Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Emergent and the Emerging Church Movement

I always wanted to do this, but anyway here's my take on the similarities and differences between Emergent and the Emerging Church Movement (ECM).


  • Both are a reaction to Modernism and the Modernist church situation

  • Both despise what they term as "dead orthodoxy"

  • Both desire to "reform the church"

  • Both desire to be "missional" and its members to be "authentic"

  • Both have a preference for "narrative theology" and have a skepticism of truth claims

  • Differences:

    Emerging Church Movement (ECM)
  • Teaches various heresies
  • Tolerates those who teach heresies and even defend them
  • Is more organized (i.e. Emergent Village)
  • More amorphous
  • Anymore?


    vincit omnia veritas said...

    Did you check out Carson's book?

    ddd said...

    Eh, not yet. The ECMers have however been railing against that book, saying it misrepresents them. Wonder why...

    ddd said...

    Just an addition:

    This is from my observation of Emergent & the ECM so far. So if anyone think that I misrepresent them, they are welcome to say so.

    rick said...

    Maybe they say it because it does misrepresent them? Did that occur to you?

    Please, it would be good if your blog actually focussed on some specific and dealt with that rather than simply mimicking your teachers.

    Look at your bullet points and explain what is inherently wrong with them? I see that they can lead to a bad place but mindlessly following Fundamentalism, Evangelicalism, etc. can also lead to a bad place. So pick something and speak clearly to that.

    Then look at your table.

    What heresy is taught and then defended? Could you provide evidence? I have seen the opposite.

    In the Emergent Village, I have heard words questioning the unchanging nature of Scripture. I have heard people explain that the speaker didn't mean it that way but rather was addressing how we often fail at proper interpretation and this is what changes - especially as we mature.

    The former is heresy and I've heard EC'ers point that out. The latter is very poor communication and should be stopped. It brings confusion to new believers you may not understand the difference. Etc.. This also has been confronted but not called heresy.

    Your blog has quite a few misrepresentations and misunderstandings. Even some of the English is problematic - it is not heresy but it is wrong.

    Now if you continue to condemn the body of Christ, you run great risk but I would struggle where that 'line' is.

    ddd said...

    Hello Rick,

    did I mention in this post whether any of the points I have stated in this post are totally unbiblical, partially unbiblical, or biblical? If I did not, aren't you jumping to conclusions here? Yes, I expressed skepticism, but my point for this post was to be more descriptive rather than critical.

    Another thing you should take note, if you haven't noticed thus far, is that I am neither a Fundamentalist nor an 'Evangelical'-ist. I grew up New Evangelical but have since rejected Evangelicalism (See my blog category under 'New Evangelicalism' for proof). So why do you presume that those of us who are critical of the ECM must be either Fundamentalists or Evangelicals, or perhaps a fusion of the two?

    With regards to the teaching of heresy, do you deny that:

    1) Brian McLaren teaches Universalism or Inclusivism

    2) Brian McLaren and Rob Bell (and many other Emergent leaders) deny that truth is primarily propositional, and that the Bible can be known with clarity


    3) Please explain why Spencer Burke is to be considered a Christian, if you regard him as one. If you do not, why does the ECM allow people like him to instruct the flock?

    4) Why are practices such as lectio divina and contemplative prayer embraced by many within the ECM?

    These are just some of the questions that I can think of off the cuff.

    And just wondering, whose or what English were you refering to in your second last paragraph?

    rick said...

    I don't know and don't have energy to get to know the guys you list. I know a little of Bell and while I think he is on risky ground, I personally haven't seen heresy.

    It's interesting that you mention lectio divina. I just posted on that and I'm fully supportive. I am NOT supportive of the Contemplative Prayer movement and a lot of the baggage the goes with lectio divina but to read Scripture, reflect on Scripture, respond to Scripture, and to rest in and prayer Scripture - while that sounds pretty Biblical ... the whole meditate on the Word thing.

    So careful with that one.

    Regarding the English comment - I work around the world, in fact I will be in Singapore in a couple of weeks - and I am very aware that we often talk past each other - and that this is worse when writing in formats such as blogs and emails.

    I want to assume some of the issues I see are lack of understanding, some on my part and some on yours - it just seems like the way people are.

    ddd said...

    Rick, I give you the benefit of the doudt rearding lectio divina for now, as I myself do not engage in it (it is after all traditionally found only in Roman Catholicism)

    Anyway, you really are coming to Singapore? For how long? If you are interested, we can meet up. Just email me if you would like to do so.