It seems there is a quite a move out there to try and bring the so called ’emerging church’ movement into disrepute and possibly even stamp it out.
I had heard of Don Carson’s 3 talk series, but hadn’t taken much notice. However today I downloaded all three MP3’s to actually check out what he says. I haven’t done it yet, but I will give my thoughts when I have. I am fine with decent critique – it is always appreciated. However it seems that what is happening is not earthed in solid fact.
has done a decent review of the recently printed Baptist Press article here and I won’t reinvent the wheel as he responds to it very well. In case you haven’t come across it this is the opening paragraph:
A recently developed way of envisioning church known as the "Emerging Church Movement" deals carelessly with Scripture and compromises the Gospel, according to a prominent evangelical scholar and a Southern Baptist seminary president.
I don’t think you could see them as anything but fighting words…
Add this and you have some fairly serious accusations:
"The worldview of postmodernism — complete with an epistemology that denies the possibility of or need for propositional truth — affords the movement an opportunity to hop, skip and jump throughout the Bible and the history Christian thought in order to take whatever pieces they want from one theology and attach them, like doctrinal post-it notes, to whatever picture they would want to draw."
Kinda makes me feel like a naughty kid who just got smacked!
The funny thing is that I reckon I’ve done more reading and theologising in the last 5 years than I ever have and these kinds of comments are both ill founded charicatures but also hurtful and offensive.
If you’ve read this blog for a while you’d know that I actually prefer not to use the term ’emerging church’ much because it does lack definition – it means whatever you think it means. That is probably an indication that there is no ‘official movement’ as such, however there are a group of people aligning around some common themes. I prefer to simply think of ourselves as missionaries (and yes that has some baggage too).
It seems the fundy crew are concerned that ‘ec’ers’ are abandoning the scriptures to accommodate the culture while the bigger church guys are seeing it as undermining what they have spent the best part of their lives creating.
And yet… all the time I find myself asking who are these ’emerging church straw men’ who get lifted up, kicked and beaten and thrown on the scrap heap?
I see some of myself in this article but I also see much that does not apply to me – or to those I know who are on the similar track. No doubt there are wackos in the emerging church scene… butttttt… how may fruit loops are there in normal evangelical churches? How many control freaks are there masquerading as shepherds? How many people who say they take the Bible seriously, but don’t show evidence in their life?
I have been reading a blog this weekend that labels emerging church people as ‘heretics’. (I won’t give you the link as I have already wasted too much time in discussion with these very aggressive antagonists)
However… these are fighting words.
It’d be great to be able to sit down with those who make the critique and let them see that they don’t just throw mud at an amorphous ‘movement’. They actually attack people.
I’m afraid I don’t take that kind of crap real well.
Better stop there before I say what I really think.