Saturday, March 26, 2005

Blog News

1) Jeff Kursonis, of this post, is now blogging here. Check it out, and support his new church in NYC however possible.

2) I posted here, and it seems to have pissed some people off. Interesting line of comments follow.

3) My brother and sister-in-law run a very popular blog regarding women's basketball. He expresses his ambivalence about Liberty University's run to the Sweet Sixteen here and then responds to an email from me here. It's an interesting discussion in light of the recent how-to-be-a-Christian-in-a-liberal-democracy posts on this blog and at recent cohorts.

Happy Easter.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with you Tony. You can tell them about a friend of yours in KC who is a Liberty grad that was brainwashed and naive and how you patiently loved them out of the abyss.


3:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go Flames

3:14 PM  
Blogger D.R. said...


I would disagree with your post on the other site that only Calvinists are critical. Trust me if the SBC is critical you can be sure that it is not the Calvinists who are the only ones doing it. 90% of the SBC is more Arminian. Paige Patterson is morally opposed to Calvinism and he is critical of emergent. I think that it may be that the Calvinists seem to be the only ones who are critical because of several reasons.

1. They have a deep respect for God's glory and when they feel it is offended, they take action.
2. They also are thinking through the implications of the movement if indeed inclusivism and Open Theism are major players in it.
3. Calvinism in now a massive movement that is older and larger than emergent. Think about Passion -- it is a Calvinistic movement. The fastest growing Seminary in the U.S. is Southern Bapt. Theo. Seminary in Louisville. Calvinistic theology books are still the most popular of the genre. Almost all Evangelicals have been deeply influenced by Calvinistic in some way. And some Calvinists are the leading speakers of Evangelicalism (Al Mohler, John MacArthur, John Piper, etc.)

So my advice. Answer them directly. Do not answer the charges of inclusivism and Open theism in emergenet by saying it is "conversation" and it is "evolving" like McLaren has done. That only adds fuel to the fire.

And by the way, a lot of emergent folks seem very arrogant about their way of doing church. This doesn't make them look good to people who do struggle to do church right and are succeeding, just not using emergent methods. If you say you are about conversation, start engaging with Evangelicals and explain to them what you are doing. After all, they really do care about the Gospel just like you do. You should welcome the criticism, because it means they care (which is why emergent started -- because you cared). And remember you too are open to false views that need to be rebuked by outsiders. Take criticism like a man and learn from it, not by whining and acting as you are being unrighteously persectued, as I have seen some emergent folks do.

Soli Deo Gloria,

9:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems like D.R.'s comment ironically proved your point about who is being criticial. Great stuff.

6:36 PM  
Blogger Jimmy said...

Tony, I was going to post this on the other site, but I have to agree that it is not only Calvanists who have an ocassional raised eyebrow with emergent and company. I think Emergent is still in the infancy stage and lacks the capacity to define itself in any meaningful way, so it draws criticism from a lot of different people. regardless of theologial persuasion.

It is impossible really to argue with anything but a strawman at this point anyway as Emergent types have persistently refused to define (whatever it is). . . . Emergent as anything other than a conversation. How can you criticize a conversation, unless you just don't like what you're hearing in the conversation? I think that's what strikes me as the most concerning point of the movement. In "Are You My Mother" the baby bird falls from the nest and wanders all over the place looking for his mother. He can't recognize his mother, having never seen her, until a SNORT puts the baby bird back in the nest.

In the desire to be free of some thoughts (and doctrines) and forms of Xtn practice, it sometimes looks like Emergents are jumping from the nest, without the ability to define their relationship to the "parent tradition" apart from the "gee, it was useful to them, but not to us anymore" rationale. Any pastor, theologian, or lay person has got to do better than that rationale if they want to maintain a faithful connection to the tradition.

8:13 PM  
Anonymous Scott C-J said...


I think Emergent might actually be reconnecting to the Great Catholic Tradition of the Church. John Williamson Nevin, one of America's greatest 19th century theologians wrote about what he called the "sect" system. He referred to revivalistic and baptistic movements as "sects" as opposed to the confessional Prostestant movements, which he didn't classify that way. The determinitive difference for Nevin was that the former cut themselves off from the sorts of discussions and debates that caused movements like the Reformation. Nevin had confidence that there would be a kind of ecumenical convergence in the future, where confessional Protestants and Roman Catholics would organically come back together because they are talking partners in the same tradition, even after the Reformation. The problem with the "sects" in Nevin's mind was that they had cut themselves off from this organica process, and thus would not be part of this convergence.

Nevin's historicism might involve too much optimism and too much confidence in something like a Hegellian synthesis which could heal ecumenical divisions. His work also suffers a bit from not considering the East. But all in all, I find it somewhat convincing. I think that Emergent is emerging from traditions Nevin would see as "sects", those who cut themselves off from much of the ecumenical conversation in the West. Ironically, Emergent strikes me as more Ecumenical than the traditions from which they come. Most of the Emergent folks I know read broadly in the tradition and are open to liturgical and contemplative practices that their parent "tradition", namely conservative evangelicalism, seems to have much less interest in. Yes Emergent is still in some amorphous stages, but I think it is becoming more rooted in the ecumenical tradition rather than less so.

Kind Regards,
Scott C-J

10:26 AM  
Blogger StorminNormin said...

Scott and folks, of course they are re-connencting with catholicism because emergent/emergeing church/whatever the hell you want to call it has prostituted most (if not all) of its theology from catholic thinkers.

in fact, the term "emerging church" was phrased by a Catholic way the hell back in 1986 - Johann Baptist Metz.

Then what happens is this: evangelicals pick up on it and tweak it a bit (i.e. they apply it (catholicism) to evangelicalism)).

What happens when you substitute good theology for bad theology? You get Catholicism. Hence, all emerging churches tend to be very catholic liturgically, and for the most part - theologically.

So obviouslly you are going to get criticisms from calvinists and evangelicals because that is the locus from which emegergent is being grown from and responding too. Just as moderns will critize postmoderns, evangelicals and calivinists will critize post-evangelicals and post-protestants.

catholics and eastern orthodox christians will likely not say anything because to them, emergent is so similiar. thus to criticize emergent would be to critize the catholic and eastern orthodox church. To them it is nothing new. They are standing there scratching their heads thinking, "what the hell is all the hub bub about? Is that all? Well, I could've told you that 500 years ago?"

your pal, norm

PS Calvin was repeatedly accused of sodomy

PPS Would this be considered a critique of emergent? Are you keeping score of who "critizes" emergent the most? If so, then chalk one up under the atheistic Jew column

12:34 AM  

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