Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Emerging Audio

Although this expands a comment I made on this Pyro post, I actually started writing my post last week. Curse my slowness!

The Al Mohler radio program had a first-hand example of the Emerging Church mentality about "truth." Guest host Dr. Russell Moore had Tony Jones on there, and they had a little "conversation."

I'll let you listen for yourself and form an opinion, but here are a couple of impressions.

1) A half-hour broadcast isn't the best forum to tease out what an Emerging person believes.

This isn't intended to be a slam, just a fact. You don't want to ask me to pray at mealtime if you want a quick prayer, and you won't get a quick, straightforward answer from an Emerging person.

2) On a related note, there was a point where I felt like Dr. Moore was trying a bit too hard to create fireworks. In retrospect, that may just be his trying to pin Mr. Jones down, but there was a moment where I felt more like I was listening to conservative talk radio than Al Mohler. I don't like it when someone tap dances around a question (or in this case tap dances and then calls it an answer), but I'm equally annoyed when the interviewer puts words in the interviewee's mouth simply to make his point.

In retrospect, as I said, the time factor was working against him, and I think he was just trying to cut to the heart of the issue, but at times it seemed like he pushed a bit.

3) I was suprised at how quick Tony Jones was to distance himself from Mark Driscoll. It was as if he was saying that Pastor Driscoll's Reformed understanding of the Scripture was incompatible with the movement.

4) The notion of "local truth" I confess left me scratching my head. The whole idea of "it's true for me" makes my skin crawl anyway; the problem I see with the Emergent "truth seekers" is that they can't seem to distinguish between things that are cultural and things that are universal truth. That, and I get the feeling they would question any well-accepted truth simply because it was well-accepted. When he was talking about the Council of Nicaea and his notion of "Platonic truth," I couldn't help but think about an extensive, nuanced discussion between Emergent folks about whether 1 + 1 = 2.

In the end, I find myself (not suprisingly) agreeing with many others who have given this thumbnail sketch of Emerging: their diagnosis of the Evangelical Church is right on, but their prescription is horribly flawed. If there was any doubt about whether liberalism and post-modernism could co-exist, I think it has been put to rest.

I hope to revisit this discussion as I progress further in reading The Truth War.


Tom said...

Mark Driscoll has some very pertinent thoughts about this subject here:

Just scroll past the list and his full article (A Pastoral Perspective on the Emergent Church) appears at the bottom of the page or you can DL the PDF.

If I were to 'label' myself according to the lines drawn in this article (which isn't something I particularly like to do) I'd probably call myself a Reformed Relevant with a dash of Reconstructionist, (meaning I agree that the majority of what passes for church in North America is woefully lacking in Scriptural depth and application).

Even So... said...


Margie and I leave for OK August 11, will be "in town" till 17th or 18th...picuteres of granbaby on my blog...I'll call you Monday 13th if not sooner to get your schedule, I should have time to make a visit...looking forward to it if yuo are able...

Even So... said...

nice spelling...

Gummby said...

even so: Looking forward to it. I'll make sure you're on my calendar.

Tom: Tommy--is that you? How are things? I need to call you. I'll try to follow up with you next week, if I don't see you on Sunday.

I'm not big on labels myself, but I agree with the sentiment.