Wednesday, May 25, 2005

i still don't get it

Welcome to Emergent Village

but having said all that about mclaren, i still don't get the whole emergent thing.

and this utterly baffling description on their website doesn't help. dudes. stop getting grad students to write your copy.


the reverend mommy said...

I agree with you -- I get it, but I don't get it. If it can't be stated simply -- you're basic thesis statment on the eighth grade level, then I think they're toast.

Pastor John said...

I get it, he is out of his mind. . . one cannot make something out of nothing. In terms of the sacred scriptures; brian is out of touch. in his mind he is the authority, you are the authority; there is no objective reality; you are reality. HUH Excuse ME! why read the bible, just read brian and eugene peterson. . .QUACK QUACK QUACK!

ding said...

well, i'll wait until i read his book.

Anonymous said...

My church (like many churches I think) is realizing that we're not attracting a lot of 20s - 30s. Our theory is that the modern church is not very relevant to postmodern generations. Like you, I've grown up hearing that postmodernism is BAD. But what Brian Mclaren (I've read A New Kind of Christian before) & others like him seem to be saying is that the church has become entrenched in modernism and in order to survive & be relevant in the future, it needs to become postmoern. And that's not a bad thing - it brings out aspects of Christianity that are neglected by the modern church. (At least this is how it makes sense to me.) Which does seem like a contradiction: Christianity is about absolute truth and postmodernism (to be very simplistic) isn't. So everyone freaks out & thinks that postmodern Christians don't believe in absolute truth, and the truth of Jesus' death will get watered down and eventually ignored. I believe this isn't true though. I and everyone else I've heard on the subject still are absolutely committed to the truth of the gospel. I hope this is at least a little bit helpful! There are other authors on the subject like Leonard Sweet and Mike Yaconelli, and a website to look at is

ding said...

well, i've just bought the mclaren book 'a generous orthodoxy.' (my library didn't have a copy so i was forced to drop $20 on it.)

so far, nothing is striking me as crazy (dad). his tone is tongue in cheek, a little snarky and self-aware - which may be why he freaks out some traditionalists and fundies (it's ironic and sarcastic!) - but nothing crazy. and i'm looking for it. really.

Josh said...

The whole idea of "emerging" I think, is to offer the idea that you don't join because you have all the answers; you are becoming something, and the movement is growing as well.

It's basically that modern institutions, like churches, are closed and final, they dictate. The idea of "emerging" is closer to the dynamic, moving, changing, growing metaphors Jesus used. "The kingdom of God is within you" etc, etc.

The "Quack quack quack" thing bothers me somewhat, firstly because McLaren is very much an advocate of reading and discussing biblical text. In fact, he doesn't really give directions to people who read his books at all. It's all about searching out the text for yourself.

And I'm not exactly sure what Eugene Peterson has done to warrant any criticism. He is also somewhat of a postmodernist who again, is open to multiple interpretations, not just his own.

ding said...

i think you've hit it on the head: 'it's about searching the text for yourself.'

for some, this kind of textual independence is threatening. there must always be some authority to validate what you're reading, or you run the danger of accepting heresies or untruths.

ok. i'll grant this to pastor john (cough*dad*cough) and others like him. but reading absent of someone's authority is not the same as reading without authority, or guide.

what of the holy spirit? what about the gift of discernment when you're reading?

(as for poor eugene patterson...his new paraphrase The Message has all the fundies in a snit about changing the bible...)

Anonymous said...

Just a tangential observation: Where are the women in the Emerging Church movement? Where are the gay folks?

We talked about the Emerging Church over on Beliefnet awhile back, and many of us came away with the idea that it's sorta-kinda like conservative evangelicalism with genuflecting. We didn't get it either.

ding said...

yeah, apparently, women aren't postmodern.

good question. (but partially explained when you ask 'who seeds these churches?')