Emerging or just Liberal?

What exactly am I "emerging" into?

Plenty of visitors to this site would accuse me of being nothing more than a neo-liberal. And sometimes I wonder...

Can I keep holding conflicting ideas in tension? Can we keep pulling on opposite ends of the strings of faith, hope, love and personal spirituality?

There are plenty of Emergents who hold to a very conservative (even fundamentalist) view of theology and personal spirituality. They acknowledge the need for Christian change, but they are simultaneously terrified of what we may evolve into.

There are plenty of Emergents who have rejected a lot of Evangelical views, beliefs and theological stances. They see a need for change, but seem just as unwilling to open themselves to a mysterious, uncontrollable Holy Spirit.

Here's the thing: I don't think Marcus Borg is any more (or any less) "emerging" than Mark Driscoll. They are poles of the same globe - head and tail of the same penny.

I was thinking this morning: will we ever be finally "emerged?"

In the name of Jesus, I certainly hope not. Not in this life - perhaps not ever. Evolution is a natural part of God's creation - the physical creation and the spiritual one (if they are, indeed, separate at all).

I confess to not knowing what it is I am. I am confused. And searching. Searching for what I've already found: Jesus Christ. But my knowledge is limited. Like Kierkegaard, I understand that I do not understand.

Maybe that's why I feel conflicted. In my gut, I feel liberal. But in my heart, I believe God is far wiser than I am. And so I concede that my own instincts, and my own sense of morality, are frail, faulty and fallen.

I'll keep asking questions. I'll keep appreciating theologians like Willard and Schaeffer, as well as those like Spong. And hopefully, I won't agree with any of them completely - not because I think I'm smarter than them! (I'm a mess) I won't subscribe completely because, in humility, I recognize that none of us is clearly hearing the Holy Spirit. We see in part. We hear in part. We know in part.

I Corinthians 13:12 reminds us, "Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known."

What are YOU emerging into?

Are you a neo-liberal? A hipster fundamentalist? Or are you truly emerging?

3 comments:

Jacob said...

Hi Peter, I just wanted let you know that I started a new blog to keep in touch with our fans better and answer questions about the record "Singularity." We are having some pretty awesome conversations about God, art, music, science and technology and I would love to have your participation. Check it out when you have a moment and let me know what you think.
There are two blogs that deal with different topics.
1. (mostly personal) http://mycontracrostipunctus.blogspot.com/

2. (mostly God,art,music,science,worldview related)
http://whatissingularity.blogspot.com/

Thanks!
Jacob Anthony Marshall (mae)

nate said...

Great thoughts man!

"I confess to not knowing what it is I am. I am confused. And searching. Searching for what I've already found: Jesus Christ. But my knowledge is limited."

I totally relate. Thanks for making emerging Christianity more understandable, human, divine, natural, etc.

Who knows where I'll end up...I just I hope I can focus on the majors, not the minors.

2Pete said...

Jacob, thanks for the visit! I think Mae is a great band. I enjoyed one of your concerts in Portland a couple of years ago. Keep doin' what you're doin' and thanks for the blog link.

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