Friday, September 21, 2007

Recap of evangelicalism/emerging panel at up/rooted.north

(This is long for a recap post, you have been warned. And notice the panel gathering this coming Thursday, 9/27 beneath this post. See you there!)


To recap the panel discussion on evangelicalism and the emerging church at up/rooted.north yesterday, I have some good news and some bad news. Let's get the bad news out of the way first.


Bad news is, no podcast. Sorry to all of those who asked for it. It wasn't for lack of effort. In absence of someone who actually knew what they were doing, we set up the mic, turned it all on, fired up the recorder, and two hours later had...a blank CD. Smooth. Minus one geek point, plus one dork point. Our bad.


Good news is, the evening was excellent. A healthy 50 people turned out (at least they looked healthy to me), and a good many of them just asking “What's this thing all about?”, which is part of what up/rooted is all about. Made for some really great discussion.


I can't hope to cover everything here, and a lot of good topics were raised in the questions and answers, but as a synopsis of the topics of the evening I offer these summaries of Scot, Dave, and Wayne's answers to the two questions we asked them to prepare answers to. My apologies if my summary misrepresents some of their finer points (or even their not-so-fine ones).


Question 1: What issue in evangelicalism is the emerging church responding to, and what are the strengths and weaknesses of that response?


Scot: emerging churches are responding to the inadmissibility of doubt in evangelicalism, and therefore exhibit irony in their stance within the faith: they stand within it but also over it and at times over-against it. The emerging movement offers the freedom to ask questions that often cannot be asked in evangelicalism: inerrancy (especially in Genesis 1-11), Biblical authors as humans who's ideas of truth are conditioned in their context, science and evolution, hell and universalism, and coming to terms with faith having an awful lot to do with our social location (i.e. How many of us North American Christians would follow Christ if we were North Koreans?) The emerging church offers space to seriously process these tough questions; they genuinely want answers.


Wayne: the emerging church is responding to consumer and seeker-driven worship, re-emphasizing participatory worship, liturgy, prayer, the church calendar, confession and lament, and (following Bob Webber) worship as God's story of redemption. He expressed concern that this response still can lead to a new and improved “Celtic, mystic, ancient” seeker-worship, with a heightened (snobby?) aesthetic. Wayne also had reservations that the emerging church might think “authenticity” was the solution to the problem, not realizing authenticity is a social embodiment, that often takes the form of “We don't plan what we say and are just informal.” He also offered a very insightful critique that as emerging worship becomes more and more refined for “our” sensibilities, it only reinforces the ethnic and generational divide in the church.


Dave: the emerging church is reacting to a “we're in/you're out” mentality in evangelicalism that accentuates rescue from hell as the heart (totality?) of the Gospel and individualizes salvation. Instead of offering a second hand summary here, I'd invite you to read his blog post on this issue. (Which led to a surreal moment of Dave quoting himself out of a post he had made the day before for this very panel. That's a tip folks...when presenting, publish on the internet first so you can quote yourself!)


Question 2: What doctrine or church practice has particularly benefited from the emerging church?


Wayne: evangelism as community witness, especially in seeking to reclaim the church as a distinctive social community. Wayne did express concern that the emerging desire to be “un-evangelical” (not that guy, as he put it) could trump this reclamation of the Gospel, particularly in a hesitancy to actually speak and tell people the Good News. He also expressed concern that the emerging church could be co-opted by “bigger projects” in a similar way that the conservative and liberal church has been co-opted by conservative and liberal politics, respectively. He mentioned Jim Wallace's synthesis of right and left as a potential threat in this regard, and underscored again the particularity of the Gospel and the church community, which is not a handmaiden of political gains. (If you haven't picked up on it, Wayne is a pretty rocking anabaptist...a tradition I think the emerging church needs to (and often does) listen to closely.)


Dave: reclaiming the church as transformational, communal, and missional. The emerging church realizes the formation of Christians is about more than cognitive development, and shapes its gathered worship and communal life toward forming people in the shape of Christ, through liturgy, mutual submission and other community practices. Missionally the emerging church (at its best) rejects the attractional model of the evangelical church and seeks to minister in the community it is placed in: to live among and serve the neighbors, poor, hurting, and disenfranchised.


Scot: re-establishing a fuller, Biblical understanding of sin. Sin in evangelicalism is often reduced to the distortion of one's personal relationship with God. Scot spoke of how in Genesis 2 and 3 sin distorts humans' view of themselves, of God, of each other, and of the world. The Biblical narrative then, is an unfolding of God's answer to those problems: reconciliation with ourselves, with God, and with each other for the good of the world. And this answer doesn't skip straight from Genesis 3 to Romans 8 or the cross. First God forms a new community around Abraham. The gathered people of God (ecclesiology) is at the heart of God's story. (Scot unfolds these ideas in his newest—and good—book, “A Community Called Atonement.”)


So that's that, apart from the near violence at the end over the role of mega-churches our fearless moderator Geoff had to break up. (Way to go Geoff!) A special thanks to Dave, Scot, and Wayne, and to everyone who came out and joined us.


Jon Berbaum
--coordinator, up/rooted.north

20 comments:

Mike Clawson said...

Great summary Jon!

jhimm said...

the event was fabulous. i am hopeful i can make it to up/rooted.west this coming week, and i am beyond excited at the announcement of a possible up/rooted.city event coming soon. thank you so much for welcoming all of us who were asking "what's this thing all about".

the postmortem said...

"The emerging movement offers the freedom to ask questions that often cannot be asked in evangelicalism: inerrancy (especially in Genesis 1-11)..."

"Scot spoke of how in Genesis 2 and 3 sin distorts humans' view of themselves, of God, of each other, and of the world."

Scot has a novel approach: you don't really have to believe the parts of God's word that 21st century Western scientists don't agree with; just cut out the obsolete stuff and focus on the parts that prove your point!

Gordon Hackman said...

Postmortem,

What is the point of your comment really? Did you just come over here trolling for something you could make a nasty remark about? Because that's sure how it looks.

Scot's point was that the emerging movement is a place where people can ask honest questions about these issues. Besides which, Christians hold to different perspectives about how to relate the Bible and science. Or does everyone have to see things your way on every issue? Your snotty, pointless comment reveals a lack of Christian charity and only makes it that much clearer why the emerging movement needs to exist in the first place.

Paul said...

This is a great summary of a great night! I found everybody to be warm, intelligent, open and with a good sense of humor.

As a staff person at Willow Creek, I particularly enjoyed the "near violence" at the end about the role of megachurches. And that made me think a little bit about the "shrinkwrap" issue that was touched upon (even mentioned that the concern about "shrinkwrapping" itself is shrinkwrapped):

I know many are concerned about "packaging" (spirituality, the word missional, etc), but I wonder if the problem isn't so much packaging per se as it is consumerism. The passive audience watching a "talk show" up on stage can easily be a downside of megachurches (or any sized church for that matter), but perhaps the large-scale stage productions, purchased products and spiritual diagnostic tools, and entire production lines of such items that only megachurches can truly generate cause more of a consumerist culture on the part of their thousands-strong audience than experienced at smaller churches.

I could easily agree with that argument from personal experience, but my point is not "is this true or not" but "maybe consumerism is the real enemy and not shrinkwrapped packaging per se". Keeping in mind that economic production and economic consumption are two sides of a coin, the danger of spiritual factories might be in the reinforcement of spiritual consumers.

Just a thought.

the postmortem said...

Gordon,

No, I didn't post that for any of the reasons you gave. I came to this page because I wanted to know what was said at this conference. I posted the comment because I found it curious that a man would claim Genesis 1-11 deserves to be doubt as to its inerrancy... and then reference that very section to make a point.

If you felt that my calling it a "novel" approach instead of just plainly calling it a "fallacious" one was snotty, I won't be sarcastic with you. However, it's not at all unloving. What he said was a fallacy, and it is loving to point out the folly of saying a text may be errant, and justifying one's position from the same text.

I say this from a heart of love first for God, desiring his words to be honored; and also for God's people, desiring that they know him in truth.

If Genesis 1-11 ought to be doubted as to its inerrancy, Genesis 2-3 ought not be assumed for its reliability. When you pick and choose which portions of a text you will believe, it is not the text which you believe in, it is yourself.

Consider Jesus' approach to Scripture:

Jesus answered them, "Has it not been written in your law, 'I SAID, YOU ARE GODS'? If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), do you say of Him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, "You are blaspheming," because I said, "I am the Son of God"? (italics mine)

John 10:34-36

Jesus was right: the Scripture cannot be broken. If he relies on each word to be true...I will do the same. And if he, the prince of peace, will use it to lovingly confront someone with the truth about himself, I will too, in the same way.

Gordon Hackman said...

Postmortem,

Thanks for responding. I still have a problem with your original post, however, and here's the reason why: You simply jump to the conclusion that Scot is, in fact, denying the innerancy of Genesis 1-11, when it isn't necessary to see any such thing in what he said. What he actually said, as I tried to point out in my first comment, was that emergent was a place where people could ask these kinds of questions. What he did not say was that Gen 1-11 was not innerant. He was making an observation about an aspect of the emerging movement that he considers a positive (their willingness to entertain honest questions), not making an endorsement of a particular position on an issue. If you go back and carefully read the summation in the original post, I think you'll see this to be the case. I don't think it's necessary to see any contradiction in what he said, and part of what bothers me is that you read his comments this way when it wasn't necessary to do so.

the postmortem said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
the postmortem said...

I said this, "If Genesis 1-11 ought to be doubted as to its inerrancy, Genesis 2-3 ought not be assumed for its reliability."

The "freedom" which the Emerging Church grants, according to Scot, is not to doubt just any passage, but "especially in Genesis 1-11" according to this post. His words are quite intentional. Why would he isolate that to be doubted as to inerrancy if he thought it was just as true as John 3:16? My point is that it is clear that he views it as more dubious.

If he thinks it's dubious in the least, then why would he make direct citation of passages in that section to prove a point? Who quotes dubious sources to make a concrete proposition?

Contrast that with Jesus' approach, who condemned the Pharisees saying this, "...upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar." Matt 23:35

Jesus believed in the shedding of "the blood of righteous Abel", Adam's son, through "Zechariah" (roughly 500 BC). Jesus was essentially saying to the Pharisees, "You will be charged with the guilt of righteous blood from cover to cover of the Hebrew Bible (Genesis to Zechariah)". He believed all these events in between were literally true.

There is no time when Jesus ever offered an exception to Scripture being absolutely true. He cited it often, and believed it to be both factually true and personally binding on all.

Gordon Hackman said...

Once again, I still don't see the contradiction here and, furthermore, I think you're still missing my point. So Scot focused more specifically on Gen 1-11 in his comment. That still doesn't change the substance of anything I said. Gen 1-11 is an especially contested passage in our times. Many people have doubts and questions about it. The point of Scot's observation was not to personally question the innerancy of that passage, but to say rather that emerging is a place where people who have these doubts can be honest about them and wrestle with them. In the end, they may come to the same conclusions as you, but they need a place where they can honestly admit and face the doubts without being condemned for admitting they have them or simply browbeaten back into line.

Jon Berbaum said...

Postmortem,

Thanks for dropping by to check out the panel.

I'm assuming by inerrancy we are talking about viewing the Bible as totally reliable and accurate in every way down to the smallest detail. I reject this view of inerrancy, but that is how I am using the word here.

You said: “I posted the comment because I found it curious that a man would claim Genesis 1-11 deserves to be doubt as to its inerrancy... and then reference that very section to make a point.”

This is not curious for a postmodern. It is only curious for a modern. Let me tell you why I think this. Inerrancy is a cultural phenomenon that takes its cues, curiously enough, from Western science, the very enemy in the inerrancy debate. A modern Western understanding of accuracy or reliability says a text (including the Bible) must correctly describe what really happened. This is the point of our modern histories, to be factually true. It's so ingrained in us many Christians have concluded factual truth is the only kind of truth there is. Or, negatively, if the Bible does not contain accurate factual truth, all of its Truth is in question.

Inerrancy in this form is incredibly ethnocentric. Arrogant in this way, in fact. It demands the Bible submit to our culturally contextualized understanding of truth. Inerrancy is self-defeating: it accepts the presuppositions of modern Western science and then attempts to make the Bible “win” while starting with these non-Biblical assumptions.

Postmodernity, and the emerging church in general, rejects these assumptions. Factual accuracy is not a prerequisite for truth. One can be open to Genesis 1-2 being a literary form drawn from contemporary Mesopotamian epics (I will assume you are familiar with this sizable body of scholarship), while at the same time submitting to the truths of Genesis 1-2 as they shape us into a reality of a God-created world, God-created humans, a sin-marred creation, and the history of redemption.

The argument that undermining the Bible's historical, factual accuracy undermines all of its truth claims is a patently false dichotomy, poor logic, and a very tired argument. Perhaps the truth of the Bible are not directly tied to factual accuracy. Perhaps there are ways of truth that (gasp!) do not submit to the demands of our Western, modern context. Perhaps inerrancy should have more to do with what the Bible accomplishes in its hearers, rather than its ability to pass our culturally demanded tests of veracity.

You see, this is why the emerging church is so attractive to so many questioning evangelicals who are turned off by the conservative church searching for another liberal whipping boy. Emergents are not new liberals who want to weaken the claims of Scripture, though many conservatives seem to badly want us to be. The emerging church is extremely interested in submitting to the Scripture, but rejects the dying modern categories the conservative church demands.

I'd encourage you to read a little more broadly of what the emerging church is really saying on this issue. I think your assumptions got in your way.

the postmortem said...

"Gen 1-11 is an especially contested passage in our times. Many people have doubts and questions about it."

Gordon,

What is Jesus' interpretation of the Old Testament, namely Genesis 1-11, from the passages I cited where he spoke of it? For the doubter and the questioner, would you rather turn them to Scot saying "It's ok to doubt that it's inerrant" or would you have them rest their doubts and believe Jesus' own words, which show he professed they were indubitably true?

Consider that the Lord does not give the doubter a free pass,

"It has often thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!" And Jesus said to him, " 'If You can?' All things are possible to him who believes." Immediately the boy's father cried out and said, "I do believe; help my unbelief." Mark 9:22-24

And James says this,

"... the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways." James 1:6-8

Christ constantly offers peace to those who trust him. But it is a personal responsibility of all believers to do that. I have never been browbeaten into ignoring doubts, but I have had godly people speak truth into my life, and show me afresh what the word of God says as I establish my belief.

Jon,

Before I continue to add to the list of postmodern/Emerging books I've read, please explain to me where in Scripture you find warrant for a postmodern approach to its interpretation. You as well have ignored the specific references I gave to Jesus' explicit propositions of truth and inerrancy.

I keep hearing that Emergers want to get the focus back on Jesus, but both of you conveniently avoid everything I've said that shows his own interpretation of God's word. Jesus is my teacher, my Savior, my Lord, and my example for how to live and think. So unless you want to talk about his methods, I don't think this conversation can continue.

Furthermore, in your responses, you bring nothing to bear on the conversation that would lead one to a better understanding of Him, pertinent to this area of inerrancy. Not to mention Paul, Peter, or John.

Instead you've grounded yourselves in weak suggestions like "Perhaps the truth of the Bible are not directly tied to factual accuracy. If that's the case, or if you'd care to show how that may be the case...please show me from God's word where you get that.

You say we've subjected the Bible to "culturally demanded tests of veracity". Ok, but how do you know culturally demanded tests of veracity are even a bad idea? What is your reason to dismiss them? Whatever your answer is, please don't give me anything that doesn't tie back to Biblical examples of how God would have us read his word. Or would we exclude the use of Biblical examples and mandates altogether because those are metanarratives?

"Your testimonies are fully confirmed; holiness befits Your house, O LORD, forevermore." Psalm 93:5

"The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so." Acts 17:10-11

Jon Berbaum said...

Postmortem,

I won't pursue this conversation any further here, as comment threads tend to be a better place to argue than discuss, unfortunately. My comments were about presuppositions: in that none of us interpret Scripture without them. We could bandy quoted verses back and forth for a week and get nowhere, but I'm interested in what makes us interpret Scripture certain ways. Tossing out Scripture is not the same thing as proving your point. We all interpret Scripture, which is what the inerrancy discussion is about. Though clearly we don't agree here.

FYI, Foucault's metanarrative critique is quite specific and has nothing to do with "Biblical examples and mandates." It can actually liberate the Biblical story from submission to scientific criteria (the subject of Foucault's critique), while inerrancy re-submits the Bible to those criteria.

I'll stop pursuing this line. I do want this site to be a place for discussion, but I think our presuppositions may be too widely divergent here.

Blessings to you.

the postmortem said...

"We could bandy quoted verses back and forth for a week ..."

Could you? You have yet to show your point with anything from the Bible.

I was thinking that maybe you're hung up on my defense of the word "inerrant". You keep referring to how it submits Scripture to "scientific criteria" or "Western, modern context".

Let me put it simply for you, and make it relative to just one example of what Jesus said. The Bible is historically accurate, so when it says, among other things, in Genesis 4:8, "...that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him," then I believe that's what really happened. When the Bible describes a man murdering another man, you can know that murder really took place.

Why do I have this presupposition?

Because the author of Hebrews had it (Hebrews 11:4), the apostle John had it (1 John 3:12), and Jesus had it (Matthew 23:35).

To make a broader statement about the matter: when the Bible says something, it is true. That doesn't mean everything can be easily understood at first glance. In fact, the Bible goes so far as to say that some interpretations actually distort the real meaning of the text, "our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction." (2 Peter 3:15-16)

So, just by reading through what Peter has written, we can understand that there is a certain way which we must interpret Scripture. But I seem to remember the Bereans looked to Scripture to verify the truth of what Paul's saying (Acts 17:11)...so why can't I? Why can't you?

You say, "but I'm interested in what makes us interpret Scripture certain ways. Tossing out Scripture is not the same thing as proving your point."

I might point out, by the way, that Peter turns primarily to sinful motivation rather than cultural bias as the primary reason we miss the picture when reading the Bible.

Jon, ultimately you have to want to get to what God means to say, not just knowing how your presuppositions may guide your interpreting. The goal isn't just to point out how biased someone else is, the point is to know God through what God has said to you. Yes, Peter acknowledges that some people distort it with their interpretation...but he doesn't just leave a warning about those who distort Paul's letters. Peter gives this counsel, "You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." (2 Pet 3:17-18b) So, ultimately, a right interpretation of Scripture is predicated on the heart being aligned with Christ.

Even according to the writers of the Bible, the way to know the truth is by knowing who Jesus is, his grace and truth. If you don't have that, you won't ever arrive at a clear understanding of the word of God.

But still, just by looking to the example of Jesus shown in the gospels will show you that, whenever he spoke of the Scripture, he interpreted it as truthful and historical in every claim it made about history. So when it comes to doubts we have, we turn to Jesus, confessing our inadequacy, and ask for faith to believe and rely upon the words he has given us.

Adam Alexander said...

I am quite sorry that I missed this panel discussion, and I am very sad that the recording didn't work, but I am grateful for the good summary. Thank you very much for it.

From what I can tell from the summary, the emergent church has a goal of allowing questions and discussions without getting carried away into unbelief. It seems part of the point of the discussion is describing what the emerging church is emerging from and the challenges it faces. I think those points were well articulated.

I think a challenge that doesn't appear to be mentioned is how to not alienate that from which you came. In other words, how can you emerge and not burn bridges at the same time. The Church in general evolves and in this process, how can we keep from dividing schismatically? How shall we put Christian charity to practice?

Feral Pastor said...

Postmortem, Gordon and Jon –

Thank you for your willingness to personally give voice to a discussion that is important, emotional, and simmering hard within and among a whole lot of people these days, myself included. I admire and appreciate your courage.

I am not prepared to or interested in critiquing anyone else’s thought today, but I did want to share a bit of how the issue has been rumbling in my head.

Postmortem, you put your finger right on the pulse of my current musings when you made this comment:

Instead you've grounded yourselves in weak suggestions like "Perhaps the truth of the Bible are not directly tied to factual accuracy. If that's the case, or if you'd care to show how that may be the case...please show me from God's word where you get that.

The scripture that I keep returning to in thinking about all this is John 14, where Jesus says; “I am… the truth.” Let me put up the verse and the two around it:

5Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?" 6Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him." John 14:5-7 NIV

I’m a scientist by training so I’m very, very comfortable with the Modern, scientific way of thinking about “truth” as being related to facts, information, verifiability and so on. So it’s completely jarring to hear Jesus say that he is truth, because “truth” is not something you can be. You can know truth, discover truth, share, record, express, discuss, debate and even be mistaken about truth. You can also be true but you can’t be truth.

So, in making that claim, Jesus shatters the category of “truth” in applying it to himself. It’s not just that it’s hard to understand what he means (we all agree there’s plenty of that), it’s that the statement is formally nonsensical - if - you are using the Modern/scientific categories for understanding the word “truth.”

That, to me, is where Jesus himself forces me to go outside the arena of factuality and accuracy (and inerrancy) in how I am going to deal with him and relate to him and, I pray, trust in him and obey him. These are, I believe, the things that matter most. When Jesus says “I am the truth” it compels me to move out of the Modern/scientific (and Greek/philosophical) arena and back into the Hebraic realm, where it has never been about facts and Ideas but love, life, and above all relationship as the “category of ultimate concern” if you will.

But when he says that, it also opens the door for me intellectually to all of the discussion I am finding so lively among the Emergents on issues of language, culture and so on. Truthfully, I’d have to say it actually compels me to go through that door so that I will be more cautious about interpreting scripture, since so much hinges on the categories and definitions I bring to the table, knowingly or unknowingly.

Let me go one step further. When the word “truth” is used in the Modern/scientific sense, then the word “know” also has a particular sense which corresponds to a cognitive condition. Scientific “knowing” is about having access to actual facts in your mind. But in the Hebraic sense, “to know” is also often used in a relational way. So we get the classic “Adam knew Eve his wife…” in Genesis 4:1. This means that there is at least an interpretive option in how we understand what it means to “know.”

This profoundly shifts the sense for interpreting a foundational verse such as John 8:31 “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” In a Modern/scientific frame, that translates into something like “You shall actually have access in your mind to the correct information, and that correct information will set you free.” But in a more Hebraic frame of meaning, and following what I think is the sense in John 14, it comes out more like this: “You shall be united in a relationship with me, and I will set you free.”

For me then, these explorations into the discussion of Truth and so on have resulted in an even more powerful shove towards focusing on my relationship with Jesus. And rather than make me less interested in investing time into reading and studying scripture, it has made that more important as I want to hear what my forbears have to tell me about living a life with God in the way of Jesus.

Well, that’s what’s been on my mind. If it’s of any use to others, then thank God for that!

Blessings –

Tim
http://www.feralpastor.blogspot.com/

the postmortem said...

"...the Hebraic realm, where it has never been about facts..."

So, for Moses, Jesus, and John, was it a fact that Cain killed Abel? Just curious.

"these explorations into the discussion of Truth and so on have resulted in an even more powerful shove towards focusing on my relationship with Jesus."

Who is Jesus? How does he reveal himself to you? Do you have full confidence in that revelation or does that fall "outside the arena of factuality and accuracy (and inerrancy)" as well?

Frankly, I care very little for scientific "factual" data in comparison with Scripture. Science has changed constantly, as it is a fallible human endeavor. But Scripture has never failed, never been proven wrong, and never contradicted itself.

MCpastor said...

A problem with this "emergent" (post-thinking) movement, is not that it allows questions. Rather it allows the questioning to have more value than the answer.

Interestingly enough they take offense and get ugly when anyone, especially those whom they label "modern", (which really is a modern thing to do), question the validity of emerging questions.

Let's face it, if emergents applied the same questioning/interrogation approach to other areas of life, they would have to restructure politics, language arts, mathematics, food preparation, etc... But they don't. What they would rather do is run a solid truth of God up a flag pole and take shots at it, while having the audacity to say... "We are just giving a forum for others to investigate."

What balderdash.

The sad thing is, some who have been bound up in the emergent movement have some good ideas which would benefit the church. Apparently they would rather spend their time bunching up with others arounf the latte machine and figuring out how to make their blogs more controversial.

Mike Clawson said...

"Let's face it, if emergents applied the same questioning/interrogation approach to other areas of life, they would have to restructure politics, language arts, mathematics, food preparation, etc... But they don't."

Actually, all of that sounds like a pretty good idea to me too. Politics, language arts, mathematics, food prep... all seem long overdue for a good restructuring IMHO.

MCpastor said...

Mike, I am only slightly surprised with your response. I am sure it totally surprises some readers. Of course, you don't mean we should deconstruct everything. No one would like to go back to the "dark ages".

It seems however, the emergent movement sees our world in the postlude of a second "Dark Ages". And by your answer, it appears emergents are taking the renaissance road to enlightenment rather than the reformation route.

We all know of course, that the deconstructing approach will lead to chaos (France: 1600's, Russia: 1800's). But who cares. It sells a lot of books, and opens up the guillotine market.

The pieces are falling into place. Though you may not want to let everyone know you think we should deconstruct mathematics. (It is hard enough getting change at Starbucks.) Also, people aren't going to take you seriously.

Makes me wonder, who in the emergent movement has the intellect to deconstruct our laguage arts or politics?