According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater
Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger
Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton
I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – anon
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest
People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – anon
Certainly God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater
An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater
Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton
The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – anon
The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul
The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah
If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – anon
Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson
We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord
Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What Evangelicals think of Emergent Christians

I came across these older videos below made by well-respected evangelical leaders arguing against Emergent or Emerging Christianity back in the years 2007, 2008 and 2010. And whether young or old, each respondent made strong, assertive statements as to what they believed Emergent Christianity and Emergent Christians to be. Now, I'm not even sure whether Emergent Christianity is real or not, whether it is a movement or not, or whether its is a branch of Christianity or not (I'm thinking an ecumenical movement, as a descriptor, if I were to choose). But I am sure that its is composed of Christians from many walks of life and doctrine and theology who are investigating postmodernistic expressions (as well as responses) to their orthodox Christian faith.

And I am also confident that when all is said or done, that we will discover that this updated expression of orthodoxy will be both radically new and yet strangely familiar with its old-line predecessor. That Jesus will still be Redeemer, the Bible still God's word, its language still to be trusted, the church still God's faithful remnant witnessing and living for their Lord, and so on and so forth. And for all the criticism leveled at Emergent Christianity from several years ago until now in 2011 (sic, Love Wins), we will discover that our faith investigations, worship practices, and missional outreach will have provided to Christianity a much needed quantum expression to its previous classical forms that has been modified innumerable times over the past 500 years since the Reformation period.

And so, in light of this, rather than be hurt or mad or disappointed over what these videos present by popular evangelical preachers of the pulpit and graduate schools, let us learn to understand their critique of  a movement they believe they understand but yet by their very words show that they don't. For by Emergent Christianity's very nature, it will continue to modify itself from its originating and earlier self into a legitimate and dynamic reformulation of all things God, in a good way, and not in the bad ways that are being expressed in these videos here.

This is my belief. And this is our task. For what has been said in previous years by earlier Emergents will not be the last things said by their revisionists, their critics and friends. For Christianity has ever embraced, adapted and adopted the cultural era that it is in, and so will we in this new postmodernistic era that is still in its infancy and but hardly begun! 

At least that is my belief with the Emergents writers that we have been following here on this blog. I don't find these Emergent friends or institutions any less biblical, any less truthful or insightful; nor any more liberal or deceptive. They are respected men and women of God who have patiently endured evangelical mis-statements all the while praying for those believers in disagreement to not be alarmed or distrustful. To become patient listerners and discerners of Emergent engagements with contemporary global culture.  And so shall we, and so will do . Be at peace.


ps - please note that Mark Driscoll become despondent with Emergent Christianity (2005-2006?) and has since become one of its critics.


November 17, 2007
R.C. Sproul, Al Mohler, and Ravi Zacharias discuss
post-modernism, modernism, liberalism, and the emergent church.

August 15, 2008
The Albert Mohler Program, Part 1
with host Dr. Russell Moore and
guests Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck

August 15, 2008
The Albert Mohler Program, Part 2

August 15, 2008
The Albert Mohler Program, Part 3

John Piper, February 28, 2010

Phrases and Adjectives Describing Emergents
Emergents are motivated by "white guilt"
Come from upper-middle class whites
Are burned-out evangelicals
Attract trendy college kids
Portray a hip or cool image
Attract twenty-somethings
Espouse a postmodern ethic
Is a rebirth of liberalism
Known for coffee, candles and couches
Dislike systematic theology
Prefer narratives and stories
Are new-age Christians
Are Catholic mystics
Are wolves in sheep's clothing
Are heretics, false teachers, liberals
Are left-wing voters
Are gen-Y cynics
Are jaded and think the church stinks
Liked reading The Shack
Is a short-term fad
Don't believe in absolutes
Reject theological truths
Break down language
Teach relativism
Are socially conscious
Are not cognitive believers
Are non-critical and anti-doctrinal
Wish for peace-and-love over truth-and-justice
Are allergic to church traditions and creeds
Have abdicated Christian responsibility
Have abdicated Christian conviction
Have abdicated Christian courage
Are allergic to mega-churches
Have left orthodoxy

(Thankfully the list stops here)

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