I have recently been spending some time exploring a blog dedicated to the refutation of the Emergent Conversation. Although I don't agree with much of what is asserted there, I think it's valuable, for self analysis and growth, to examine those who disagree with us. Even within such divergences, I pray that unity can yet be found.
On that note, and after reading a wealth of responses and criticsm of Emergent, I am left with this: Could it be that perhaps traditional evangelical (or protestant) Christianity works and is fully valuable and viable for some Christians, and that the Emerging Church is permissible and even viable for those who have a different worldview? Just like there are Republican and Democrat Christians because of very differing worldviews and backgrounds, cannot theology itself manifest differently and still be "catholic," holding to the Apostle's Creed of one Holy Church... with many different brains?
I am fully entrenched in "emergence," whatever that means, and yet I am fine with calling the work done on Emergent-No "examination" or "research," as opposed to blind critique, because SOMEWHERE along the path of such work, conclusions are drawn. It would be silly and impractical to assume that one never forms assumptions or conclusions about that which someone is studying. And can the study ever really be "complete?" No. I don't think there is anything rhetorically unfair about Emergent-No, as others in our conversation have alleged. And further, I think a lot of the criticsm of EC is founded. We laud "open-mindedness," and then judge those who do not meet our standards of openness.
I'm trying to be open, but I still believe that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life... I just believe there is a lot more Mystery to what that looks like than the 20th century offered.I appreciate the desire here to seek truth and find answers. I hope that those opposed to emerging Christianity can avoid demonizing brothers and sisters who are doing the same thing: seeking truth and searching for answers - all in a Christian context.
I think it's very dangerous to cast stones at Emergent as detrimental or dangerous or corrosive to Christianity. As another poster on Emergent-No wrote, Luther was viewed in the same way and now we accept his protests as truth (well, at least the protests of his earlier years).
We must be patient with one another and avoid the kinds of arguments that break down more than build - that drive a wedge deeper into the Kingdom. Check out Emergent-No on the blogosphere, but be cautious not to overreact. There are very frustrated posters there - individuals who feel that their entire belief-systems are being discredited or torn apart by the Emergent Conversation. We must approach them with love and compassion and yes, even understanding. Isn't that what we pray for of them?
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