Monday, January 21, 2008

The Emergent Church (Part 4)

O.K., now I'm going to focus on the "Emergent Church" strand of the overall Emerging Church.

The two men speaking in this video are Tony Jones and Doug Pagit. Along with Brian McLaren, they are key figures in this movement.

What you will hear is essentially a social gospel.

It is very difficult to find any agreed upon tenets of the Emergent Church. The belief system is purposely nebulous. I have found a few reocurring themes:

Emergent churches emphasize highly creative approaches to worship and spiritual reflection. This can involve everything from the use of contemporary music and films through to a sort of liturgy or other more ancient customs (although usually redefined for modern use).

Emergent churches champion A flexible approach to theology whereby individual differences in belief and morality are generally accepted. This is where it gets very hairy. I will post an example of this in a upcoming post where Doug Pagit (from this video, pastor of "Solomon's Porch" basically refuses to answer what the fate of a Budhist is).

Emergent churches speak of a more holistic approach to the role of the church in society. This can mean anything from greater emphasis on fellowship in the structure of the group to a higher degree of emphasis on social action, community building or Christian outreach. This is where it is difficult to discern the place of social activism in the Emergent Church, it seems to be the main purpose- more than the acknowledgement of sin and the need of a Savior.

Most troubling to me, Emergent churches foster the desire to reanalyse the Bible against the context into which it was written. Again, this will be illustrated in my next post about the Emergent Church.

So far, my analysis reveals the Emergent Church to be old school liberalism re-packaged for the post-modern world. Mark Driscoll's assessment in my prior post seems to be right on concerning the "Emergent" strain of the "Emerging Church".

1 comment:

Frontier Forest said...

We know God honors HIS word, and people can only be changed by the hearing the Word and then transformed by the doing of the Word. (Romans 10:14-16, James 1:22) Millions of folks today get excited about the Lord by attending these “feel-good” gatherings. And that is wonderful! But how many well-meaning, hungry to know the TRUTH folks ever receive the true meat of the Word? We must proclaim the meat, found only in the Word. For it is only the Word that brings forth bountiful and abundant fruit! “For everyone who takes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age.” (Becoming complete in Christ) Hebrews 5:13-14