 07:23:53
Never,
No offense taken.  I consider you a 'virtual' friend, and took your comments in that context.
What I've apparently not done a great job explaining here is that the emerging church movement/conversation is not trying to "change" existing churches per se (at least not those who see no need to change...and indeed there may be no need for them to change in their context).  My take on the emerging church is that a few people inside of the broader Christian movment/conversation have decided to try to become cultural missionaries in a postmodern context (Postmodernity, itself is just "emerging', hence the name).  The EC conversation/movement has also revived and refreshed the faith of many Christians (such as myself) who found themselves struggling with faith for reasons that were beyond us.  EC is admittedly (by virtually everyone involved) experimental.  It may seem risky and confusing to those in the established church structure (as it sometimes does even to those who have chosen to involve ourselves in it.  However, it sure would be nice to have the support of established churches (much as they support foriegn missionaries, with prayer and emotional support as well as general goodwill).  EC is most certainly not the threat to established churches that many apparently presume it to be.  It would be nice to feel like we aren't having to constantly defend ourselves against our own family.
AE
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: kanham on Mon Mar 13, 2006 - 10:17:12
Adam,

I don’t think people see the emergent church as a threat. I personally think it is the marketing words and concepts that accompany the idea that are hard for any older person to understand. Think about a group of people who grew up through the 60’s and 70’s when the President was a liar and a cheat and they heard the military mislead the public about a war in Vietnam and maybe what seems reasonable to you, understand we don’t understand, sounds a lot like that it depends on what is is.

I have no problem to a degree with what the emergent church is saying, I was preaching and teaching it to people long before I new there was a movement and didn’t seem to have any problems. What I don’t understand is why people who think that way don’t understand why people react to it as they do. What did you expect? There life experiences is so radically different why would you expect anything but?

I also struggle with the idea that to be all things to all people means one should think about supporting an emergent ministry. In my neck of the woods being all things to all people would be a cowboy church. When Paul went to the synagogue he didn’t talk like he did on Mars Hill. I personally think that people in the emergent church think they understand moderns and so they think they need to tell the moderns how to understand them. I’m just not sure that is really true. If they understood moderns it would seem they would work much harder to present things in a way that a modern could understand. 

Also what Mclaren said about homosexuality, or more accurately tried not to say even though it would seem that anyone can read between those lines, is an issue. How do you expect a Modern who thinks of supporting this movement isn’t going to be concerned? Think of a Modern who has grown up with clearly defined borders (who is our enemy: U.S.S.R., Communism) is going to look for a source to give them a clearly defined border? Bell didn’t help IMO when in Velvet Elvis he asked if a person could be a Christian if he didn’t believe in the virgin birth and explained all the reasons why it could have been copied from the culture of the day. I don't mind bringing up those facts but instead of defending or explaining he just said is that OK. It would seem to me that if that is the movement I’m not going there.

One can’t say look to this person or that to understand the emergent church until I don’t like what he or she says and then ignore that person. A modern doesn’t work that way. If you don’t want to change moderns stop expecting them to think like an emergent in the discussion.

Understand that they will continue to ask the same questions not because they don’t hear or listen to what you say but because they process information and distill it and expect that at some point it must be defined and I will be blatantly honest, I think that is not a modern/post modern thing but actually the way we were made. Even the emergent church has to define itself at some point. People need something concrete. Nebulous marketing speak works for a time but at some point we humans, no matter our birthdates, need some foundational facts. The early church councils didn’t come up for no reason and the early church didn’t vacillate because it wanted to. They didn’t create them because saying I’m a Jesus follower wasn’t enough. It emerged from its Jewish roots because it had to. The church has to define itself and to not do so is to risk the historic context of the church.

I’ll be honest, I think it comes down to dollars. The older generations, those moderns who have their list and think that giving matters because it is one of their bricks give to the church. Their life experience taught them that you support a good cause and you support the institution because it will eventually win over evil. The younger generations who have no connection and have a truckload of distrust don’t want to give to the system. How does one support such a ministry? It would seem that the emergents need to follow another Paul example and become tent makers and realize that is OK. Go totally emergent and don't make it a goal to one day be able to support a salary full-time.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: Skip on Mon Mar 13, 2006 - 10:43:39
Kandam,

I would agree. [praise]

To build on your comments --
I see Post-modernism as setting up false dilemmas.
Here are two:
-- Modern or Post-modern
-- Emergent Church or Non-emergent (Modern) Churches

First of all, I would contend that there are many more ideas than just Modernism floating around in Christianity.
Second, there seems to be a basic problem, IMO, with the idea of segmenting off the Church into Emergent and Non-emergent. As if it wasn't bad enough to have doctrinal sects, now Post-modernism seems to be ready to accept ideological / cultural sectarianism as well. I hope that is not the intention, but it is the implication, fueled what is seen as the refusal of Pomos to engage in real communication with non-Pomos.
Finally, "Whatever works for you" is not, IMO, a Christian principle. It may be that the "Whatever works for you" philosophy is a natural regression of Christianity in a persecution-free society -- a generous toleration that exceeds the bounds of orthodoxy.

I am reminded of the Christian missionaries in India who find that some Hindus have added Jesus Christ to the gods that they worship -- which one could call "very Post-modern", for they believe in Jesus Christ within the context of their Hinduism...
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: OldDad on Mon Mar 13, 2006 - 11:24:46
Quote
"Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: ellisadam on Mon Mar 13, 2006 - 12:17:49
Adam,

I don’t think people see the emergent church as a threat. I personally think it is the marketing words and concepts that accompany the idea that are hard for any older person to understand. Think about a group of people who grew up through the 60’s and 70’s when the President was a liar and a cheat and they heard the military mislead the public about a war in Vietnam and maybe what seems reasonable to you, understand we don’t understand, sounds a lot like that it depends on what is is.

I have no problem to a degree with what the emergent church is saying, I was preaching and teaching it to people long before I new there was a movement and didn’t seem to have any problems. What I don’t understand is why people who think that way don’t understand why people react to it as they do. What did you expect? There life experiences is so radically different why would you expect anything but?

I also struggle with the idea that to be all things to all people means one should think about supporting an emergent ministry. In my neck of the woods being all things to all people would be a cowboy church. When Paul went to the synagogue he didn’t talk like he did on Mars Hill. I personally think that people in the emergent church think they understand moderns and so they think they need to tell the moderns how to understand them. I’m just not sure that is really true. If they understood moderns it would seem they would work much harder to present things in a way that a modern could understand. 

Also what Mclaren said about homosexuality, or more accurately tried not to say even though it would seem that anyone can read between those lines, is an issue. How do you expect a Modern who thinks of supporting this movement isn’t going to be concerned? Think of a Modern who has grown up with clearly defined borders (who is our enemy: U.S.S.R., Communism) is going to look for a source to give them a clearly defined border? Bell didn’t help IMO when in Velvet Elvis he asked if a person could be a Christian if he didn’t believe in the virgin birth and explained all the reasons why it could have been copied from the culture of the day. I don't mind bringing up those facts but instead of defending or explaining he just said is that OK. It would seem to me that if that is the movement I’m not going there.

One can’t say look to this person or that to understand the emergent church until I don’t like what he or she says and then ignore that person. A modern doesn’t work that way. If you don’t want to change moderns stop expecting them to think like an emergent in the discussion.

Understand that they will continue to ask the same questions not because they don’t hear or listen to what you say but because they process information and distill it and expect that at some point it must be defined and I will be blatantly honest, I think that is not a modern/post modern thing but actually the way we were made. Even the emergent church has to define itself at some point. People need something concrete. Nebulous marketing speak works for a time but at some point we humans, no matter our birthdates, need some foundational facts. The early church councils didn’t come up for no reason and the early church didn’t vacillate because it wanted to. They didn’t create them because saying I’m a Jesus follower wasn’t enough. It emerged from its Jewish roots because it had to. The church has to define itself and to not do so is to risk the historic context of the church.

I’ll be honest, I think it comes down to dollars. The older generations, those moderns who have their list and think that giving matters because it is one of their bricks give to the church. Their life experience taught them that you support a good cause and you support the institution because it will eventually win over evil. The younger generations who have no connection and have a truckload of distrust don’t want to give to the system. How does one support such a ministry? It would seem that the emergents need to follow another Paul example and become tent makers and realize that is OK. Go totally emergent and don't make it a goal to one day be able to support a salary full-time.


Kanham,
Your words here are very wise.  I appreciate them and thank you for taking the time to write them.  For the record, I don't think every church should have an "emergent ministry", btw, though I'm sure there are those who do.  And I am going to continue my career in professional ministry, accepting a check from a church.  I am a youth minister.  This is what is connecting and working there.  You would also be surprised (actually you probably wouldn't be) at how many adults and especially college students (who care nothing about the terms "emergent" or "emerging church") are resonating with EC-type ideas when I present them in various venues.  I think there is a place for people like me on church staffs, and I think there will be even more of a place as time passes. 

Thanks again for the post. 
AE
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: Skip on Mon Mar 13, 2006 - 12:42:38
...[url]http://www.challies.com/community/archives/001187.php[/url] ([url]http://www.challies.com/community/archives/001187.php[/url])
links to some blogging done by Ron Gleason.
...

Wow.
What an article. I just had to stop [at the end of] part 1 and say, "Wow."
What a great article.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: ellisadam on Mon Mar 13, 2006 - 12:43:45
Quote
"Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: Arkstfan on Mon Mar 13, 2006 - 13:11:21
Regarding
http://www.challies.com/community/archives/001187.php

Interesting.

I agree with the sermon I heard yesterday.

We should never teach a lesson that a Muslim, Buddist, Hindu, etc would feel comfortable with because we should always be proclaiming death, burial and resurrection.

The author of the piece is quite foolish in his admonition because he is confusing issues.

Without question there will be snakes out there who will find a home for their heretical or approaching heretical views in the emergent style.  There will also be the foolish who will accept them and in large part will do so because "traditional" church has scorned them despite teaching truth simply because the traditional could not accept the idea of mixing song styles, meeting in homes, lacking a corporate structure etc.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: ellisadam on Mon Mar 13, 2006 - 13:19:13
oh, and did anyone listen to the Pagitt inteview I posted?  I'd love to hear your reactions if you did.
AE
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: OldDad on Mon Mar 13, 2006 - 13:32:59
Adam,

I'm reading Reimagining Spiritual Formation at the moment - is Pagitt's interview substantially different from his book?

OD
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: ellisadam on Mon Mar 13, 2006 - 13:41:15
OD,
I would say it's substantially different.  It doesn't disagree or contradict, but he deals with different things for the most part.  It would be worth your time.  There is also audio on Pagitt's site of an interview between Pagitt and a guy named Bob DeWayy the day before they were supposed to have a debate about the Emerging Church.  Really interesting stuff.  I haven't been able to find audio of the actual debate, but they interact quite a bit in the interview.  I think you'd really be interested in that one.  All of Pagitt's audio can be found here:
http://web.mac.com/pagitt/iWeb/Doug%20Pagitt.Com/PagittCast/PagittCast.html (http://web.mac.com/pagitt/iWeb/Doug%20Pagitt.Com/PagittCast/PagittCast.html)
AE
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: boringoldguy on Mon Mar 13, 2006 - 14:01:46

I am a youth minister.  This is what is connecting and working there.  You would also be surprised (actually you probably wouldn't be) at how many adults and especially college students (who care nothing about the terms "emergent" or "emerging church") are resonating with EC-type ideas when I present them in various venues. 


I haven't any doubt that the emergent or post-modern  talk "resonates" or "connects"  with lots of people, that it "works."   I think it would "resonate" or "connect" or "work"  with nearly anybody -  modern, post-modern or what have you.   That's because it appears to me to be what kanham has said it is -  marketing talk.  (I think that's ironic in a way -  what is more typical of modernism than contemporary marketing practices,  which turn emotional manipulation into a scientific discipline.?)

My doubt is whether these techniques or slogans or whatever they are will have any staying power.     We know that the so-called "emergent" movement addresses itself mainly to young, white, tolerably educated, middle and upper-class urbanites and suburbanites.    In other words,  this stuff resonates mainly with people who haven't yet encountered any problems or challenges that money (or their parents) can't solve.

How will this business hold up to the real challenges that are coming toward them down the road:

1.  Failing health;
2.  The sickness and death of friends and family;
3.  A child who insists upon pursuing an immoral way of life and won't be deterred;
4.  Career disappointments;
5.  Financial reverses?

I have my doubts that the stuff I've been reading will be of much use when "emergents" face these challenges.     It's at those times that people need eternal certainties, and not the the vague intangibles that I see from the emergent conversation.

To put it bluntly, from what I've seen,  this "emergent" business is fine for the drawing-room or the dinner table,  but it won't be much use when life becomes unpleasant.  
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: Phil Wilson on Mon Mar 13, 2006 - 14:16:31

I am a youth minister.  This is what is connecting and working there.  You would also be surprised (actually you probably wouldn't be) at how many adults and especially college students (who care nothing about the terms "emergent" or "emerging church") are resonating with EC-type ideas when I present them in various venues. 


I haven't any doubt that the emergent or post-modern  talk "resonates" or "connects"  with lots of people, that it "works."   I think it would "resonate" or "connect" or "work"  with nearly anybody -  modern, post-modern or what have you.   That's because it appears to me to be what kanham has said it is -  marketing talk.  (I think that's ironic in a way -  what is more typical of modernism than contemporary marketing practices,  which turn emotional manipulation into a scientific discipline.?)

My doubt is whether these techniques or slogans or whatever they are will have any staying power.     We know that the so-called "emergent" movement addresses itself mainly to young, white, tolerably educated, middle and upper-class urbanites and suburbanites.    In other words,  this stuff resonates mainly with people who haven't yet encountered any problems or challenges that money (or their parents) can't solve.

How will this business hold up to the real challenges that are coming toward them down the road:

1.  Failing health;
2.  The sickness and death of friends and family;
3.  A child who insists upon pursuing an immoral way of life and won't be deterred;
4.  Career disappointments;
5.  Financial reverses?

I have my doubts that the stuff I've been reading will be of much use when "emergents" face these challenges.     It's at those times that people need eternal certainties, and not the the vague intangibles that I see from the emergent conversation.

To put it bluntly, from what I've seen,  this "emergent" business is fine for the drawing-room or the dinner table,  but it won't be much use when life becomes unpleasant. 

BOG, I've found that it works well in these circumstances because for many people the level of involvement in people's lives extends through out the week (again, not to say that it doesn't happen in "non-emergent" churches). There is a huge level of support that happens. I experienced this when I lost my job and the support I got from my church, which isn't emergent per se, but has a lot of the sensibilities. Community is a huge part of the ethos of many in Emergent, as it should be for followers of Christ. And support in times of trial and struggle is a necessary part of that.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: charlie on Mon Mar 13, 2006 - 14:25:22
One of the descriptors of the emergent church movement is "missional", and this makes me wonder about the value and effectiveness of this paradigm in third world missions. I seriously doubt it will make better inroads in those areas, or whether the 10-40 zone of world missions will be transformed for the better by adopting this approach.

Of course, missions also includes second and first world evangelism, which includes post-Christian Europe and the United States. Bottom line, if this is needed to reach the young urbanites and disaffected European intellectuals (i.e. our neighbors), then so be it. All things to all people, right? Even so, even the great Paul only hoped to reach some. If our efforts don't yield results that we were hoping for, the important thing is that we allowed God to move through us. Perhaps we modernists should simply be working alongside the pomos and catching the souls that slip through their nets, and vice versa.

The marketing of the EC movement is pretty crafty, though. It is reminiscent to me of similar deconstructionist approaches used by C S Lewis and Francis Schaeffer. Its ostensible rejection of definability is probably the one feature that I find personally exasperating. Basically, the more I read about it, the more it seems to be whatever its proponents want it to be. Go ahead and have them list its various qualities. And just when you think you've caught them in a fatal error of logic, WHAM!! Rule number one, baby! Logic is incurably modern, and therefore backwards to the pomo mind. Nice try, grandpa, but whatever you think is wrong about us is just another example of misunderstanding on your part.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: boringoldguy on Mon Mar 13, 2006 - 14:27:27
Phil:

I wasn't really getting at that.

There comes a time when community and support and friends just don't get the job done.
You have to make hard decisions about what you're goint to do.

Like this:

"Dad,   I'm going to do XYZ,  and I know you believe that God disapproves of that and you think it's immoral,  but if you love me you'll support me in it."

"Community" won't be any use then.   And you don't need "support."    You need certainty,  and you're not going to get it from these people.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: Phil Wilson on Mon Mar 13, 2006 - 14:29:33
Phil:

I wasn't really getting at that.

There comes a time when community and support and friends just don't get the job done.
You have to make hard decisions about what you're goint to do.

Like this:

"Dad,   I'm going to do XYZ,  and I know you believe that God disapproves of that and you think it's immoral,  but if you love me you'll support me in it."

"Community" won't be any use then.   And you don't need "support."    You need certainty,  and you're not going to get it from these people.

you don't think community is of use then? I think that's when community is most valuable.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: charlie on Mon Mar 13, 2006 - 14:35:59
BOG, I've found that it works well in these circumstances because for many people the level of involvement in people's lives extends through out the week (again, not to say that it doesn't happen in "non-emergent" churches). There is a huge level of support that happens. I experienced this when I lost my job and the support I got from my church, which isn't emergent per se, but has a lot of the sensibilities. Community is a huge part of the ethos of many in Emergent, as it should be for followers of Christ. And support in times of trial and struggle is a necessary part of that.

I'm not BOG, but community support is not a uniquely emergent value, no matter how well they emphasize it. If anything, it is ancient. It is through community that God first communicated the values that he wanted us to have. Consider the Passover and how God specifically mentioned what to say when your children (not just yours, but all the kids around you) ask what the deal is with the unleaven bread, etc.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: boringoldguy on Mon Mar 13, 2006 - 14:38:15
Phil:

I wasn't really getting at that.

There comes a time when community and support and friends just don't get the job done.
You have to make hard decisions about what you're goint to do.

Like this:

"Dad,   I'm going to do XYZ,  and I know you believe that God disapproves of that and you think it's immoral,  but if you love me you'll support me in it."

"Community" won't be any use then.   And you don't need "support."    You need certainty,  and you're not going to get it from these people.

Likewise,  when your friends go home to their families and

Your spouse is still gone
Your parents are dead
You''re sick and you aren't going to get well

The door closes,  the friends go home,  and you're there alone in the house with the devil.

Those are the times I'm talking about.    Community is good,  and Jesus certainly told us to help each other, and I'm certainly in favor of doing that.   But there are things we have to wrestle with alone.    How much good will this emergent business be then?
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: Phil Wilson on Mon Mar 13, 2006 - 14:46:33
BOG, I've found that it works well in these circumstances because for many people the level of involvement in people's lives extends through out the week (again, not to say that it doesn't happen in "non-emergent" churches). There is a huge level of support that happens. I experienced this when I lost my job and the support I got from my church, which isn't emergent per se, but has a lot of the sensibilities. Community is a huge part of the ethos of many in Emergent, as it should be for followers of Christ. And support in times of trial and struggle is a necessary part of that.

I'm not BOG, but community support is not a uniquely emergent value, no matter how well they emphasize it. If anything, it is ancient. It is through community that God first communicated the values that he wanted us to have. Consider the Passover and how God specifically mentioned what to say when your children (not just yours, but all the kids around you) ask what the deal is with the unleaven bread, etc.

And I'm not trying to say that it is uniquely emergent, but people who gravitate to emergent type churches are not finding that where they are. I think that's a question that mainstream churches and Christians have to ask themselves. I agree that it's ancient and has been a part of the Christian disciplines for centuries, but maybe we've lost a piece of that.

I think that Emergent is as much a reaction against "modern churches"  as it is to individualized Western culture, and whether we think it's true, they see the church as an extension of that culture.

I don't think emergent is the answer, just as I don't think the modern church is the answer. Emergent is new and shiny. That's always going to attract people. There are some people who find fulfillment in that. There are some that find it in a megachurch. I'm not trying to support one side and denigrate the other. I sympathize with much of the critique Emergent offers, but what has attracted me about it is not that it says I have to be Emergent to be right. It has pointed me more towards Jesus and that's what's attracted me.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: Lee Freeman on Mon Mar 13, 2006 - 14:50:58
Phil:

I wasn't really getting at that.

There comes a time when community and support and friends just don't get the job done.
You have to make hard decisions about what you're goint to do.

Like this:

"Dad,   I'm going to do XYZ,  and I know you believe that God disapproves of that and you think it's immoral,  but if you love me you'll support me in it."

"Community" won't be any use then.   And you don't need "support."    You need certainty,  and you're not going to get it from these people.

you don't think community is of use then? I think that's when community is most valuable.

I agree. That's exactly the time when community would be of the most importance. If a kid has grown up in the right kind of church family/community she'll be less likely to do something she knows is objectively immoral, and if by some chance she does, she'll know the community won't support her immorality, and the community's disapproval coupled with loving counseling might just convince her to abandon the immoral behavior and repent her sins.

Certainly we'll each stand before God alone to answer for the conduct of our lives-we won't be able to pass off resonsibility to the church for how we acted or failed to act. However when faced with important or daunting moral choices it helps not to have to make such choices totally alone, to know your church family's got your back, so to speak. And that they'll bend over backwards to help you make the right choices; but it's also comforting to know that even if you do make the wrong choice they won't excommunicate you or shun you-they won't shoot their wounded; they won't encourage your bad behavior or give you a pass on it, but they'll encourage you to repent and make things right with God and the community.

What little I've read about post-modernism and the Emergent Church seems to encourage just such a sense of community-though as I've said, I haven't read enough to be able to say conclusively yet.

I didn't realize it until I read their sign again, but the North Wood Avenue United Methodist Church (one the "denominational" churches my church has met with) has an Emergent church service specifically geared towards teens and college students on Sunday mornings before the "regular" service. This church's theology is fairly traditional and conservative, yet they're apparently willing to try something new in order to connect with people they'd likely not connect with in their "regular" service.

Pax vobiscum.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: Skip on Mon Mar 13, 2006 - 15:26:11
Lee,

Just a reminder that BOG has given you up for Lent.
It would probably be good if you didn't jump into the midst of his discussions with other posters.

---

Actually, I think BOG is barking up the wrong tree to some degree.
I've already posted extensively to the point that Emergent Christianity is centered upon human relationships:
Consensual relationships, consensual truth, and mutual toleration are central principles.

So it's not the people / human relationships that are missing...
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: boringoldguy on Mon Mar 13, 2006 - 15:33:52
Skip

My point is this -  the POMO stuff isn't going to keep people faithful when they are tempted.  Neither relationships or all this "my truth and your truth"  and all of that.  I don't believe it'll stand up to the tests that life really throw at people.

Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: Phil Wilson on Mon Mar 13, 2006 - 15:38:49
Skip

My point is this -  the POMO stuff isn't going to keep people faithful when they are tempted.  Neither relationships or all this "my truth and your truth"  and all of that.  I don't believe it'll stand up to the tests that life really throw at people.



I guess my question to you, BOG, is how can you make that kind of guess without knowing more?
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: boringoldguy on Mon Mar 13, 2006 - 15:39:59
Skip

My point is this -  the POMO stuff isn't going to keep people faithful when they are tempted.  Neither relationships or all this "my truth and your truth"  and all of that.  I don't believe it'll stand up to the tests that life really throw at people.

Community can't do these things for you, and if that's all that the EC is about, it's going to leave a lot of ruined lives in its path.


Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: boringoldguy on Mon Mar 13, 2006 - 15:42:22
Skip

My point is this -  the POMO stuff isn't going to keep people faithful when they are tempted.  Neither relationships or all this "my truth and your truth"  and all of that.  I don't believe it'll stand up to the tests that life really throw at people.



I guess my question to you, BOG, is how can you make that kind of guess without knowing more?

Relativism, subjectivism,  whatever you wish to call this stuff, has never been reliable in the past,  and there's no reason to believe it will be in the future.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: Skip on Mon Mar 13, 2006 - 15:48:35
Skip

My point is this -  the POMO stuff isn't going to keep people faithful when they are tempted.  Neither relationships or all this "my truth and your truth"  and all of that.  I don't believe it'll stand up to the tests that life really throw at people.
Perhaps.
If that is true, then that might explain why the EC has little appeal to demographics that are already spiritually "tried", such as Baby Boomers, nor to demographics that already have a culture of relationships, such as Hispanics.

(Assuming that my demographic assumptions are correct)

[edit]
I see that just today I have exploded to a 4-point lead in the race against BOG to -666 manna...
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: Phil Wilson on Mon Mar 13, 2006 - 15:53:37
Skip

My point is this -  the POMO stuff isn't going to keep people faithful when they are tempted.  Neither relationships or all this "my truth and your truth"  and all of that.  I don't believe it'll stand up to the tests that life really throw at people.



I guess my question to you, BOG, is how can you make that kind of guess without knowing more?

Relativism, subjectivism,  whatever you wish to call this stuff, has never been reliable in the past,  and there's no reason to believe it will be in the future.

And right doctrine always has? And again, I don't think all Emergents are relativistic, but in my way of thinking, being taught "right doctrine" hasn't prevented people from walking away or ruining lives.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: Skip on Mon Mar 13, 2006 - 16:01:22
Skip

My point is this -  the POMO stuff isn't going to keep people faithful when they are tempted.  Neither relationships or all this "my truth and your truth"  and all of that.  I don't believe it'll stand up to the tests that life really throw at people.



I guess my question to you, BOG, is how can you make that kind of guess without knowing more?

Relativism, subjectivism,  whatever you wish to call this stuff, has never been reliable in the past,  and there's no reason to believe it will be in the future.

And right doctrine always has? And again, I don't think all Emergents are relativistic, but in my way of thinking, being taught "right doctrine" hasn't prevented people from walking away or ruining lives.
Interesting; a very Post-modern / Deconstructive answer.
A relativistic answer; a relative comparison to what is perceived as Modern.
Justification by comparison to what is seen as the 'Modern standard'.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: boringoldguy on Mon Mar 13, 2006 - 16:02:59
Has right doctrine ever been reliable?

I don't know.  

How about

" I believe in the God the Father almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth
and in Jesus Christ His son
Conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified,  dead and buried . . . "

Has certainty of that ever been reliable?    I think so.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: Phil Wilson on Mon Mar 13, 2006 - 16:18:41
Skip, if you want to think of me that way, that's fine. Like I said, I find many things about the Emergent ethos attractive and some not. The relativism, I don't, but like Adam said, not everyone who identifies as Emergent is.

And BOG, I'm not denying the truth of that statement; I never have. But faith alone is empty. Action has to live behind it. Action developed with faith in community as God intended it.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: boringoldguy on Mon Mar 13, 2006 - 16:27:05
And I'm saying I don't believe that a community which takes the approach I'm hearing described can ever grow a faith that will support such action.    That's my entire point.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: boringoldguy on Mon Mar 13, 2006 - 16:28:53
It's hardly fair.  I started the day at -4.  Don't know what I'm doing wrong.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: ConnieLard on Mon Mar 13, 2006 - 18:03:03
It's hardly fair.  I started the day at -4.  Don't know what I'm doing wrong.

So many of your posts make a person smile, BOG.  You're cute in a curmudgeonly way. 
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: Lee Freeman on Mon Mar 13, 2006 - 18:27:25
Lee,

Just a reminder that BOG has given you up for Lent.
It would probably be good if you didn't jump into the midst of his discussions with other posters.


You did. But pardon me.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: Arkstfan on Mon Mar 13, 2006 - 18:50:24

We know that the so-called "emergent" movement addresses itself mainly to young, white, tolerably educated, middle and upper-class urbanites and suburbanites.    In other words,  this stuff resonates mainly with people who haven't yet encountered any problems or challenges that money (or their parents) can't solve.

I'm 40.
Been through the loss of a child.
Watched my mother-in-law suffer the slow death cancer brings.
Comforted my wife as her father moved his girlfriend into her childhood home less than 2 weeks after his wife died.
Teetered on the verge of financial ruin.
Stood by my wife through several health issues.
Hospitalized myself with depression (not hospitalized by choice either).

Neither money nor my parents resolved my issues.

The emergent style resonates deeply with me because it isn't about the ritualistic almost empty church experience I had lived with.

Emergent isn't a cure all any more than "contemporary" was. It is another way of speaking  to believers and to those who you hope to lead to Christ. Our culture is changing and if we refuse to speak to those in it in a way that resonates with them we are ignoring the repeated advice of Paul.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: memmy on Mon Mar 13, 2006 - 19:11:09
Quote
Our culture is changing and if we refuse to speak to those in it in a way that resonates with them we are ignoring the repeated advice of Paul.

So true!
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: janine on Mon Mar 13, 2006 - 19:54:50
If the way we've "always" done things is nothing but a banging gong or clanging cymbal, we've got to change our ways. 

Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: memmy on Mon Mar 13, 2006 - 19:58:23
Amen Sista Janine!   :)
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: rhbrandon on Mon Mar 13, 2006 - 21:07:05
Skip

My point is this -  the POMO stuff isn't going to keep people faithful when they are tempted.  Neither relationships or all this "my truth and your truth"  and all of that.  I don't believe it'll stand up to the tests that life really throw at people.



I guess my question to you, BOG, is how can you make that kind of guess without knowing more?

Relativism, subjectivism,  whatever you wish to call this stuff, has never been reliable in the past,  and there's no reason to believe it will be in the future.

And right doctrine always has? And again, I don't think all Emergents are relativistic, but in my way of thinking, being taught "right doctrine" hasn't prevented people from walking away or ruining lives.
Interesting; a very Post-modern / Deconstructive answer.
A relativistic answer; a relative comparison to what is perceived as Modern.
Justification by comparison to what is seen as the 'Modern standard'.
Strikes me as a bit simplistic, but I'm here in the rural Missouri Ozarks; I'm just glad we're with a congregation not dead set on returning to the 50s.

Even so, found this from a group in Britain:

Quote
hanging church
Brian Draper's avatar
Posted by Brian Draper Fri, 08/10/2004 - 1:53pm :: Church | more by Brian Draper

Good news! The church is beginning to catch up with the big changes that have been shaping society. Philosophical, technological, political and social upheavals of the last few years have re-moulded the way we live and breathe and have our being – and much of the church has come to realise that it must engage or slowly die.

So, recently you might have used some images in worship, for example – through power-point slides or video. You might have taken part in some ‘interactive worship’ by lighting candles, making a prayer tree or walking a labyrinth. You might even have gone to a conference on ‘emerging church’.

In the rush to become more culturally savvy, however, the so-called 'emergent church' must beware simply dressing the same old church up in new clothes. As Brian McLaren points out in his excellent book The Church on the Other Side:

‘It’s been fashionable among the innovative pastors I know to say, “We’re not changing the message; we’re only changing the medium
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: OldDad on Mon Mar 13, 2006 - 21:17:22
Quote
Our culture is changing and if we refuse to speak to those in it in a way that resonates with them we are ignoring the repeated advice of Paul.

This is true.  And has been for roughly the past 50 years.  Many of those who are disengaged from the EC "conversation" are merely pointing out that there is nothing new under the sun.

OD
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: Arkstfan on Mon Mar 13, 2006 - 21:28:37
No there ain't much new out there.

In my small group last week (we are studying the book "Don't All Religions Lead to God") someone started a rant about various "new agey" teachings that were a new development.

I had to point out that these "new" teachings were basically the teachings we believe John was warning against in his writings.

If the church could survive modernisms ache to explain everything rationally it can survive post-modernism.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: rhbrandon on Mon Mar 13, 2006 - 21:59:24
Quote
Our culture is changing and if we refuse to speak to those in it in a way that resonates with them we are ignoring the repeated advice of Paul.

This is true.  And has been for roughly the past 50 years.  Many of those who are disengaged from the EC "conversation" are merely pointing out that there is nothing new under the sun.

OD
I would just suggest this: much of the modernist/post-modernist discussion seems to assume that the culture in which the Church operates is characteristically Western. Put another way, that the worldview that is either most characteristic or most appropriate for Christianity is within the Western tradition. However, for those not from a Western background, the arguments over modern vs. post-modern make about as much sense as our discussions over one-cup communion vs. trays does to an Episcopalian. We are missing something.

What we are apt to lose sight of is that Christianity is not dependent on adoption of this or any other worldview; it obviously contains all that we need in one. After all, our faith is not rooted in logic; it is rooted in the real event in history of the Cross and its effect on all those experiencing it and those exposed to those who did experience it.  So when someone like Hauerwas  points out how the message is about how we act toward each other, we are having the same experiences - and learning the same lessons - learned by our predecessors in faith over 1900 years ago. This is not a matter of "emotionalism" as some would label it: it is a matter of making the fact of the Cross a present reality in our lives.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: OldDad on Mon Mar 13, 2006 - 22:09:14
Quote
I would just suggest this: much of the modernist/post-modernist discussion seems to assume that the culture in which the Church operates is characteristically Western. Put another way, that the worldview that is either most characteristic or most appropriate for Christianity is within the Western tradition. However, for those not from a Western background, the arguments over modern vs. post-modern make about as much sense as our discussions over one-cup communion vs. trays does to an Episcopalian. We are missing something.

An excellent point, and one with which I heartily concur.

OD
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: Nevertheless on Mon Mar 13, 2006 - 23:48:46
Bob, I don't know what's gotten into you today.  Not only are your posts not annoying, but I find them quite thought-provoking.  ;)
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: Lee Freeman on Tue Mar 14, 2006 - 00:45:25
I know. It's kinda scary. :)

Seriously, though. I think there's a place for reason in the life of faith. I think there is a blance between reason and emotion in Christianity. Jesus said to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength Reason supports or upholds faith. Reason helps me decide that the claims Christianity makes are true and that I should believe them. Emotion is what quickens and enlivens my faith. Emotion makes sure it's not a cold, dead faith, that is only intellectual. So basically I think that Christianity is both objective Truth and subjective experience at the same time. Christianity is squarely based upon recorded historical events, which, if they aren't true, as Paul says, means our "faith is futile" and we are still in our sins and "are of all people most to be pitied."

Pax.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: rhbrandon on Tue Mar 14, 2006 - 06:10:50
Bob, I don't know what's gotten into you today.  Not only are your posts not annoying, but I find them quite thought-provoking.  ;)
I like to think that ALL of my posts are thought-provoking, without plumbing the depths of what is actually provoked.

 ;D
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: charlie on Tue Mar 14, 2006 - 07:07:49
If the church could survive modernisms ache to explain everything rationally it can survive post-modernism.

Good point, but the concern isn't so much over survival as it is over identity. It has been argued by many that the church, in fact, did not survive Constantinian endorsement. Rather, that it was corrupted into an unrecognizable and illegitimate form and had to be "restored" years later, and while there was doubtless some faithful Christian remnant, the organization of the Church as God intended had to be jumpstarted.

Of course, we chuckle at the thought of this, and yet we hold to our own faith groups (I do myself; three fingers are pointed back at me), thus we simultaneously reject the logic of this declaration and uphold its result. All the while, we ceaselessly endeavor to throw away the dodgy elements of our attempts at churching, constantly declaring, "we've been screwing it up, but now, at last, we're starting to get it right!" Protestantism, Restorationism, Mainstreamism, Contemporaryism, Postmodernism, Emergent Church, and then there's Fundamentalism, Holiness, Conservativism, Anti-ism, Quarantining (remember Foy?), the Boston Movement, ad infinitum.

The thing they all have in common, from what I can see, is an effort to deconstruct the past and the surrounding other, and "get it right at last."

This is what happens when you put Church ahead of Christ.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: memmy on Tue Mar 14, 2006 - 09:13:41
Bob said:
Quote
This is not a matter of "emotionalism" as some would label it: it is a matter of making the fact of the Cross a present reality in our lives.
Amen!

Wow Bob! I understand and also agree with you much better over here than in the negative politics thread.

Keep it up, and maybe I should just stay away from that other section altogether.  ;)

Please stick around in this thread. I find you much more interesting over here!  ;D (Or are you "emerging"?)  ;) again.

Blessings, Memmy
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: Arkstfan on Tue Mar 14, 2006 - 10:40:28
Good point, but the concern isn't so much over survival as it is over identity. It has been argued by many that the church, in fact, did not survive Constantinian endorsement. Rather, that it was corrupted into an unrecognizable and illegitimate form and had to be "restored" years later, and while there was doubtless some faithful Christian remnant, the organization of the Church as God intended had to be jumpstarted.

Of course, we chuckle at the thought of this, and yet we hold to our own faith groups (I do myself; three fingers are pointed back at me), thus we simultaneously reject the logic of this declaration and uphold its result. All the while, we ceaselessly endeavor to throw away the dodgy elements of our attempts at churching, constantly declaring, "we've been screwing it up, but now, at last, we're starting to get it right!" Protestantism, Restorationism, Mainstreamism, Contemporaryism, Postmodernism, Emergent Church, and then there's Fundamentalism, Holiness, Conservativism, Anti-ism, Quarantining (remember Foy?), the Boston Movement, ad infinitum.

The thing they all have in common, from what I can see, is an effort to deconstruct the past and the surrounding other, and "get it right at last."

This is what happens when you put Church ahead of Christ.

Organizationally we can't get it right. My thought is that throughout most of Christian history the Structure (or organization or form) has fought with Christ for supremacy over the body.

Remember in Acts and in the epistles that the early church was under attack from within about as much as it was from outside.

I think that conflict is essential to our identity it forces us to determine if our allegiance is to the building, the preacher, the convention, etc or Christ Jesus.

We need to be challenged. We need to be ready to challenge anyone who preaches a gospel short of the love of God contained in Christ's death and resurrection and be ready to be challenged on everything extra we cling to.

Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: ellisadam on Tue Mar 14, 2006 - 10:57:52


Organizationally we can't get it right. My thought is that throughout most of Christian history the Structure (or organization or form) has fought with Christ for supremacy over the body.

Remember in Acts and in the epistles that the early church was under attack from within about as much as it was from outside.

I think that conflict is essential to our identity it forces us to determine if our allegiance is to the building, the preacher, the convention, etc or Christ Jesus.

We need to be challenged. We need to be ready to challenge anyone who preaches a gospel short of the love of God contained in Christ's death and resurrection and be ready to be challenged on everything extra we cling to.



Amen, Ark. 
AE
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: memmy on Tue Mar 14, 2006 - 12:46:22
Quote
Organizationally we can't get it right. My thought is that throughout most of Christian history the Structure (or organization or form) has fought with Christ for supremacy over the body.

Remember in Acts and in the epistles that the early church was under attack from within about as much as it was from outside.

I think that conflict is essential to our identity it forces us to determine if our allegiance is to the building, the preacher, the convention, etc or Christ Jesus.

We need to be challenged. We need to be ready to challenge anyone who preaches a gospel short of the love of God contained in Christ's death and resurrection and be ready to be challenged on everything extra we cling to.

I second that Amen!
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: Cliftyman on Tue Mar 14, 2006 - 14:33:29
I like emotionalism myself.  Its what makes us human, and since we are created in God's image, I like to think we get our emotionalism from our creator.  ;D
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: Skip on Tue Mar 14, 2006 - 18:58:57
Skip, if you want to think of me that way, that's fine. Like I said, I find many things about the Emergent ethos attractive and some not. The relativism, I don't, but like Adam said, not everyone who identifies as Emergent is.
...
I assume you were responding to this:
"Interesting; a very Post-modern / Deconstructive answer.
A relativistic answer; a relative comparison to what is perceived as Modern.
Justification by comparison to what is seen as the 'Modern standard'."

I think of you as a Post-modern / Emergent.
And I was observing that your answer was Post-modern / Emergent.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: Skip on Tue Mar 14, 2006 - 19:00:57
It's hardly fair.  I started the day at -4.  Don't know what I'm doing wrong.
You made a nice run to -1 yesterday evening, but you don't have 'negative' staying power.
Got you by -2.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: Skip on Tue Mar 14, 2006 - 19:01:42
Lee,

Just a reminder that BOG has given you up for Lent.
It would probably be good if you didn't jump into the midst of his discussions with other posters.


You did. But pardon me.
BOG didn't give me up for Lent.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: Nevertheless on Tue Mar 14, 2006 - 21:47:00
Lee,

Just a reminder that BOG has given you up for Lent.
It would probably be good if you didn't jump into the midst of his discussions with other posters.


You did. But pardon me.
BOG didn't give me up for Lent.

I don't remember Lee ever saying he was giving up BOG for Lent . . .
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: memmy on Tue Mar 14, 2006 - 21:51:36
Wow nevertheless, you have so much manna that you are going to stretch your hammock!  ;)
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: boringoldguy on Wed Mar 15, 2006 - 17:40:21
Bumping this up to the top to point out that the ACU/"Equality Riders" thread pretty well proves the limitations of the PoMo/Emergent worldview.   As Skip said somewhere -  it's unable (more likely unwilling) to identify and confront sin.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: winky on Thu Mar 16, 2006 - 09:33:11
Just FYI, choosing to engage with sinners, rather than arresting them, does not preclude identifying and confronting sin. 
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: ellisadam on Fri Mar 24, 2006 - 09:31:36
Hey everyone,
Just thought some of you might find this interesting.  A few months ago Doug Pagitt and Bob DeWaay debated each other on "The Emerging Church and Postmodern Spirituality".  It's an interesting exchange that I think everyone involved in this thread would enjoy.  I'm not sure it will convince you one way or the other, but it does clearly identify the differences in the two positions.  You can get the mp3's by subscribing to "PagittCast" on itunes or by downloading or streaming them from here:
http://web.mac.com/pagitt/iWeb/Doug%20Pagitt.Com/PagittCast/PagittCast.html (http://web.mac.com/pagitt/iWeb/Doug%20Pagitt.Com/PagittCast/PagittCast.html)

AE
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: Phil Wilson on Fri Mar 24, 2006 - 10:37:43
And just in case people don't get enough to listen to with Pagitt and DeWaay, there was another conversation that happened back in September at Cornerstone University.

Brian McLaren, Mike Wittmer, and Ed Dobson talked about what the Emergent Church is and isn't. It's really interesting and civil and very enlightening. You can find the mp3's here (http://grts.cornerstone.edu/resources/tpoints/fa05). You get to hear both sides and disagreements and the best thing was that you also get Christian behavior from all sides.

Peace.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: OldDad on Wed May 31, 2006 - 12:09:59
Dusting off this old thread to share from good stuff from Chuck Colson...

Quote
Emerging Confusion
Jesus is the truth whether we experience him or not.
by Charles Colson with Anne Morse | posted 05/31/2006 09:30 a.m.

Distressed about my widely circulated exchanges with an "emerging church" leader, a young theologian confronted me after a conference. He urged me to try to understand them. "You might be surprised by how much you agree on," he said.

Maybe I had been too harsh. After all, the theologian—we'll call him Jim—argued that emerging church leaders are trying to translate the gospel for a postmodern generation. That's a commendable goal, I agreed. Though in their effort to reach postmoderns—who question the existence and knowability of truth—I expressed fear that they are coming dangerously close to teaching that objective truth does not exist.

A lengthy e-mail exchange with Jim followed. In defense of emerging church leaders, he insisted that truth is paradoxical, simultaneously personal and propositional. It is objectively true that Jesus Christ is Lord no matter what anyone thinks, Jim wrote. But, he added, "Propositional truth is not the highest truth. Indeed, the highest truth is personal."

Like all statements that can lead us into error, those have the ring of truth. Of course, truth becomes relational when we come to Jesus, Truth himself. But our doing that isn't what makes it true. He is the truth whether or not we ever experience him. Scripture is never less than revealed propositional truth.

Jim argued that one prominent emerging church leader won't say this for fear that the greater points he's trying to make won't be heard. Okay, I conceded, his motives may be good, but his position can lead people to think that truth depends on experience or comprehension.

Jim continued to plead for my understanding. Emerging church leaders are only seeking to challenge the church to go beyond static orthodoxy. Good, I replied—but what's new? I've been trying to get people out of pews to live their faith in prisons for 30 years.

Fearful that I was being influenced by stereotypes, I asked my associate Anne Morse to visit a leading emerging church. The service was a bit unsettling to a traditionalist, she reported, with no Bibles or hymnals in sight. During the service, congregants were free to engage in activities at various "stations" of the building: praying, journaling, or tithing. The pastor, who lacks formal seminary training, offered not a sermon, but the story of his decision to "follow Jesus."

But style is not really the issue. I've worshiped all over the world, in former prison torture chambers, under jungle overgrowth in Sri Lanka, and in homes of persecuted believers. And I recognize that the emerging church is trying to engage the postmodern mindset as Paul did at Mars Hill, picking up on Athenian cultural artifacts. Once he did that, however, Paul also taught them why they were wrong. He didn't sanctify the altar to the unknown god or say that pagans have things to teach us, as at least one emerging church leader does (when, for example, he says Buddhists have things to teach Christians about meditation).

The e-mails kept coming back to that one stubborn question: What is truth? While I now have increased sympathy for what emerging leaders are trying to accomplish, I still believe some have wrongly diagnosed the church—believing evangelicals are wedded to dry, dusty doctrine, the curse of modernity.

I only wish that were the problem. My experience is that most mainstream evangelicals are so steeped in the experiential gospel that they never think about truth propositionally. (Barna found while 63 percent of Americans do not believe in truth, 53 percent of evangelicals don't either.)

The arguments of some emerging church leaders, I fear, draw us perilously close to the trap set by postmodern deconstructionist Stanley Fish. Defending himself after his sympathetic statements about the 9/11 terrorists boomeranged, Fish claimed that postmodernists don't really deny the existence of truth. He said there is simply no "independent standard of objectivity." So truth can't be proved to others; therefore, it can't be known—a verbal sleight of hand.

For evangelicalism (let alone emerging churches) to buy into that would undermine the very foundation of our faith. Theologian Donald A. Carson puts his finger precisely on the epistemological problem: Of course, truth is relational, Carson writes. But before it can be relational, it has to be understood as objective. Truth is truth. It is, in short, ultimate reality. Fortunately, Jim came to see this.

The emerging church can offer a healthy corrective if it encourages us to more winsomely draw postmodern seekers to Christ wherever we find them—including coffee houses and pubs. And yes, worship styles need to be more inviting, and the strength of relationship and community experienced. But these must not deter us from making a solid apologetic defense of the knowability of truth.

OD
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: kanham on Wed May 31, 2006 - 12:21:33
Thanks OD.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: ollie on Wed May 31, 2006 - 13:05:37
What do you mean by \"emergent\"?
Another sect coming, soon to be labeled as "emergers".
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: ellisadam on Wed May 31, 2006 - 13:32:44
Here's sort of a response to Coleson by Tony Jones, the national coordinator of Emergent (from www.outofur.com):
Quote
Yesterday I received my latest copy of Christianity Today. I look forward with some ambivalence to the even-numbered months' editions because they contain both the columns of my friend, Andy Crouch, and of despiser-of-all-things-emergent, Chuck Colson (and his amaneuensis and, it seems, proxy church observer, Anne Morse). Colson has had a burr under his saddle about the emerging church for some time—for instance, in his last column he equated the emerging church with namby-pamby praise music (as he was bemoaning how many Christian radio stations are dropping his daily commentaries).

What Colson's writing has in fact betrayed over the last couple of years is that he knows very little about the emerging church. In this month's column ("Emerging Confusion: Jesus is the Truth Whether We Experience Him or Not"), he recounts a recent conversation with a "young theologian" named "Jim" (whose name has been changed to protect the innocent). "Jim" asked Chuck to take it easy on the emergents; they're just trying to translate the gospel for postmodern folks, "Jim" pleaded. That's a noble motive, Chuck replied, but if they undermine truth, then all is lost.

In his penultimate paragraph, Colson refers to D.A. Carson, fellow critic of Emergent, who argues that objective truth precedes relational truth. Colson then weighs in with this philosophical doozy: "Truth is truth.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: OldDad on Wed May 31, 2006 - 13:42:24
This "brilliant" nugget...

Quote
The gospel is true, Colson seems to be saying, regardless of your human experience of that truth.

But philosophically, the obvious follow-up question is, Why? What makes the gospel true, especially if those of us in the world have no experience of its truthfulness?

and this one...

Quote
If, however, you'd like to first see our doctrinal statement on penal substitution or read a position paper on homosexuality, then Emergent Village isn't for you.

pretty much told me all I needed to know.

OD
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: Arkstfan on Wed May 31, 2006 - 16:05:06
Hang on.

Go back and read Colson again.

Barna found while 63 percent of Americans do not believe in truth, 53 percent of evangelicals don't either.

Colson's battle is already lost, he just argued and seems to miss that point.

Colson also says.
Defending himself after his sympathetic statements about the 9/11 terrorists boomeranged, Fish claimed that postmodernists don't really deny the existence of truth. He said there is simply no "independent standard of objectivity." So truth can't be proved to others; therefore, it can't be known—a verbal sleight of hand.

Apologetics exist because we cannot prove the existence of God to an independent standard of objectivity or to a scientific certainty. Faith and belief have always been part of the equation. Why Colson wishes to cling to a method of logic the inherently denies God is beyond me. Modernism declares that truth is those things observable and repeatable. We cannot carry that burden.

Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: Nevertheless on Wed May 31, 2006 - 21:01:26
We tend to think of postmodernism, or the fight against it, as a rather recent occurrence.  However, I was struck by the similarity of some of Colson's arguments to the first page of Lewis' The Screwtape Letters, written in 1941.

Quote
My dear Wormwood,
I note what you say about guiding your patient's reading and taking care that he sees a good deal of his materialist friend.  But are you not being a trifle naive?  It sounds as if you supposed that argument was the way to keep him out of the Enemy's clutches.  That might have been so if he had lived a few centuries earlier.  At that time the humans still knew pretty well when a thing was proved and when it was not; and if it was proved they really believed it.  They still connected thinking with doing and were prepared to alter their way of life as the result of a chain of reasoning.  But what with the weekly press and other such weapons we have largely altered that.  Your man has been accustomed, ever since he was a boy, to have a dozen incompatible philosophies dancing about together inside his head.  He doesn't think of doctrines as primarily 'true' or 'false', but as 'academic' or 'practical', 'outworn' or 'contemporary', 'conventional' or 'ruthless'.  Jargon, not argument is your best ally in keeping him from the Church.  Don't waste time trying to make him think that materialism is true!  Make him think it is strong, or stark, or courageous -- that is the philosophy of the future.  That's the sort of thing he cares about.
[...]
Even if a particular train of thought can be twisted so as to end in our favour, you will find that you have been strengthening in your patient the fatal habit of attending to universal issues and withdrawing his attention from the stream of immediate sense experiences.  Your business is to fix his attention on the stream.  Teach him to call it 'real life' and don't let him ask what he means by 'real'.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: OldDad on Thu Jul 06, 2006 - 14:52:27
This thread gets bumped every couple of months...

I've recently begun reading the blog and listening to the podcasts of Mark Driscoll, founding pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, WA.  Fascinating reading and listening.

I stumbled across this today on his blog at theresurgence.com:

Quote
"In the mid-1990s I was part of what is now known as the Emerging Church and spent some time traveling the country to speak on the emerging church in the emerging culture on a team put together by Leadership Network called the Young Leader Network. But, I eventually had to distance myself from the Emergent stream of the network because friends like Brian McLaren and Doug Pagitt began pushing a theological agenda that greatly troubled me. Examples include referring to God as a chick, questioning God’s sovereignty over and knowledge of the future, denial of the substitutionary atonement at the cross, a low view of Scripture, and denial of hell which is one hell of a mistake.

Since that time I have frankly not known what my place is in the greater church. I am part of no denomination and in a city where the evangelical heterosexual male pastors could have a meeting in a phone booth. Theologically I am an old school Bible-thumper, and culturally I am a progressive because my heart burns for the church to be an effective missionary to the culture for the gospel. "

Amen.

OD

Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: ellisadam on Thu Jul 06, 2006 - 15:22:17
OD,
If you like Driscoll's blog and podcasts, you should really check out his books "The Radical Reformission" and "Confessions of a Reformission Rev."  He is a really interesting guy, and I think he has a good heart.  Recently, he got into a heated debate (of sorts) with Brian McLaren over at the out of Ur blog.  He later logged on and humbly apologized for the way he had conducted himself (while still holding his position).  All in all I think he's a good voice to listen to and he has a lot to contribute.
AE
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: marc on Sat Jun 12, 2010 - 20:54:52
I'm bumping this, although the first part is a bit out of order, because I get the idea that the emerging church idea has less sympathy on this board than it once die. I'm likely one of the few left who have emerging leanings, even though I'm a bit all-over-the-place on this. One result of the addition of the sub-boards, particularly the end times board, is that this board has become more fundamentalist.

What do you guys think?
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: ela on Sun Jun 13, 2010 - 06:14:22
I'm bumping this, although the first part is a bit out of order, because I get the idea that the emerging church idea has less sympathy on this board than it once die. I'm likely one of the few left who have emerging leanings, even though I'm a bit all-over-the-place on this. One result of the addition of the sub-boards, particularly the end times board, is that this board has become more fundamentalist.

What do you guys think?

Hi marc....well, my husband and I are going to a new emerging church and I love it at this point. I believe the thrust, at least in ours, is to be Christ to one another and to the world...what better? The Holy Spirit is there unlike I have sensed in years....yet, not in the charismatic way. The fruits of the Holy Spirit are already evident and the Pastor is fervant to pastor the flock.

One thing that I haven't seen, or at least in years, is he teaches how to love (in practical ways)...as he believes (I too) that Godly love is not natural to people, so we need to learn about biblical love so we can recognize what it is, in order to let it flow. He believes that Godly love has to be first and foremost...then everything is built on that.

Bless you...
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: marc on Sun Jun 13, 2010 - 11:29:23
Thanks.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: bml1st on Mon Jun 21, 2010 - 18:37:03
I think it is deeper and gotten bigger than this thread tends to take it. To hear what I think about the emerging/Emerging/Emergent church, go to YouTube and listen to Mark Driscoll talk about it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58fgkfS6E-0

Listen to John MacArthur on it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OH1yOmij7Q4

And listen to this panel on Brian McLaren: http://www.sbts.edu/resources/chapel/chapel-spring-2010/panel-discussion-a-new-kind-of-christianity-brian-mclaren-recasts-the-gospel/

I think the EC started with good questions but has taken their questions into convictions and doctrines that are harming the church.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: marc on Mon Jun 21, 2010 - 19:08:25
Or even better....listen to Brian McLaren and other proponents themselves!
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: marc on Mon Jun 21, 2010 - 19:14:27
btw, Driscoll differentiates between emerging and Emergent. I did for a while, but everyone seems to use the words interchangeably.  If you're doing a theological survey, it won't make much of a difference, but if you're identifying Emergent as the organization with that name, that's another story. Having an organization automatically causes doctrines to be quantified and identified, something that is contrary to what I see as the heart of the movement.

Like I said, there are certain Emergent doctrines I disagree with, but I consider myself emerging/emergent in the general sense.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: ela on Mon Jun 21, 2010 - 20:43:15
The church I am attending is considered an emerging church...and it is not a church of fluff...not at all. Our particular church is a pioneer church and the fruits of the Holy Spirit are evident and our heart is to be as Christ to the world. What I believe can be very damaging is to point fingers and to put down groups...as God takes churches and individuals within the body seperately.

We need to pray for God to do the setting apart, as only He knows the hearts of the people... ::pray::
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: marc on Mon Jun 21, 2010 - 22:22:57
I see the emerging movement as a much-needed recalibration.  you know, after a couple of thousand years, you accumulate some excess baggage. you have to. Those who complain because people put these out are, for the most part, being made uncomfortable by what they hear--and i believe we all should be made uncomfortable from time to time.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: OldDad on Mon Jun 21, 2010 - 22:31:41
Brian McClaren especially is pushing nothing more than good old fashioned liberal theology.  Most emergent theologians are taking off from the same tired starting point - reject the historicity and and the miracles of the Bible first - that Kung and Bultmann were pushing 50 - 70 years ago.  It's the theology that has practically reduced the mainline denominations to mere footnotes in church history.

Same old stuff, with a better marketing campaign and more hair product.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: marc on Mon Jun 21, 2010 - 22:34:48
Have you read "The Secret Message of Jesus"?
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: OldDad on Mon Jun 21, 2010 - 22:51:39
Yeah - I read it after hearing him on Steve Brown's radio show a couple of years ago.

I was pretty disappointed with Brown's glowing recommendation after McClaren declared that the church had twisted what Jesus and Paul taught into a gospel of justification by grace through faith, the free gift of salvation, and had mistakenly taught that Christ was a substitutionary sacrifice for sin.

Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: marc on Mon Jun 21, 2010 - 23:11:48
hmm. I liked Secret Message more than the other mcLaren books I've read. But then I have some tolerance of, though not agreement for, the non-penal atonement idea because the man who has influenced me more than just about anyone else to see who Jesus really is, Jim mcGuiggan, teaches something similar, and I trust his intellect and his relationship with Jesus to the point that i believe what he has studied out merits consideration.

otoh, I read through part of "The Last Word" in a bookstore and didn't buy it because i couldn't buy into McLaren's view of the Old Testament.

Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: OldDad on Mon Jun 21, 2010 - 23:21:02
Well, I'm fully insert twist with the idea of penal, subsitutionary atonement... I alos had problems with Secret Message when he said that Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists would find their place at the feast at the end of the age.

Kinda gives new meaning to "by no other name."

My point about McClaren is that "emerge ing/ent" is a misnomer - maybe re-emerging would fit - because it's just old liberal theology from a fresh mouthpiece.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: blituri on Mon Jun 21, 2010 - 23:23:05
The rise of the Stone-Campbell Movement reverted back to the theology of Barton W. Stone which had been soundly repudiated by both the Disciples and the Churches of Christ.  One significant dogma which meant that there was never any connection after abougt 1849 even in joint meetings was Stones DENIAL of the Atonement.  This is where Lipscomb invites Stone to tell him why he should not be labeled as a HERETIC.

This is part of the new Lipscomb Dogma also promoting a broader role for women, premillennielism and instrumental music. John Mark Hicks has clearly articulates those as he attempts to rewrite Restoration History.

In 2008 Lipscomb fully associated with the emerging church and "spiritual formation" (witchraft)

http://www.piney.com/Lipscomb.Preaching.2008.html

Some of the "agents:

David Fleer
Walter Brueggemann:
“those of us who think critically do not believe that the Old Testament was talking about Jesus, and yet we make the linkages.

Click for comments on Brian McLaren, pastor of the Cedar Ridge Community Church. Author of "Everything Must Change." He is the leader of the Emergent Church movement.   McLaren’s first book, The Church on the Other Side is recognized as a primary portal into the current conversation about postmodern ministry.  You may want watch him attack hell and Jesus' atonement--or maybe not
.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SOUfsX2fbk

Cleophus J. LaRue of Princeton Theological Seminary, a Missionary Baptist minister. He is the author of "This is My Story; Testimonies and Sermons of Black Women in Ministry."

Click for comments on Dennis Dewey, storyteller and minister of the Presbyterian Church USA.

http://www.piney.com/Lipscomb.Preaching.2008.html#Denni

Reclaiming the Imagination: The Exodus as a PATTERNISM for church organization and WORSHIP has long been a Rubel Shelly and John Mark Hick dogma: as usual, they all suck up the latest book for their "original stories"

The Exodus as Paradigmatic Narrative for Preaching

This conference proposes that WE allow the worlds imagined
        in the essential biblical narratives
        to dramatically shape our preaching and lives.

    We believe that preaching reconstitutes biblical paradigms when it engages Scripture’s vision

       1. by REpresenting what is absent
       2. and making present what is inaccessible
       3. to the end that followers of God will live into a God-shaped reality.

Bible readers keep wondering where PREACHERS leeched onto the church which is absolutely defined as a school of Christ (the Campbells) where the direct command is to READ that which is written and private interpretation (further expounding) is outlawed and "corrupting the word" means "selling learning at retail or adultery.

They use David Lipscomb for their authority: On the contrary, I will let David Lipscomb speak for himself.

THEY think that they are as cute as a girl's Easter bonnet: WE wonder why they are not in some institution or making little rocks out of big rocks. The more OUTRAGEOUS a lie the easier it is to be believed.

Jer. 23:25 I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name,
         saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed.
Jer. 23:26 How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies?
        yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart;
Jer. 23:27 Which think to cause my people to forget my name
        by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour,
        as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal.
Jer. 23:28 The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream;
        and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully.
        What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD.

The baptism of WIND and FIRE prophecy.

Jer. 23:29 Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD;
       and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?
Jer. 23:30 Therefore, behold,
        I am against the prophets, saith the LORD,
        that steal my words every one from his neighbour.
Jer. 23:31 Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD,
        that use their tongues, and say, He saith.
Jer. 23:32 Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD,
        and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness;
        yet I sent them not, nor commanded them:
        therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD.

.


Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: marc on Tue Jun 22, 2010 - 01:20:35
Well, I'm fully insert twist with the idea of penal, subsitutionary atonement... I alos had problems with Secret Message when he said that Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists would find their place at the feast at the end of the age.


Are you sure that was "secret message"? it sounds familiar, but I'm having trouble finding it in the book. I'm never 100 percent in agreement with McClaren, but I find him insightful and never afraid to question. "Secret Message" was the book of his I agreed with most.

Please excuse my lack of caps. I seem to be having trouble with my shift key.

btw, on the theology quiz i posted a few days back, I scored high on emergent and low on liberalism.

As to substitutionary atonement, i believe it and I teach it. It just gives me pause that someone I respect as much as McQuiggan doesn't. I would in no way suggest he was a heretic.

I know there are some here who don't believe in substitutionary atonement; that might be a good thread topic.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: OldDad on Tue Jun 22, 2010 - 10:48:14
Secret Message on the church twisting the gospel and atonement - pg 91, Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims at the feast - page 217 - of the edition I have.



Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: marc on Tue Jun 22, 2010 - 11:21:02
Ah, okay, appendix 1. That's why it was familiar but not quite hitting what I remembered.

 I read that a bit differently, not as a suggestion of salvation for these people as they are, but as the results of them discovering, or as McClaren says, rediscovering Jesus. i'd like to reproduce the paragraph here, but i don't have time. The idea that he includes "former atheists" in his list argues for a less radical interpretation.

Not that this isn't a controversial idea, it's just that I don't believe it's as straightforward as you think. I don't see it as a suggestion that Muslims, Buddhists, etc. will be saved as they are. McClaren makes it plain (Wouldn't it be fascinating if....began to take their places at the feast") but rather as something that could happen, just as the Jews saw the Gentiles take their place at the table while most of them were rejecting Jesus.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: marc on Tue Jun 22, 2010 - 11:24:39
Here's the paragraph: I found it online

Quote
What was true for Jesus' contemporaries--that they could miss the kingdom while those from "east and west and north and south" would come in and enjoy the feast--could certainly be true for adherents to the Christian religion today. Wouldn't it be fascinating if thousands of Muslims, alienated with where fundamentalists and extremists have taken their religion, began to "take their places at the feast," discovering the secret message of Jesus in ways that many Christians have not? Could it be that Jesus, always recognized as one of the greatest prophets of Islam, could in some way be rediscovered to save Islam from its dangerous dark side? Similarly, wouldn't there be a certain ironic justice if Jesus's own kinsmen, the Jewish people, led the way in understanding and practicing the core teaching of one of their own prophets who has too often been hijacked by other interests or ideologies? Or if Buddhists, New Agers, and even former atheists and agnostics came "from east and west and north and south" and began to enjoy the feast of the kingdom in ways that those bearing the name Christian have not? Of course, because we have the "time-release capsule" of the New Testament, there is always hope that we Christians will not be the last to rediscover the truth that could change everything. Perhaps the blandly moralistic traditionalism of some of our churches and the angry, fearful, militant arrogance of others have become sufficiently distasteful that we are closer to a rediscovery than we might realize.


Here's the link.  (http://www.tikkun.org/article.php/Spirit-Matters-Jan-Feb06) Gotta go move rocks now.

Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: blituri on Tue Jun 22, 2010 - 23:24:02
I have started a review of Brian's stuff: Truly, I don't think this man has ever read the Bible.

Brian D. McLaren: The Secret Message of Jesus

http://www.piney.com/Brian.McLaren.Secret.Message.Jesus.html

The promise of A holy spirit or A good conscience by request at baptism is what makes the SECRET written on PLAIN TEXT available but not to the doctors of the Law. In 2 Corinthians 3 turning or being converted which has the same meaning as Baptism is what permits even the Jews to read BLACK TEXT on BROWN PAPER.  I suspect that Brian would denegrate baptism as being fundamentalists and judgmental, and that is why Brian doesn't have a remote clue.

I am still waiting for a clergy people to give any evidence that they have ever read the story line between the animal sacrificers doing worship of the STARS and SERPENTS and the Godly people who attended church or synagogue each rest day.

I am astounded (should never be) that he thinks that he has had revealed the fact that the church is about the Kingdom of God rather than "how do we get to heaven."

I liken it to someone having disovered--and making merchandise of it--that if you throw a rock UP it will fall DOWN.  Jesus said doctors of the law take away the key to knowledge: that's their job, that's what they do for a living.

Have you discovered the SECRET Jesus is just now TIME RELEASING through Brian?

Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: marc on Tue Jun 22, 2010 - 23:34:34
And yet a large number of Christians don't see the difference, so it would seem that someone does need to point it out. Maybe you need to check the heads of those people throwing rocks up in the air for bumps and bruises.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: blituri on Wed Jun 23, 2010 - 20:35:38
I have done a quick review of John D. McLaren on John 14:6

http://www.piney.com/Brian.D.McLaren.John.14.html

Johnny pretends that John 14:6 is the only evidence to make Jesus the only Saviour.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

He says it would be too hypocritical to mean that Jesus is the ONLY way.  I have supplied a tiny few of a Bible full of statements that if you reject Jesus Christ you WILL burn.

Brian D. McLaren: Could it be that Jesus, always recognized as one of the greatest prophets of Islam, could in some way be rediscovered to save Islam from its dangerous dark side?

THEY ALSO say that Jesus was a muslim.

    Jesus in Islam  In Islam, the Prophet Jesus (Arabic: عيسى عليه الإسلام‎ `Īsā Alleh Islam) is considered to be a Messenger of God who was sent to guide the People of Israel (banī isrā'īl) with a new scripture, the Injīl or Gospel.[1] In sharp contrast to Christianity, Islam emphatically denies that Jesus was the Son of God, or that he was divine in any way. While accepting his Virgin Birth, Islam denies that Jesus was ever crucified or resurrected, or that he ever atoned for the sins of mankind; it especially scorns any notions that Jesus is to be worshipped or prayed to.

Denying the Atonement is one of the Stoneite dogmas which are peddled along with McLaren who must suffer muchly to have to quote some of the words of Jesus.

Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: marc on Wed Jun 23, 2010 - 20:38:17
um, no, that's not what he says. he says that islam recognizes jesus as a prophet, not that Jesus was Islamic. That would've been quite a trick.  i quoted that whole section above, btw.
Title: Re: The Emergent Church
Post by: blituri on Wed Jun 23, 2010 - 23:36:58
um, no, that's not what he says. he says that islam recognizes jesus as a prophet, not that Jesus was Islamic. That would've been quite a trick.  i quoted that whole section above, btw.

I quoted wikipedia. 

In fact, the muslim religion where ALLAH is the MOON GOODESS has its roots in Abraham but it is also a take off (as is lots of mormon writings) on the ancient Babylonian legends (history they would say) as well as contemporaneous writings.

Judaism is also Sabazianism because that is what God abandoned them to at Mount Sinai.

So, John makes up lots as he goes but if a Muslim converts he will be saved the same way as everyone else.

I am still trying to determing that SECRET which could not have been revealed before. He spends a lot of time on the Kingdom as if he has suddenly been aroused: probably been preaching the Core Gospel or the gospel of the gospel when Jesus and everyone else preached the gospel of the KINGDOM. 

He still hasn't found the most hidden secret: that church is a school (only) of the Word (only).