Thursday, July 1, 2010

Those pesky emergents...

I still have no idea what the emerging church is. All I know is it's apparently emerging, Rob Bell has something to do with it as does his arch nemesis Mark Driscoll although he has tried to distance himself from it now; he would refer to himself as 'emerging reformed'. One of the reasons he has done this is so he will not be associated with the heathen that is Brian McLaren and his friends. I also get the impression that it elevates social justice and likes to do church in different ways to the opening song, welcome, opening prayer, 3 songs, prayer, bible reading, sermon, closing hymn, closing prayer way of doing church. I also know Steve Chalke is involved somehow and made a lot of people very very angry with comments he made about the atonement.
What I do know is that many a person in bible college and those interested in theological academia are trying to figure out exactly what it is. I also know that most people in the reformed camp are very unhappy with the emerging church, especially Don Carson, Albert Mohler, John McArthur amongst many others. Apparently the emerging church is quite dangerous to these folk.
It seems like lot of times church people try to understand a different belief or expression of christianity is so they can find it's faults and inform them of the right way of doing things, rather than finding the gold in it and applauding it for the same. That goes for most theological camps I should add, apart from the anabaptists of course; they just want some peace!
Anyways, all this to say I read Don Millers blog the other day. Apparently he's another advocate of the emerging church and his books can dangerous to read depending on what side of the spectrum you're on. I for one would recommend 'Blue Like Jazz', it's a great book and you can get it here. Here's what he has to say about the whole thing; it's an interesting read and I should add he didn't mean any insult to catholics.

A Leader in the Emerging Church?

For the past few years, I’ve been considered a leader in the emerging church. I’ve read as much in articles, mostly attacking the theology of the emerging church. I’ve even sat in a room where they talked about me being a leader in this church. I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to embarrass them. There were only about ten people at the panel discussion, in a room without more than 500 chairs. I’ve normally laughed, because whoever wrote these articles clearly didn’t do their research (and by the way, they have never called to verify their facts) because I don’t attend an emerging church, and for that matter have never used the phrase in any of my books. So I am not sure how you lead something without talking about it, but this doesn’t seem to matter to the critics!

But my question is this: Why don’t these people go after the Pope? Whatever the emerging church is (and I’m not pretending not to know. I really don’t know, because conversations about it bore me and I’ve never read a single book on the subject).

Do they agree with the theology of the Catholic church? If not, why don’t they ever attack it? Aren’t they leading billions astray, when the emerging church is only leading a few? Are they scared of the Catholic church?

I’m not asking the question to be sarcastic. I’ve actually been curious. It’s kind of like pulling a guy over for running a stop sign when there’s a holdup at a bank happening a few yards away. At least that’s the case in my understanding of theology.

My only thought is that this attack community is a small, insular community that really doesn’t know about “the world” outside the more conservative evangelical church. This is their fort, and they have an entire ecosystem wtihin it that is the world God created, and everything else is Mars (God didn’t create Mars, science created Mars, and science is outside the fort.)

Another thought is that the Catholic church tends to agree with the Evangelical church on political issues, so who really cares about their theology, right? The theological attack may really be about something else, the threat of the loss of power in another sphere, an earthly sphere.

Is this a fair assessment? Is it too critical? I am wondering why the leaders of fundamentalist evangelical Christianity don’t attack Catholics. Thoughts?