The Wacky Emerging Church: Prolegomena
March 6, 2008, 8:51 am
Filed under: blogging, emerging church, theology

The emerging church sucks.  No really, it does.  O.k., sure, tattoos, body piercing, creative facial hair configurations, Foucault, and emo worship music are all totally awesome.  But let’s be honest, shall we?  It’s lame.

This post is an introduction (or prolegomena, for those of you who didn’t get the post title) to a series I’ll be doing on the emerging church movement.  The posts will take up a variety of topics, but just so I don’t have to redefine my assumptions every time I post, I figured I’d get some of that out of the way here first.  I’m hoping that my posts won’t be too terribly long each time, but this post might be . . . sorry.  Let’s jump right in.

If you’ve done some web search, and landed here in hopes that I will rant on the heresies of the emerging church, it’s theology, hairstyles, rock music, aromatherapy oils, or books, I’m sorry to disappoint you, but you’re not really going to be impressed.  Put down the broom handle – there are no Brian McLaren pinatas here.   The truth is, I’m probably a pseudo-member of the emerging church – there’s no such thing as a membership card, so I can’t prove it . . . you’ll just have to trust me.   I’ve been part of conversations around emerging church topics for about eight years or so.  You will not find my name in any emerging church book (that I’m aware of), so I’m not what some of you would consider an “insider.” I’ve known some people and they’ve known me, and I’ve done a wee little bit of writing for emerging church e-zines. I’ll just leave the name dropping there.  More important than who I’ve been friends with or conversations I’ve had is what I’ve actually done.  I’ve attempted to make sense of some of the values and thought processes prevalent in the emerging church through starting new churches, and through developing a (potentially) new monastic community with college students.  I’ve failed more than succeeded.

By way of clarification, since terms can sometimes be confusing, I am using “emerging church” to encompass as much as you want it to.  My critiques and/or praise will not be for Emergent or the multi-nodal-village in which it resides.  “Big-E Emergent” or “Emergent with a ‘t'” is an organization which does emerging church stuff, but not everyone who is part of the emerging church scene feels comfortable with that, so I want to be inclusive.  My intention here is not to try to define who’s in and who’s not.   That would be silly, given that some prominent people that have been part of the scene now say that they don’t want to be in the club, and some who’ve never tried to be in the club are considered by others to be key players.

Next, some of my arguments may raise theological issues for people, but the majority of my words will be about attitudes and behavior.  There’s way too much theological diversity in the emerging church (a point that folks like Carson and Mohler can’t seem to grasp) for me to focus on “bad theology.”  Plus, I’m not a “trained theologian.”  I do believe that you can tell what someone’s true theology is by the way they behave, so again, I’ll be touching on theology at some level, but I’m not going to throw down on anybody because their view of the Atonement is such-and-such, or they don’t believe that hell is hot enough.  Frankly, I’m just not angry enough for all that.  Oh, and I’m not a trained philosopher, either, so if you want intelligent words on the finer points of postmodern thought, there’s a really great web site called Google . . . go use it.

Next, please know that I am not taking myself too seriously with this series, and I’d appreciate it if you didn’t take it overly seriously yourself.  My opinion is just that – one dude’s thoughts.  It’s MY blog (which makes me a narcissist, like most good bloggers).  You can agree, disagree, whatever.  I’d love it if you want to engage in some discussions in the comments.  Cool.  But I believe non-violence starts at home, so I won’t be participating in long, drawn out arguments here.  You wanna spar?  Fine . . . just be respectful, and preferably concise.  I’d be even happier, though, if we could all agree to laugh a little . . . there’s a bumper sticker that I see around town that says, “Wag more, bark less.”

Finally, as a pseudo-member of the emerging church thingy,  I want it to be clear that I think there are some really great questions being asked out there about church, Christian sub-cultures, leadership, and theology.  My life is much richer and way more fun because of it.  Lots of killer books have helped chart some really exciting conversations.  And there are some really amazing people that are working their butts off to see things from fresh perspective.  Huge sacrifices have been and will continue to be made, in order to follow convictions.  But those sacrifices are worth it.  Why?  Because the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.  It’s worth re-organizing our lives around – constantly.  Here’s a hint at a future topic – the emerging church is not the be-all, end-all movement.  The Kingdom is bigger and a far cry better than the very best of what we have to offer.  Let’s keep that in mind, hmmmm?

O.k., I’m sure I’m leaving something out, but that’s all I’ll say right now.  Thanks for bearing with me on that stuff.  And now we’re off, so please keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times, and wait until the car comes to a complete stop before exiting.  Enjoy your visit.


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Looking fwd your rants and insights.


Comment by eliacin

looking forward to it, bro!

Comment by markvans

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: