Emergent: Don't Feel Bad, It's Not Just Us...

Not to sound over-dramatic, but some of these comments below (about the much-anticipated particle collider I mentioned back in October of last year) sound a little apropos to our discussion of the Emerging Church:

"...Scientists say it could be years, if ever, before the collider runs at full strength, stretching out the time it should take to achieve the collider’s main goals, like producing a particle known as the Higgs boson thought to be responsible for imbuing other elementary particles with mass, or identifying the dark matter that astronomers say makes up 25 percent of the cosmos. The energy shortfall could also limit the collider’s ability to test more exotic ideas, like the existence of extra dimensions beyond the three of space and one of time that characterize life.

“The fact is, it’s likely to take a while to get the results we really want,” said Lisa Randall, a Harvard physicist who is an architect of the extra-dimension theory. The collider was built to accelerate protons to energies of seven trillion electron volts and smash them together in search of particles and forces that reigned earlier than the first trillionth of a second of time, but the machine could run as low as four trillion electron volts for its first year. Upgrades would come a year or two later. Physicists on both sides of the Atlantic say they are confident that the European machine will produce groundbreaking science — eventually — and quickly catch up to an American rival, even at the lower energy. All big accelerators have gone through painful beginnings.

“These are baby problems,” said Peter Limon, a physicist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill., who helped build the collider."

A lot of folks are already writing off Emergent and the Emerging Church as:
  • "A fad..."
  • "A bunch of Gen-X hipsters..."
  • "A precursor to the MISSIONAL movement..."
  • "A precursor to the neo-Reformed movement..."
  • "An effeminate structural caricature designed to make Mark Driscoll look tough..."
  • "A hiccup in the throat of late Evangelicalism..."
  • "Gas in the bowels of late Mainline Liberalism..."
  • "A brief correction to Modernity's metanarrative..."
  • "Trendy heresy..."
  • "A party that's 'already dead'..."
  • "A good idea that never deserved twelve volumes..."
  • "SO over."

But - at the risk of sounding like a desperate blogger trying to justify his URL - "these are BABY problems..."

In fact, that's my view not only of the Emerging Church but of Christianity-in-general. We are toddlers, still learning how to walk. This is nascent sh**-stuff we're dealing with here. How do we walk? How do we talk? Learning how to read and write comes years after all this, for God's sake.

I'm going to resist the urge to make a joke about dropping testicles...

But for all our lamenting - much of it completely valid - about the failures of Christianity and (in particular) the Emerging Church, we have to remember that “it’s likely to take a while to get the results we really want... all big accelerators have gone through painful beginnings."

And so have religions. And revolutions. And so will we.


Eruesso said...

I know this is a bit unrelated but have you read Flashforward by Robert Sawyer? It's an interesting sci-fi novel about an experiment that goes wrong with the large hadron collider at CERN which causes the entire human race to lose consciousness for 2 minutes. It tackles the theme of freewill vs. predestination in regards to future events. I think ABC is adapting it to TV in the Fall. Love your site by the way.

Peter said...

Haven't read it, but I'm a HUGE sci-fi fan. Although I haven't made time for much in the last few years.

I'm intrigued by the TV previews, though.

Thanks for the visit Eruesso!

Eruesso said...

There's an intriguing little site called Sci-Fi Gospel that I highly recommend if you're interested in religious and spiritual topics in Science Fiction and popular culture.


And thanks for visiting my site as well.


Anthony said...

Dropping into this thread a little late, but WTH. Never fret about contemporary media-driven relevance when striving to adhere to the Logos. Damn the torpedos. Full speed ahead.

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