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The Emerging Church, Part Two

January 24, 2010

Ok, so I have worked my way through two of the three books on the emerging church.  Will read the criticism this week, even though I probably don’t need to.

One thing immediately stands out, and that is the emerging church isn’t just one thing.  The diversity of thought runs from extreme fundamentalist to liberal theology.  Hmmm, sounds like the Christian churches of today.  The only difference is the fundamentalism is couched in sheep’s clothing, trying to make it sound not so judgmental but in reality just as biting.

Scripture as God’s word can be viewed in two ways.  Either as a rule book or as a love letter from God.  How you view it makes a difference in how you use it.  In my mind to use it as a rule book is a misuse, and one of the problems with modern Christianity is those that see scripture this way are judgmental to the point of being hateful.  Some in the emerging church want to get back to scripture as more of a love letter and that is a good thing.

The authority of scripture is another area that is, by some, being redefined.  The idea that if the Bible says it I believe it , is one some in the emerging church are trying to distance themselves from.  This goes hand in hand with those that raise scripture above its intended place, that is almost as god. Some in the emerging church are trying to put scripture in its proper perspective and that is good.

Perhaps  the biggest positive I can see in the emerging church is the opening of discussion, not just among pastors but in the laity.  Ignorance of scripture and lack of questioning has allowed Christianity to be defined by the extremes to the outside world.  If the emerging church movement gets people to rethink, or think, about what it means to be a Christian beyond the rhetoric of fundamentalism, then that is good.

It seems wherever two or more are gathered rather than finding Christ, we find labels, disagreement, closed minds, and exclusiveness.  This is a problem in the modern church, and from what I have read a problem in the emerging church.   The movement is trying to get Christians to be more open, loving, and accepting not only of each other, but of those outside of Christianity.  How successful they are only time will tell, but one thing is certain.  For this to happen the leaders in the movement need to set the example.  Some of them have a long way to go.

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