Saturday, May 31, 2008

Have You Noticed This Too?

I do not mean this question to be loaded by any means; I simply wonder if you have noticed this too. I was reading an article the other day by a very respected Christian leader. In this article he very inaccurately sums up the emerging church movement. It caused me to wonder whether or not this man has even studied much of anything about the emerging church. From his summary statement it appears that he has read an article or two and now feels he fully understands all the intricacies of the movement.

In the past I have also read very ridiculous arguments against Calvinism. I say ridiculous not because I am a Calvinist and what the author said got me thinking. I say ridiculous because the Calvinism the author argued against has absolutely nothing in common with what I believe. Keep in mind this is not some amateur theologian, this is a guy with a Ph.D. and plenty of papers on his wall.

Here is my question. Have you noticed that at a certain point many "big-name" (celebrity) leaders in Christendom rest on their name and no longer engage in scholarly research? I understand that often renowned secular authors and philosophers will do much the same. I don't have a point, I am just wondering if I am off the wall or if somebody else has noticed this?


  1. Perhaps it is because people have used the term emerging church, and emergent church interchangeably. I don't know if anyone knows how to define these 2 terms, and instead they are all the same. I don't put Acts29 in the same boat with Rob Bell, but there are people who do. I think you are correct Mike, too often people talk like an expert, when they have know idea what they are talking about.

  2. Well, I'll confess that often I talk out of ignorance and make it seem like its truth...I've heard pastors do this, the "famous" and the ordinary. I think, honestly, it's part of man's lazy and sin-ridden nature.

    And now to chase a rabbit...
    Here's an (somewhat ignorant) attempt to define between "emerging" and "emergent": "emerging" seems to shun tradition unless it's helpful, but clings closely to Biblical doctrine, especially the reformed understanding of the Gospel (using Acts 29 as my model here); "emergent" seems to toss tradition, as well, but also has a loose grip on what's called "orthodox" (thinking of Brian McClaren's book A Generous Orthodoxy here.
    Hope that's helpful.

  3. Josh,

    Our (not sure if "our" is appropriate here) inability to differentiate between Acts 29 and McLaren-isc Emergent is the root of much problem in the MBC.


    I agree that we are lazy and sin-ridden. I guess there is an element of this every time that finite man opens his mouth; we speak of what we do not fully know.

    But I guess my major beef with the article I read (which I won't cite--enough people are beating it up online anyways) is the shoddy scholarship passed off as a thorough response.

  4. I would say much of it is "fear tactics." They don't understand something and are therefore afraid of it - so they caricaturize it to make other people afraid of it.

    Just my thoughts.

    Found you page through Josh Gottman's. Hope all is well with you, Mike.




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