Scot McKnight has written an article for Christianity Today called Five Streams of the Emerging Church. I read a lot about the EC, but I don’t write much because I don’t have much to say (yet). But for anyone who’s heard murmurings about “emerging,” “emergent,” or this Brian McLaren guy, this article is basically a must-read.
One of the biggest difficulties that many Christians have with those in the EC is with their postmodern leanings, yet this is not true of all. Although the term “postmodern” is loaded with ambiguity, we certainly have moved into some kind of postmodern age. And McKnight rightly shows that we have some decisions to make in that context:
Living as a Christian in a postmodern context means different things to different people. Some—to borrow categories I first heard from Doug Pagitt, pastor at Solomon’s Porch in Minneapolis—will minister to postmoderns, others with postmoderns, and still others as postmoderns.
The vast majority of emerging Christians and churches fit these first two categories. They don’t deny truth, they don’t deny that Jesus Christ is truth, and they don’t deny the Bible is truth.
The third kind of emerging postmodernity attracts all the attention. Some have chosen to minister as postmoderns. That is, they embrace the idea that we cannot know absolute truth, or, at least, that we cannot know truth absolutely. They speak of the end of metanarratives and the importance of social location in shaping one’s view of truth. They frequently express nervousness about propositional truth.
I don’t know about those of you reading this blog, but I find myself more and more resonating with this third category, although I’m certainly aware of the difficulties for proclaiming the Gospel from that viewpoint. What do you think?
2 responses to “Emerging Church Article”
I too have strong leanings toward the third category – sometimes it scares me. I likely would have called myself a heretic, or at least a pluralist, if I had seen if I had ran into ‘me’ a few years ago.
Yeah, I think that I would have likely called myself a liberal at the very minimum. More likely I would have called myself a sellout and quite possibly a heretic.
The scary thing is, “old me” could be right. I of course don’t think so, but the difficult thing in all of this is that massive question of “how do you know for sure?”