Monday, December 31, 2007

A message for all the seeker driven and emergent village "type" pastors who frequent the blog...

16 comments:

Tony Myles said...

Amen!

James said...

What does this have to do with the emergent church??? Do you think the emergent church believes what it does because it is just catering to culture?

That is an interesting point of view, and of course doing this would be dangerous- to surrender what you hold as true just to appease culture isn't good- including when people cater to church culture even when that culture may be off course.

It is interesting to me that the emergent church gets branded with "tickling itching ears" when church our western church culture caters so much to its own constituency that the church isn't challenged at all in the ways that it has failed to live up to her call.

I think you are over simplifying the emergent conversation if you think that it is all about catering to the world. Their is a stark difference between "seeker sensitive" and the emergent church.

Now, you may still disagree with much of what the emergent church is saying, but what it is preaching is not easy for anyone to hear- and it is a much harder gospel than the sinners prayer ticket to heaven that most evangelicals have reduced things too over the last few hundred years.

again, you may still strongly disagree with or discredit it a "social gospel" but the emergent church is calling the body to be the church and reflect the kingdom of God in this world. The message that everything must change tickles no one's ears and such a radical call for transformation is extremely threatening to the religious establishment that is sooo convinced it has everything right.

No, the emergent church is not about being too cool to be righteous. No, actually they are more interested in their righteousness exceeding the individualistic personal piety kind of righteousness of the scribes, pharisees and evangelicals and making a difference in this world for others.

Tony Myles said...

If I may pop in once more, I'd like to affirm you in one point, James. This message is not just for one style of church but any style... I think that's a point of agreement you make in your post, too. I have friends in many nooks of the Kingdom - from ultra conservative to emergent and so on and I personally see this danger in every church. I think the thought behind this post, though, is that Gary sees it most in a certain camp. The core of this video's message, though, is interdenominational.

irreverend fox said...

James,

I am in a hurry...I'm meeting some of my emergent village buddies at the bar for drinks to ring in the New Year...ok...that is joke...

let me say this real quick...I make a (shrinking, sadly) distinction between "emergent" and "emerging"...in theory at least.

second...I certainly don't summarize the emergent conversation as something simply about catering to the world…well…actually…that would be part of my summary but not all of it…it’s nothing more than the postmodern spin on modern liberalism of the last century…there is nothing new under the sun after all…

I'll respond more fully when I get back in...thanks for the challenge...I love it!

also...Tony does bring up a good qualification...one I need to be clear about...the original context Joshua Harris was speaking in was NOT aimed at the seeker driven or emergent village "types"...that was my spin...but I wouldn't limit it solely to them either...

Zac said...

I'm back, Gary. =^)

irreverend fox said...

zac,

great! I was wondering when our EO friend would emerge!

irreverend fox said...

James,

I've been bogged down by both a never ending parade of activity and by trying to think of a succinct way of answering your question.

The Emergent movement is so vast, so diverse and so undefined that it is impossibly to debate minute points. For every couple heterodox pastors involved I'm sure one could be pointed at as orthodox.

I believe the conversations calling into question the Biblical traditions handed down to us is nothing short of pure arrogance on the part of those who are out of line with history. Reformation was one thing...but reading and hearing the stuff flying out of the Emergent conversation is stunning.

Showing open reservation (or hostility) regarding the fundamental issues of the Atonement, the Virgin Birth, The Holy Trinity, the Exclusivity of Christ, the absolute need every human in all places and in all times of salvation/deliverance/justification/rebirth by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone, the eternal damnation of the lost (the reprobate), the moral and ethical perversion of homosexual behavior, the inerrancy and infallibility of the Holy Bible and the reality of meta-narratives obviously causes the orthodox to question the faith of those in the Emergent movement. You see...only non-Christians attempt to poke holes in these Biblical traditions.

I'm not going to take time right now to document each of my charges, I'm sorry if that is unacceptable. Again, I understand that not all in the emergent movement questions or rejects all of these issues…but for a good gist of the movement read anything Brian McLaren, Marcus Borg and/or Doug Pagitt. You can also go to http://www.theooze.com or http://www.emergentvillage.com/

I believe the reason for all this reservation or hostility to the historic and Biblical tradition of orthodoxy is simple...they are ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ which is the power of God unto salvation…which has been passed down to us by faithful men.

Zac said...

Gary,

I think you've got a valid point about the emergent movement. I was once in a lively email correspondence with a young lady in Australia who was interested at the time in Orthodoxy. She asked me if I'd ever heard of the "emergent Church"-- which she seemed to liken to a postmodern Christian faith, with a lot of the things like denying Christ's exclusivity, the possibility of miraculous phenomena, etc. Most important for her, however, was feminism: this package of ideas was precious to her as the Gospel... it was crazy.

irreverend fox said...

zac,

indeed. there are (what I consider) secondary issues within the emergernt stream which also bug me. they seem to have a real affinity for political liberalism. issues such as environmentalism (the emergent village site sure smacks of being "green") and feminism are part of their agenda. I do appreciate the desire in their midst to deal with world hunger and disease (HIV, malaria ect.) but have big problems with what I hear and read them proposing as solutions (our federal government sending $$$ to those area's...the reason those people are starving is because they are ruled by dictators...introduce free market capitalism and poverty will be erased like it is every time it's tried. The best and only lasting help our federal government could offer those suffering people would be several late night and well placed M.O.A.B’s dropped in the bedroom windows of the dictators who rule them).

those issues are not primary to me and I would not necessarily divide over them...but would debate them vigorously of course.

one point that I also want to make clear. at the surface some might not see any distinction between the notion of "Reformation" and what is going on and is talked about in the emergent conversation. The intent (right or wrong) of the Reformers was not to "re-imagine" "the story" of Christianity (that thought makes me ill). Their intent, if nothing else, was to GO BACK to the ancient ways. Maybe they were misguided and I'm sure you believe that. But I'm also sure you can see the distinction between that and the idea of "re-imagining" what "the story" of Christianity is altogether. One wants to go back and one wants to re-invent.

irreverend fox said...

oh, btw, zac...

have you had any steak lately? how about a hamburger?

Zac said...

Gary,

I can certainly see a difference in the two, and I will have to look more into this "meta-narrative" non-sense to have a more informed opinion about what these people are saying.

irreverend fox said...

hey zac,

keep in mind...postmodernism rejects the notion of a meta-narrative or in other words, objective reality.

the emergent movement at the very least flirts with rejecting that notion...like all postmoderns...they engage in a great deal of gibberish and double talk while maintaining a snarky, metro, hip and enlightened tone which mesmerizes some...I guess some enjoy listening to a slightly whinny and feminine guy talk in circles and not actually say anything concrete I guess...

Zac said...

Gary,

I just want to say that this last comment of yours is quite eloquent-- you really have a way with words: "they engage in a great deal of gibberish and double talk while maintaining a snarky, metro, hip and enlightened tone which mesmerizes some..." Very good stuff, and I think you're right.

Zac said...

Huckabee won... The nomination is really within his grasp, I think.

irreverend fox said...

lol...thanks zac! I have hard to capturing the whole tone and essence of hipster liberals, political or theological. they always have this arrogance...this sense of "I'm so above it all" and I believe false humility to boot.

as far as the Huckster. wow...he's my second choice...I think Fred Thompson is the real conservative. BUT...I'm afraid of splitting the conservative vote 2 or 3 ways...if that happens Rudy or Mitt will win...and God help us if that happens I believe. So while Huckabee is my second choice...he is the one I'll vote for if he is leading...but if Thompson or McCain were to surge past him then I'd vote for them (I'd have to hold my nose with McCain...he drives me nuts...but he has always been pro-life and that is the difference for me).

Zac said...

Gary,

Yes, yes, yes. I apologize for turning your theology blog into political discussion, but I'm totally for Huckabee, Thompson, and McCain-- whichever pulls ahead.

I think the dems are up the creek with any of their choices, but who knows.