Emergent Mandarin Oranges

I submit the following Mandarin oranges in the form of these links (HT: Tallskinnykiwi)
as Chinese New Year refreshments! The context is different but the lessons are useful.

Is Emergent Heretical?
“The so-called emerging church is not a monolithic, single-minded, doctrinally united, movement that can be either embraced or rejected as if it everyone in it thinks the same thing. Im sure there are individuals within emergent who, in the eyes of fundamentalists and some conservative evangelicals, hold to uncomfortable and perhaps even erroneous positions. But the movement itself has no doctrinal statement because it is not a church, or even a para-church organization. It started as, and continues to be a forum for conversation for emerging leaders who are struggling to respond missionally to a post-Christian culture, which by the way is what Chuck Smith did 40 years ago when he reached out to the Jesus people and introduced contemporary music to his church. I fear that Chuck Smiths statement rather than contributing to the new conversation about missional effectiveness simply shuts dialogue down.”

Does Emergent Promote Pluralism? -1-,
“If you follow Schliermacher then you can easily argue, as does John Hick, for theological pluralism. But thats not the message Im hearing in emergent. Are there individuals within emergent who believe and teach that? Perhaps, but on the whole Im not hearing it. However, I am hearing dissatisfaction with the traditional evangelical view. I am hearing unease with how some evangelicals have answered the question, What is the destiny of those who die outside of Christ? I hear a desire to change the way that question is answered, but the new approach is not pluralism, but something else.”

-2-,
“What is the destiny of those who die outside of Christ? Some are saying that the emergent church movement is promoting a form of pluralism in response to that question. I don’t agree. I do sense dissatisfaction with the traditonal view, but I don’t think the replacement view is pluralism.

…Dissatisfaction with some of the aspects of the so-called traditional view is not limited to the emergent movement. In fact, there has been increasing movement away from some of these ideas within evangelicalism as a whole. I sympathize with Christians who with Erickson hold the traditional view. They are disturbed by voices that challenge that view, believing that any change in any of the six points constitutes a watering of the potency of the gospel and capitulation to cultural relativism.

My experience, however, is that those who have questioned some aspects of the so-called traditional view have done so as a matter of theological and biblical study and reflection and not as an emotional cave-in to the culture. They have also done so because of a rediscovery of the Church Fathers and variants in how the early church understood the saving significance of Christ. “

-3-,
-4-,
” So far I’ve answered the question, “Does the emerging church movement promote pluralism?” with a hardy, “no”, if you define pluralism as theological relativism where every religion is said to have saving significance. At the same time, many leaders in the emerging church are re-thinking the traditional evangelical view on the ultimate destiny of the unevangelized. They aren’t replacing the traditional view with pluralism or universalism, but with inclusivism, which is a very different animal.

… Indications of inclusivist thinking are found in a wide variety of Christian leaders and theological parties, including Billy Graham, J. I. Packer, C. S. Lewis, The Westminster Confession, John Wesley, fundamentalist forerunner William Shedd, and the Roman Catholic Church.”

-5-
Lots of quotes to reflect on.

-6-
Not sure whether he will go on … but the whole discussion now has broaden beyond whether “does Emergent promote pluralism?” The 6 post slow down and unpacking does us much good.

especially during this season of Lent 🙂

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4 Responses to Emergent Mandarin Oranges

  1. Bob K says:

    These “oranges” give a lot to chew on and a very comforting one too. I find it ironic that a commenter in one of post #5 questioned why Scripture was not quoted. As I read the reflections and thoughts presented, Scripture was flashing through my mind in much greater clarity than ever.

  2. Sivin says:

    I think quoting Scripture is always helpful and needful.

    And yet, we can recall how often scripture can be even quoted in unbiblical ways (cf. fundamentalist preaching?) or divorced from a Trinitarian theological framework (cf. Jehovah Witness?). Let’s not forget, in Matthew 4 even the devil was quoting scripture.

    “As I read the reflections and thoughts presented, Scripture was flashing through my mind in much greater clarity than ever.”

    The above comment reminded me of how I read material where the scriptural and theological basis is more embedded in the writings (thus not that in your face but it’s there) e.g. Henri Nouwen while others are more explicit e.g. NT scholars NT Wright. I think nowadays we are appreciating how different styles of writing often are conveying substance which we can all chew on.

  3. did he say “Westminster Confession”?

    he he he

  4. Sivin says:

    He did, Andrew (and it’s a great honor for you to comment on my blog! *3 bows)

    Now I need to find “where?”

    🙂

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