Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Scot McKnight's Five Streams of the Emerging Church Article (So which one are you?) Part II (updated)

Scot McKnight's Five Streams of the Emerging Church Article (So which one are you?) Part II

So let's continue on with more on the article

Praxis-oriented: This is the fun one that messes most anti emerging people up… as the emphasis is onorthopraxy(right living). Some accuse emerging people in not believing the Bible nor doing what it teaches… yet the opposite is true with these people… they care greatly for the Bible… and even more in how we should live it out in our daily lives. This idea of” orthopraxy flows from orthodoxy” is really more prominent in the EC than some outsiders realize… Yet many people are reading top theologians (as opposed to pop theologians) to get to the authentic manner we should live our lives as a Christian.
I believe this is why so many of us read N.T. Wright, Scot McKnight, Dallas Willard and any other theologian/teacher we can to get closer to an understanding of orthodoxy. This group are truly seeking a richer and deeper Life in Christin order to go out and be a blessing and fulfill the mission of our calling.

Which leads me to being Missional. Here Scot has a great definition:

“First, the emerging movement becomes missional by participating, with God, in the redemptive work of God in this world. In essence, it joins with the apostle Paul in saying that God has given us "the ministry of reconciliation" (2 Cor. 5:18).”

“Second, it seeks to become missional by participating in the community where God's redemptive work occurs. The church is the community through which God works and in which God manifests the credibility of the gospel.”

“Third, becoming missional means participating in the holistic redemptive work of God in this world. The Spirit groans, the creation groans, and we groan for the redemption of God (see Rom. 8:18-27).”

Also, which I did a bit out of order from Scot’s article is Worship: So often critics point out to the “superficialality” of some of the “worship” and cry out against the use of “funky worship” and trying to just be “cool”. And truthfully they have merit in their critique… in fact many of us find it very “uncool” to do this to be “cool” and that is really is the opposite of what we are trying to accomplish. Yet, there are many more that are not out to be “cool” but are looking at the Bible and seeing that God is not against “aesthetics” of the worship environment. Even in modern churches the debate is what should be the focus… should it be a Cross with the Crucified Christ on it or not on it… should the alter be the focus, or the Eucharist table… should the Eucharist be the center or to the side… and so on and so on… the difference it that some in the EC are looking at the bible and seeing things like incense and the emphasis on the sounds (loud crashing cymbals) in the bible… Again I refer to Scot’s article:

“Evangelicals sometimes forget that God cares about sacred space and ritual—he told Moses how to design the tabernacle and gave detailed directions to Solomon for building a majestic Temple. Neither Jesus nor Paul said much about aesthetics, but the author of Hebrews did. And we should not forget that some Reformers, knowing the power of aesthetics, stripped churches clean of all artwork.”

I really suggest reading more of what Scot says of this.

The next one is Post-Evangelical: Now I think the issue is that some think we are saying that we are throwing out evangelicalism, and that is only partially true... What we see is that there is a very wide sense of the "Great Tradition" as Scot says. Personally I think that it is the acknowledgement that the Reformation was not done... or that in addition to the Reformation other things and ideas have popped up and convoluted the purity of the Gospel. In a way it a humble approach as Scot states it is more "This is what I believe, but I could be wrong, What do you think ? Let's talk." It is open to the processing rather accepting the idea that one has arrived as far as theology. There is a great love for theology and that is one of the greatest pulls at least to me.

In versus out: This as Scot points out is a bit controversial and I will add that many do not go as far as some do as far as a movement. I think that this is more a reactive response to the idea of a "loving God" send people to hell. It is more the idea of "Let's take a look at this again... just maybe we are missing something." I do think that it is matter of some finer points of theology and the misunderstanding of the atonement = salvation... and that many miss that it is at the resurrection we receive the Life. The Good News is much more than a fire insurance policy, it is living the Life of Christ here and now in the present world in which the Kingdom has been breaking through since the Stone was rolled away. I personally believe that all are forgiven at the Cross... yet not all are saved... that unless one has a relationship with Jesus, one cannot be saved.

Political: Scot points out that the emerging church is often a response to the politicization of Christianity. That the attachment of the "right wing" politics has corrupted the Gospel. Many then assume that we are all Democrats, yet the idea is that neither party should be a vehicle of promoting the Gospel... Scot states that, "I don't think the Democratic Party is worth a hoot."

I have found many are very conservative... in fact I often say of myself that I am more conservative that Rush Limbaugh, but I am not sold to a political Parties bend.

Again, if you think you are against, or if you think that you "know" about the emerging church I truly hope you read this article to be able to better converse with us.


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