Wednesday, July 27, 2005


while doing some late night surfing before bed, i found this post on god-of-small-things about the emergent church thing.

strange as it may seem, i sort of agree:

'...the emergent movement mistakes ambiguity for a virtue.

The problem with modernity isn't certainty--it's pride. Pride in human accomplishment that blinds whole societies, and allows people to do imhumane and monstrous things because they are absolutely convinced of the rightness of cause.


But the world doesn't need ambigious Christian. It needs humble and generous Christians, who accept each other's shortcoming, and who live their lives in service to their God and to their neighbor.'


Bob said...

McLaren's a funny guy-- in person he's insightful and on target, and when he's writing about a topic he believes in --like trying to talk about politics in church or Hote Rwanda-- he's compelling. Get him on the postmodern stick and his writing turns deadly dull.

Generous is good but spare the ambiguity.

Good to see that you prefer Chicago to LA--the place grows on you, doesn't it?

ding said...

i think the dullness is a sign of something. like, lack of conviction. i searched the city for a copy of this book and then, thud, i fell over dead halfway through it.

i can understand the passion and the criticisms (he's fiery lucid when he's talking about why the modern church has lost a sense of jesus' mission); but when he dips into the other stuff, the this/that, the here/there and other binaries that aren't really binaries, then i sense a lack of verve.

what's compelling about ambiguity?

and, yes, chicago rocks. rocks, i tell you.

greg said...

Disclaimer: I haven't read anything by McLaren, so I'm not sure what you mean by "ambiguity" (your "ambiguity" is ambiguous to me), but....

I've been reading "In Face of Mystery" by Gordan Kaufman. Kaufman puts a lot of emphasis on the fact that for us humans God is unknowable, unfathomable, is the ultimate mystery. Is this the same as ambiguity? I don't think so. I think it is very important to be clear on what you know and what you don't know, and on what can be known and on what can't be known. In short, I think that admitting that a complete understanding and knowledge of God is unattainable is completely unambiguous, and should not (as so many fundie's are wont to do) be viewed as a sign of wishy-washiness. It is rather a sign of humility - the opposite of pride, and so does indeed strike at the heart of what god-of-small-things objects to in modernity.

Don't know if this speaks to the issue of McLaren, though.

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