Over the last several months I have received E-mails & phone calls and have had i-chat & face-to-face conversations about Emergent. Questions like this seem to always be asked:
What do you think about Emergent?
Is Consumed Ministries a part of Emergent?
Do you think Emergent waters down the Gospel?
Etc., etc., etc.
For whatever reason (most likely laziness so now I can just refer people to this post when I’m questioned) I decided to blog about this topic. I want to start by saying something — I encourage each of you to personally read the books, blogs, & websites and listen to the podcasts available from people that are a part of Emergent Village. The common trend I have found from those that ask me questions is that they have heard things about Emergent but have never explored for themselves. The other popular thing to do is to make up your mind concerning Emergent based on someone else’s views rather than study, evaluate, and pray over Emergent and come up with your own opinions. Honestly, that is just lazy. If you really are curious, the resources are available to you.
I have read books from those in Emergent such as The Secret Message of Jesus, A Generous Orthodoxy, and Church: Re-Imagined. I listen to podcasts from Doug Pagitt, attended his church, and he did a podcast with Consumed Network. I read the blogs of Mark Scandrette, Tony Jones, and Doug Pagitt. Eric and I have been attending the Twin Cities Cohort the last few months as well.
This is what I have discovered about the men and women of Emergent either through listening, reading, or personal encounters:
— They love Jesus. They really do! They are moved by a love for Him. They desire to follow Him no matter what because He is Lord of their life.
— They love people. They desire to take the love of Jesus to both the poor & the rich, the weak & the strong, to those on the political right & the political left, those seen by the public eye & those in the margins, and those who grew up inside the walls of organized religion & those who did not. They believe God is active in the world today, redeeming all of creation. They just want to join in what He is doing.
— They love the church.
— They are incredibly smart. When I’m done reading a chapter of a book, or finished listening to a podcast, or come home from a cohort gathering, my head stinking hurts! They are incredibly studious. They know the Bible! They believe all areas of life are theological so they base their views on any subject with much thought.
Do I agree with everything I have read, seen, or heard? No. But do I agree with everything I have read, seen, or heard from anyone? Absolutely not! I believe my life and my community’s life has been enriched as a result of the time spent reading, listening, and participating with those of Emergent. I’m glad God intersected my paths with theirs. I wish them all the best in their future endeavors. I encourage you, once again, to explore on your own. Once you have done that, drop me a line and we can continue this conversation.