Follower of The Way


Loving Your Emerging Neighbor

Posted in Christian Theology,emergent church by sosipater on October 13, 2006

Here is another voice to speak up with thoughts on Emerging churches.  I think this is a great post by Christian philosopher John Mark Reynolds.  I like this quote, not becuase it is negative, but because it “resonates” with me.  (Yea, I did it…I used RESONATE in a sentence…I am truly hip now.)   🙂

To be plain: there is treason amongst Evangelical academics and the emerging church must be careful not to be associated with it. When a few “philosophers” tell Emerging folk “Foundationalism” is dead in epistemology and attack the need for creeds or propositional truth, then the Emerging movement is changed from a sincere, open-hearted way to reach a new generation (as comes to the Church in each age) to an old heresy in new garb. When “scholars” hired by Christian colleges urge socialism as the cure for the economic woes of the world, then Emerging churches are in danger of becoming the pawns of one of the worst things ever to happen to the poor.

Read the whole post though and you will see some of the positive things Mr. Reynolds sees from some emerging folk.  One being a refound sense of beauty and art as gifts from God to be enjoyed.  Good stuff.

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2 Responses to 'Loving Your Emerging Neighbor'

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  1. Jesse said,

    I’m not advocating softheadedness, but why can’t we point out the positives publicly, then the negatives as they arise in personal contexts? I believe that should be part of a missional approach.
    Yet again, here is someone speaking in terms of the “emerging church movement” as if it had some kind of creed or something that everyone signed onto. (!) Even Reynolds states that emergents don’t like creeds, but doesn’t seem to grasp the actual ramifications of his own statement.
    I’m turned off by “creeds” because they create groupthink, dumb down theology, and end up distorting Scripture. Don’t read that as I’m saying creeds are wrong – they have useful purposes, but they also have dangerous side effects that we tend to ignore… to our own peril.
    I think he’s just critiquing extremists who happen to be involved in the emerging conversation. My admonition is this: as some continue to speak of the extremists as the norm or as leaders of the movement, they will become precisely that in the eyes of those who are not extreme in their views, yet want to be involved in the movement for the positive reasons (some of which Reynolds mentions). This will polarize them to “take sides”, effectively pushing them into extreme positions, either for or against, all in response to the pressure that critics (con) and extremists (pro) are producing.
    This is the same old nescience (I use that word to be polite and still get my point across – not to be high-brow) that has happened throughout history.
    (sigh) It’s all so discouraging. I think I need a root-beer.

  2. sosipater said,

    Jesse, why so negative on the negativeness? It seems to me if you take your own advice, then you shouldn’t have made this comment. Am I missing something here?

    My point is, in interacting with others, especially in media like the internet, it is close to impossible to point out negatives in a personal context, and you just proved my point by commenting publicly. And I don’t have a problem at all with your comment, it just seems like *you* should based on your comment. After all, it does take some sparks to sharpen iron.

    Also, I am not as convinced as you that it is only the “extremists” of the emerging movement that are deserving of the criticism. Well, I guess I do agree, to a degree. But it does seem like most of the major voices are the ones being considered extreme, at least to me. You may not agree with that.

    And a root beer does sound ummmmm good!


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