Warning: This is not the post I intended for today. I’ve been working on a series of posts that will come perhaps later this week, but I needed to get something off my chest first.
I am now officially BORED of the “What is Emergent/ing?” conversation. I have, and likely will, participate in the conversation. What I like about emergent/ing is the open, honest conversations about what is happening in the culture and the church. I have learned a great deal from it. And quite frankly, the people I have encountered have been some of the best folks I’ve ever met — gracious, generous, confrontational, confessional. No one every said emergent/ing was the answer to all problems or infallible or that it was fully matured or the world’s last best hope. It has always been people asking and searching. That’s all really.
Yet time and again, I stumble across articles, blogs, books, etc…arguing about emergent/ing. I’m tired, okay. What it is is people trying to figure out how to do church in the face of a changing cultural landscape sharing questions and learnings together. Just today, one of my favorite bloggers, Scot McKnight, has posted about a new group he is partnering with. For a while, Scot has been involved with Emergent Village, and is a friend to many others involved in it. Of course, those critical of EV, will herald this as part of the death of all things emergent, and it might be, but I have to ask about all the fervor. Why are we so concerned with names and the minutia of every single person’s and group’s theology? Theology is clearly important, but we are naive if we think the folks on the same pew with us on Sunday morning are always in the same neighborhood with us concerning theology.
The reason I know this? I see how people behave.
We have tricked ourselves into thinking that someone’s doctrinal positions are in line with what they say their doctrinal positions are, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Our theology is evidenced in what we DO and PRACTICE! Something about human nature makes it easy to crucify the gracious among us if they disagree with our theory of the atonement. Does that make any sense at all? Is that logical or Christ-like?
I guess I just don’t understand all the hype about names, terms, groups, organizations and the who’s in, who’s out, who’s right, who’s wrong, culture of American Christianity — the “they’re not this enough” and “they’re not that enough” debates some Christians have. It is no wonder so many people in emerging generations toss aside the church and every fundamentalist, emergent, missional, main-line, emerging, restorationist, Calivinist, evangelical, and whatever else that comes with it.