Wednesday, September 13, 2006

More Emerging and Emergent Talk - Part 2

This Washington Post Article discusses both the emerging movement and the emergent village.

I tried reading it as neutral as possible while trying to figure out the goal of the journalist (was it to persuade or inform?) at the same time.

My impression of the article is that it's 50/50 on the good and bad of what Brian McLaren is a part of leading (call it whatever you want). Open discussions are great, and that is the good part. However, how he thinks we portray Jesus in paragraph 8 is not how I think most Christians perceive Jesus. He thinks conservative evangelicals have aligned themselves to closely with the Republican party, but to me it makes sense because they are currently the one's with the most conservative views on such issues as homosexuality, abortion, and the list goes on.... and those issues are the most important.

Calling McLaren the "true son of Lucifer" because he ignores "absolute biblical truth" is probably overboard and cruel (even if I was jokingly thinking it while reading...kidding).

Here's one piece of the article I find interesting:
"If you have some person or movement coming along calling into question the non-negotiables of Christianity, then those who espouse Christianity find such a challenge dangerous," said Donald A. Carson, professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Illinois, who has criticized McLaren's theology.
Though a "creative, sparkly writer," added Carson, McLaren has "got so many things wrong in his analysis that his work is not going to last that long."

And the following disturbs me:
"I don't see the issue of homosexuality as the simple black-and-white issue that some of my fellow evangelicals make it out to be," said McLaren, who last year was named by Time magazine among the "25 most influential evangelicals in America."

I'm not sure which part about McLaren is more disturbing...his view on homosexuality or the fact he's one of the "25 most influential evangelicals in America. It seems to me that some of his statement clearly justify D.A. Carson's statement of calling into question a non-negotiable of Christianity that McLaren holds to.

My 3rd post on this subject will discuss in greater detail the July/August 2006 issue of Relevant Magazine's article "Missing the Point? The absolute truth behind postmodernism, emergent, and the emerging church."

I also plan on reading D.A. Carson's book entitled Becoming Conversant with the Emergent Church. I believe it is an objective critique of the Emergent Church. I guess we'll see.

I will be honest with my belief, and that is the more I read about the Emergent Church the more troubled I feel...and emerging is good under some definitions and troubling under others...we'll leave it at that for now.

Your thoughts????

Oh, just for fun here's a link of The Worst Analogies Ever Written in a High School Essay


tfounds said...

Some of my thoughts...

1. True, the Repulican party does have the most conservative views on such issues as homosexuality, abortion, etc. Was Jesus conservative though? (I think of Him more as a radical).

2. "and those issues are the most important." I'm not sure those are the most important issues. I think the most important issue is loving other people.

3. McLaren's views on homosexuality do not disturb me. I think I would have to agree that people often make many issues into black or white, when they shouldn't. Also, I certainly do not think that the issue of homosexuality is a non-negotiable. (I think there are few of those).

4. The article talks about those in the emerging church "believe the Christian message needs to be made more relevant..." I think it is more that it needs to be communicated in a more "relevant" way, not that the message itself needs to be more "relevant". (Can I just say here that I am tired of that word). :)

Anyway ... that's really all I've got for now. I didn't really add anything I don't think.

Phil Strahm said...

1. Jesus was not a Republican or Democrat. He definitely had conservative views with a radical approach. And yes I do believe people should vote on their moral beliefs first and foremost. If we don't follow God's lead for us then we won't get to where we should be going. If we follow God he will bless us.

2. "Loving other people" is not directly associated with any politcal stance so your comment is off the wall and does not pertain to real politics, which was never my real focus. We love by doing what's best for them based on wisdom we gain from God, thus making sure we keep conservative beliefs interacted with what country was founded on.
That's why the USA has to protect other countries...because they can't handle themselves and it is our obligation to do what's best for mankind. The same should be with our voting.

3. If we leave no issues as black and white then we'll have nothing to stand on. These leads to where we are now...everyone believing whatever they believe is right.

Homosexuality is as non-negotiable as any other sin in the Bible, period.

4. I'm tired of relevant too.

5. Tim loves Brian McLaren. The good half of McLaren has brainwashed Tim into disregarding the bad half...haha...just kidding, but seriously.

Tim is a little more 'Open minded' in his thoughts...and I respect that...and we do have some differences that should NOT get in the way of the 90+% that we do agree on and the ultimate goals that we all SHOULD have as fellow believers.

Micah Dormann said...

It's an interesting blog Phil..thanks for being so dedicated to learning about this issue. It's nice to see someone who may not agree with it, or infact not like it at all at least try to learn about it...better than some i must say, and you're doing more for the church than you now by doing this.

1. Politics I'm not sure how to respond to it, but it brings the battle of Republican (moral conservatives, yet rich and at time very much out for themselves) vs. Democrates (the liberal yet at times much more socially active) lets find middle ground and say Jesus was a libertarian (take that how you will that's not my view though, just playing)

2. Phil although i know your rebuttle to Tim on point number 2 is out of love i think i'm still going to disagree...I think that loving others is very much ingrained in how politics are run...what is the gov. doing about the least the last and the lost (either side) maybe we need to really look at the American culture and say are the people in there both. dem and rep. the people we need in there...i don't know just a random thought.

3. Before I pass judgement on McClaren's view of homosexuality I would have to remind those who have encountered the same sex attraction thought line to remember not all homosexuals are sinning...just like not all singles are sinning by dating...I would really like to know what McClaren's view of homosexuality it Same Sex Attraction or sexually active?

4. To quote Zach Braff from Scrubs "Sometimes when you have old words you need to find new/fresh ways to share them, lucky thing is I'm a doctor.." The last part doesn't matter, but the first part does...the message is relevant, it's more relevant than anything you'll ever read in an article, but it has been around for a long time (eternity) God loves his people and wants to be in relationship with them...But how we show that how we teach that has to be done in a way that allows people to encounter that same God we all love so much...

Good conclusion on the rebuttle Phil...Tim I don't know if I made sense either, but I do feel we have to be careful and decide the "non-negotiables" for us as pastors before we are tempted.

Phil Strahm said...

1. No more political discussion...

2. Micah-I meant "love" was not a true focus of any particular party as a whole, so it cannot be used as a deciding factor if you were to be a whole hearted Republican or Democrat or Libertarian.
Some issues and some politicians may reflect that love is a focus...the big word being "some"

3. Micah-you are right to ask McLaren's true stance on "homosexuality." It is a good question. It may be to my fault, but I was assuming he meant practicing and active homosexuals were ok. I assumed for the mere reason that dealing with homosexual orientation seems to be something the 'conservative' would not stir up a raucous about and would love to help.
But, conservatives are upset so I assumed (maybe falsely) that his focus was on the acceptance of homosexuals being homosexuals and not justifying or reconciling the issue/sin in their lives.

4. I would vote for a politician who wanted to outlaw i-pod's and any other media or cultural influence that has demeaned our society to where we no longer think and therefore no longer act with any meaning or purpose and because of that we have to find a new "relevant" way to reach the non-thinking and purposeless people who overcrowd our generation....just kidding...but seriously!

What's wrong with going back to the simple basics...candles, the cross, and the word of God...I know that's right up Micah's alley.

Micah Dormann said...

i'm game for that