Is the Sky falling? Emerging Church in the News

Are you keeping up with the Emerging Church movement?

Here a few recent stories to mull over:

An Excellent review of Rob Bell’s book entitled Velvet Elvis

The A-Team’s Book Review of An Emergent Manifesto of Hope

The View from Solomon’s Porch video

Sean McDowell discusses abortion with Emergent Church “leader” Tony Jones

I am grateful for some of the questions and ideas posed by the emerging church movement. It is high time we as the Body of Christ wake up to some of the philosophical mistakes we made in the “modern” age (i.e. giving humanism and secularism equal or greater credence than biblicism, seeing the church as a business institution instead of a family, etc.). I like the missional focus of the Emerging Church; I like the push toward hospitality; I like the ideas of community life.

But the red flags raised by this loose-knit group of emergent are not few.

The most frightful trend in the Emerging Church is a very low view of scripture (i.e. the Bible is not inerrant, the idea God has been put into a box by creeds, “Sola Scripturas” and even by scripture itself, etc.).

I think the main problem with the Emerging Church is that it notices the negativity of the modern age and responds with the negativity of the postmodern age. Postmodern despair is rooted in a lack of answers — only questions, questions, more questions, and uncertainty. The God of the Bible and historic Christianity brings hope that Postmodern thought cannot provide. Slaves to a post-modern worldview need to know that they have a Rock to stand on, that there is Truth to be found.

After reading the above-mentioned review of Velvet Elvis the other evening, I began to have an almost-panic attack as I crawled into bed with my husband. I leaned over to him and declared, “The Church, as we knew it as children, is either dead…or crazy.”

I earnestly “feel” that these are the two categories into which The Church is splitting.

Of course, my mind tells me that throughout history, in the bleakest of times, the Lord continued to accomplish His will. What looks bleak from my human perspective is all a part of His plan. He is in control. He is at work. He loves His Church and continues to purify her and love her and use her to bring glory to Himself.

I just can’t shake the feeling of impending doom.

The sky is falling.

I pray I am as wrong as Chicken Little.

(to view a bit of my thought-processes so far on the emerging church mystery, see Calvinism with a Heart and Legs, Resurging Church, Homosexuality and Emerging Church and Marc Driscoll’s Apology for said-discussion, Post-Christian America, Postmodernism and Os Guinness, and The Emerging Delusion. I am still researching. Thoughts and/or links you have on this subject would be greatly appreciated in the comments!)

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4 thoughts on “Is the Sky falling? Emerging Church in the News

  1. I feel alternately elated, nervous, frightened at the changes that the ECM may bring. I try to remain positive – that though it seems the sky is falling, perhaps it is showers of blessing.

    Unfortunately, the EC makes itself a likely target because of its fuzzy doctrine and much of it seems to enjoy shock-value tactics to gain attention. However, I appreciate many of the questions that are being presented and am hopeful that rather than more division there will be local churches looking past some of the trendy EC fluff and move beyond their own traditional trappings. It is an awesome thing to be challenged by truth… I also hope that some of the EC authors will pursue it more, as some don’t seem to be interested in it, believe that it is knowable, or jettison it to be relational and relevant.

    What I’m having to learn and relearn and remember… is that the ECM is this huge thing, and to look at a few sites and try to make any judgments on the whole from just a few opinions/sites isn’t possible. I’m finding many blogs/sites that acknowledge this – the inability to define it.

    Have you found the following blogs?

    http://tallskinnykiwi.typepad.com/tallskinnykiwi/emerging_church/index.html

    http://www.internetmonk.com/

  2. Thanks for the links, s g! I have looked at Tall Skinny Kiwi before, but never Internet Monk.
    I, too, appreciate the many questions being asked by the emerging church. I do hope that these questions will help the church-at-large look past “traditional trappings!” And I agree with you in the desire to see the EC authors pursue Truth to a greater extent.
    Thanks for the encouragement. Things don’t feel so bleak today 🙂 It was nice to go to church today, to listen to a sermon about Jesus’ disciples wondering what He was going to do to make things right with a group of pharisees…our pastor ACTUALLY said, “The disciples were over there like Chicken Little and Henny Penny whining, ‘The sky is falling! The sky is falling! What’s Jesus going to do? How’s He going to get out of this one?!” Made me laugh to picture myself getting all worked up over something that is in my Father’s Hands 🙂
    I plan to keep on the lookout, and keep researching and being aware of what’s going on.
    Probably, the sky will fall, and showers of blessing will be part of what falls, eh?!
    Thank you again for your encouraging, hopeful words.
    Deborah

  3. how funny about the “sky is falling” comment being mentioned in your church service! Our pastor just posted a link on his blog w/ “the sky is falling” as a title, but it has to do w/ global warming. I’ve got to remember God is in control of that, the missing bees and the 2008 elections. 🙂 Anyway, my pastor does have some good posts on the emergent church as well – and good links. Here’s his blog: http://ubergoober.wordpress.com/

    Oh wait! When I went to copy the link, I noticed his blog is titled, The sky is failing. (nevermind)

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