I must confess I’m not a friend of the emergent movement…I am struggling through the whole thing trying to understand what the emergent movement is all about and what the big craze is about it. Honestly right now I have some concerns. I do have some friends that read my blog that are friends of emergent so please don’t take this as a rant or all out ban from me on the emergent movement. I just don’t understand it. I read on thing and then hear another and it’s honestly confusing. I have read some good blogs and books lately on this whole new ministry phenom.

My biggest question is this, “Is this just going to be a passing fad much like the Jesus People of the 70’s where or is this something that will be the real deal and stick around? If it is the real deal is it worth it?”

I have read McLaren’s ‘A Generous Orthodoxy‘ and Carson’s ‘Becoming Conversant With The Emergent Church‘ and I’m still not any closer to becoming a friend of emergent than I was before I read both books.

I agree with Carson. The emergent church is on to something but there are some weaknesses. The thing that really holds me back is the stance on tolerance (or as I read it right now) is that we should never tell people they are wrong for fear of insulting their intelligence. Carson says in his book that McLaren rejects both absolutism and relativism in several of his books.

He goes on to quote what McLaren proposes about the Christian faith, “should become (in the name of Jesus Christ) a welcome friend to other religions of the world, not a threat. We should be seen as a protector of their herritages, a defender against common enemies, not one of the enemies. Just as Jesus came originally not to destroy the law but to fulfill it, not to condemn people but to save them, I believe he comes today not to destroy or condemn anything (anything but evil) but to redeem and save everything that can be redeemed or saved.”

I agree with McLaren on the point of Jesus coming to “redeem and save everything that can be redeemed or saved.” The whole world could be redeemed or saved if they would turn to Christ. What I don’t agree with is that we should not be an “enemy” of other religions that go against Christ. I do think we should befriend them. But we should directly oppose their beliefs if they go against Christ. We should want to point them in the right direction. I think we should defend them on the premise that they are people so we should defend their rights but we shouldn’t defend their false doctrine and theology. We should defend the right they have to believe the wrong things. I am not saying that we should condemn them..but lovingly point them in the right direction.

Maybe McLaren and I think alot a like in these issues and maybe I don’t see that connection. I do think the emerging church has some positive qualities and maybe I’ll post on those in the days or weeks to come. Like I said at the beginning of this post…I am struggling through this whole issue. I am trying to become educated on the emerging movement so I can better understand what it really is.