Friday, June 03, 2005

An Emergent Apology?

Don't know what you all think about the Emergent Church movement, but there is an interesting thing going on at the moment. I thought I would point this out for those who may be interested either from a positive, negative, or sheer intellectual standpoint.

I have had the opportunity to interact personally with a good number of people who consider themselves part of the Emergent movement. Doug Pagitt actually went to my seminary a few years back, and of course his church is not too far away from where I live (11.4 miles according to Mapquest.com). A number of other students at school with me would openly consider themselves part of the Emergent movement (Jeff and Mark are two good examples), so I get to interact with this group of Christians on a limited, but regular basis.

My general experience has been positive. I've discussed this on a few other places on the net, and I feel that we as the non-Emergent church can learn quite a bit from them. I don't think I've studied all of their ideas fully enough to have a complete opinion, but there are a few points theologically that I do not completely mesh with the EC. That being said, I think I have much more in common with them than I do with say a Catholic Christian for instance. What I do think we should get from them (if nothing else) is the way in which they are meeting people's needs and interacting with the world. They are making connections in ways, place, and in people groups that the traditional church models do not do a good job of reaching. They are sharing the Gospel of Christ with people who need it. Joel Osteen is a much greater problem than the EC in my opinion. I think we do need to hold the EC movement accountable, and press them to remain orthodox in their views, but within the range of orthodoxy I think we need to let them have some leash and see where they take things. I know some who may read my blog will be surprized I am not taking a hard (or harder) stance against the EC, sorry to disappoint you. But I also don't think we (the church) give them free reign either. I am of the opinion it's more of a fad than anything, and 10 years from now we'll look back and wonder why we wasted bandwidth and brain power on the subject. Let's share the Gospel. Let's keep talking with the Emergent Church. I'm not saying join, agree, or embrace, but let's keep channels of communication open with them, as they might have something to teach the rest of us.

3 comments:

D.R. said...

Chris,

Well said. I agree with you. I have been harsh toward the EC move, but I do believe there is much to learn from them. McLaren is right almost as much as he is wrong and when he is, it is profound. I also give you a hearty AMEN when you say that we should hold those in the movement accountable. I think we all could use a little more accountability (present company included). Thanks for the thought. I will keep checking your blog.

D.R.

Mark Gstohl said...

How is Osteen a threat?

Chris Meirose said...

because of his watered down theology, and his pop psychology. Because he at times seems to embrace a name it claim it theology, similar to the Word of Faith garbage. I could go on, but I won't, as that's not really the point of this thread. Search a bit on the web and you'll find ample criticism of Osteen's theology. It's way to man centered.