Sunday, May 04, 2008

CT article: Emergent's New Christians and the Young, Restless and Reformed

Interesting articles from Christianity Astray Today, here and here, part of a series of interactions between Collin Hansen (representing Neo-Calvinism) and Tony Jones (representing Emergent):

A new movement is attracting a younger generation of Christians, shaking up institutions, denominations, and churches along the way. Not everyone in the movement is attracted to it for the same reasons, but they gather at conferences and online to share thoughts, debate, and learn from the elder statesmen of the group. Now a new book attempts to explain, sympathetically, what's really going on.

Actually, it's two books, and two movements.

Collin Hansen's Young, Restless, Reformed started as a September 2006 Christianity Today article. Now editor-at-large for Christianity Today, Hansen has examined why many young Christians are drawn to Calvinism, whom these new Calvinists are listening to, and what they're passionate about.

Hansen's book begins with a note comparing the relative obscurity of the new Calvinism and the prominence of the emerging church. Among his interviewees was Tony Jones, national coordinator of Emergent Village, and author of the new book The New Christians: Dispatches from the Emergent Frontier.

Jones is the author of several previous books, but The New Christians is more journalistic in its approach, describing the origins of the emerging church, why it's growing, and how it's changing.

The books and movements share a number of themes: reaction against entertainment-driven church life, desire for transcendence, rediscovery of tradition, and a need to answer common misconceptions about the movements. Christianity Today invited Hansen and Jones to read each other's books and discuss how the rise of one movement might illuminate aspects of the rise of the other. Are both movements scratching the same itch? Are there internal tensions in one movement that also appear in the other?

...

This look very interesting. Elsewhere, it is stated:

Hansen: ... The young Reformed evangelicals I interviewed would gladly stand with Emergents on your dispatch 14: "Emergents embrace paradox, especially those that are core components of the Christian story."...

Can anyone discern what is going on here? Why is it that I am worried about this new developing Calvinist movement?

[HT: Christian Research Net]

See also

Being doers of the Word Article: Christianity Today ditches Sola Scriptura and takes up Church Tradition

5 comments:

Ken e said...

Reformed Emergent is the fasted growing church(s) in America. I just get worried if one lumps emergent with reformed and say that's what it is. I think guys like Mark Driscoll who are calvinist(presbyterian in church gov also)embrace emergent stuff, because the see the cultural mandate of the gospel and so they want to be missional in all they do.

I'm no expert at this stuff though..my info should be checked. I like missional stuff like Tim Keller, but my study time consist of systematic theology and older calivinst writers.

PuritanReformed said...

Ken:

yes, I am quite worried too. The entire neo-Kuyperian, Reconstuctionist talk about "engaging the culture" just leaves me uneasy. I haven't done sufficient research yet either, but what I see so far does not look good.

With regards to Driscoll and Keller, I have read a bit about them, but I wouldn't want to comment yet because I think I do not know enough to do so. Suffice it is to say that Mark Dever has not been criticized whereas Driscoll and Keller have their critics with regards to their doctrine and praxis (excluding criticism from non-Christians; those don't count). Seeing that all three are in general more 'missional' and do engage in some form of 'contextualization', the fact that Dever is above board but not Discoll and Keller speaks a lot, I think.

And yes, time is limited. I wouldn't be engaging such stuff probably for quite some time, seeing as I have a serious backlog of things to write and post, as well as read. I am after all not a full-time Christian writer and researcher =P

PuritanReformed said...

>Reformed Emergent is the fasted growing church(s) in America

Really? That's horrible.

Ken e said...

Really? That's horrible. Let me see if I can find that info for ya. Calvinism as a whole is on the rise in America I do know that, but I thought Mark Driscol said that his style of church(missional or reformed emergant)is the fasted growing. I like missional stuff, well I'm warming up to it from what I've read of John Frame and his liking to it. But the thing is that the Emergent church(which is very liberal)uses the same missional label....why aren't things cut and dry? errrr!

PuritanReformed said...

Ken,

have you read the article at Pyromaniacs on Context and Contextualization? What do you think about it?