More on the Emerging Church

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by skypair, Sep 18, 2008.

  1. skypair

    skypair
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    Hey all,

    I finally decided to pick up a book on the Emerging Church and Emergent Church Theology -- so I consulted Ray S. Anderson. An EMERGENT THEOLOGY for EMERGING CHURCHES. Here's just a few points that I hope to develop in the course of our discussion.

    1) Apparently Anderson's vision of it is that the Antioch Church "emerged" out of (one might say "broke away from") the more "lawbound" Jerusalem Church. This is his paradigm for how the emerging churches in our age should emerge from within diverse but structured denominations in the visible church to reveal an emerging church -- basically a church without "polity."

    2) He uses the parablic picture of the emerging church being firstly "old, vintage wine"/gospel put into "new ecclesiological wineskins." But that is just the beginning of the "bait and switch" methodology by which he comes up with an emergent theology whereby it appears "new wine" is switched in for the "old, vintage" stuff.

    3) I believe it is relevant to the study to also note that Anderson is a Lutheran and prof at Fuller Seminary (there is some presumption of regeneration of the Spirit/"born from above" as descriptive of the church emerging).

    4) And here appears to be the new gospel -- the gospel of Christ's Spirit living in us. This basically equates to a "love God - love thy neighbor" outworking of the Spirit finding similarly Spirited persons throughout the community to be emerging as a church together.

    5) "It's about the work of God, not just the word of God." "The work of Christ interprets the word of Christ" is the new hermeneutic! And here is where the we left the Catholic church, is it not? That because the priests and laity were led by the Spirit to worship Mary, then the word was found in scripture to accomodate the "Spirit of the church." Another application which he gives is women in ministry, particularly as whether Fuller would grant ordination of women for pastoral ministry. But the college in the 60's took a new approach. Very similar to Antioch (RSA says), the college decided that the churches sending women saw the same "Spirit" and "calling" in these women as the men had (in Antioch, the observation was that the Gentiles received the Spirit just as converted Jews had) -- so they enrolled them and ordained them in spite of many scriptures that say otherwise.

    Well, I'm not finished reading it, but if you have any questions or feedback, I'll try to be informed and answer. :praying:

    skypair
     
  2. Gold Dragon

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    I agree that emerging churches are less focused on polity and some try to do away with it all together. Not necessarily a bad thing in my mind considering where denominationalism has gotten us.

    I think the wine/wineskin analogy used by Christ is very fitting description of the emerging theology just as it was for the Reformation and other reforms in Christian history.

    Sounds a lot like what Christ and the apostles thought an ecclesia should be like.

    Sounds to me like James 2 in action.
     
  3. Marcia

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    Often with some emerging church spokespeople, the emphasis is on being a "follower of Jesus" rather than being a "Christian." They don't like using that term. I find that they emphasize works over faith. I realize we need to live out our faith; but it is easy to give a message that "following Christ" is about doing good works.

    It's a social justice gospel which we've seen in the mainline churches that eventually abandoned the gospel.

    Also, some emerging leaders talk like everyone is saved and what we need to do is let people know it's all okay.
     
  4. skypair

    skypair
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    This, according to RSA, is making the church "visible" without offending. I'm going to cover that next.

    It really is. The "gospel" is the coming of the Spirit of Christ.

    Yes, as if our Spirit of Christ was drawing out their Spirit of Christ. I found it described sorta this way: God breathed His Spirit into Adam so that all his progeny would know about God. Jesus breathed His Spirit into the 11 disciples so that all their progeny would have His Spirit. Sounds good -- but the 11 disciples' progeny are not all mankind like God's were. The 11 disciples' progeny were believers.

    Thanks for your responses, Marcia. :wavey:

    skypair
     
  5. skypair

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    To just give an overall picture, early in the book the author says that the emerging church is like unto Jesus coming up out of the waters of baptism to a mission. In fact, another name for "emerging church" would be "missional" (or as my assoc. pastor called it "missionist"). In the case of Jesus, the theology of His coming and revelation was yet to be revealed. He, like the emerging church, is on a love-healing-teaching mission to His culture and He didn't impose any "structure" on His followers and their worship.

    The point being that the church is a community of believers whose mission is like that of Jesus or of a missionary -- to take the gospel (of "the Spirit living in us" visibly through love) into every different culture and setting and adapt the polity, practices, ecclesiology of the community to the "work of God" that we find emerging from. For instance, if the culture/community "Spirit of Christ" consensus is to worship with Voodoo trance music, adapt the practices and polity (and, if need be, find theological foundations for) to the need (I believe there is a Catholic-based derivative in Lousianna and the Carribean that did just this. Wonder why that wasn't in the book?).

    This sounds pretty good except that there does have to be organization of some kind which requires an "emergent theology" which, it turns out, is pretty much "untethered" from classic theology and classic hermeneutics.

    And here's an interesting point -- RSA (and presumably those who follow him) do not know how to tell with certainty the voice of the indwelling Spirit as opposed to our own human spirit's leading! Well, might I suggest that I just explained why? If you take away the biblical foundations that the Holy Spirit uses to speak and guide us, the "Spirit of Christ living in us" is pretty much our own spirits guiding us.

    At least part of the Holy Spirit that indwells us but didn't the OT saints is that we have perfect knowledge of the Sacrifice, of the Son of God which we ourselves are to become like, of the mysteries that the OT saints couldn't know, etc. The Holy Spirit enters us when we accept/believe that first principle of salvation -- that Christ died to reconcile us to God. And this is why, though He indwells us when we are justified, He still must work our entire life sanctifying us through teaching and spiritual growth so that we can attain to "the stature of the fulness of Christ," Eph 4:13

    Well, more to follow. Let me know if you have any experience in emerging/missional churches like I have. That's one place I'm going to get around to -- how it plays out in real life.

    skypair
     
  6. Marcia

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    What you wrote in your last post sounds very much like some of the emerging writers. It downplays the offense of the cross and they pretty much do not want to talk about hell at all (or some may deny hell).

    I'm not saying we need to go out and tell people they are going to hell - but we should not shy away from it, either, if we need to address it or if it comes up.

    This is called syncretization. This is the sin committed so often in the OT that God denounced, mixing worship of the true God with worship of false gods.

    Ironically, Voudoun itself is a result of syncretizing Roman Catholicism with West African animistic beliefs.
     
  7. Revmitchell

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    This is exactly right. Of course when you see the cross as mean and manipulative you have to treat everyone as if they are already saved.
     
  8. skypair

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    Things I'm noticing in my "Emerging Church" situation...

    I'm noticing...

    Lots of sermons on the church -- what we should be (a loving, caring place), how we should do it (go out of our way to "connect" with others in the community).

    Church-SG paradigm -- still no "new members"/"new Christians" class (I wonder if church doctrine is offensive). Small groups using SBQ lessons which are totally out of touch with context of scripture it pretends to study but totally in touch with our feelings and experiences.

    Music -- last week we sang an old Methodist standby (they'll feel right at home!). Music/worship takes up 35-40 minutes of the service.

    A personal testimony or video clip often used to supplement the pastor's sermon points (the "work of God" supplementing the "word of God").

    Lots of weekly social activities where little personal spiritual growth is called for or offered. For instance, ladies summer Bible study took up geneology investigation.

    These are some. Don't get the wrong idea yet though. I do know that we are sending out the right gospel. I do also know that the sermons aren't very challenging/convicting. I do know from visiting several classes that scripture-based spiritual growth is not what it should be. But I still can't tell if this paradigm can be adapted to work right.

    skypair
     
  9. Salty

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    Any more thoughts on this subject
     
  10. Zenas

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    Can anyone say why Skypair got banned?
     
  11. canadyjd

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    It seems like it has been a long time since skypair was banned. Maybe a year? Two?

    The mods don't give the details, but people are usually banned for repeated violations of posting rules, such as questioning someone's salvation, using abusive language, or promoting well-defined heresy.

    peace to you:praying:
     

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