Friday, November 30, 2007

Emegent Village Idiots Part 3

I was listening to missiologist/church planter Ed Stetzer speak last week and he referred to a stream in the emerging/emergent church as the "Pajama Jihadists." He was referring to spoiled brats, living in their parents basements or dorm rooms, who have never worked a real job and spend their "free time" (which is abundant) attacking orthodox Christians. Mark Driscoll was more blunt a few months ago at Convergent referring to them as "bloggers who live with their moms."

I have to concur. I'm not one who usually encourages ad hominem attacks (even though I enjoy them!) but perhaps one must fight fire with fire. You see, the overwhelming majority of "leaders" in the more liberal stream of the "emerging conversation" (i.e., Rob Bell, Brian McLaren, Tony Jones, etc) do not engage in healthy conversations with those outside of their own "tribe." They simply attack. When Bell has been challenged he has responded with "You don't have the right to ask that question because..." or "I'm just upsetting your power structure." Tony Jones has "responded" by attacking his interlocutors mode of thinking or half-responded to criticisms such as the radical postmodern denial of objective truth with "I do believe in truth" but when asked if he feels anyone know that they know the truth he ducks the questions and falls back on attacking the mode of thinking (despite the clarion call by most leading philosophers in Europe that post-modernism is dead!).

Now, as many of you know, I am a former member of the "liberal emergent stream of the emerging church." Its not all bad. There is something to be said for reading the signs of the times and challenging old assumptions. There are also fine thinkers like Miroslav Volf, Scot McKnight and N.T. Wright within this "stream." I may not agree with most of what they assert but they are well worth your time. I still read everything Walter Brueggemann writes even though I think he's a total spaz. Yet, a "conversation seeking truth" is useless if it is limited to a select group with pre-conceived notions and shared prejudices who grab their ears and hum like children when challenged by "outsiders", who in this case are orthodox Christians.

So, until the Pajama Jihadists grow up, get real jobs and are mugged by reality, they had better learn that when you engage in cheap ad hominem attacks that they tend to boomerang right back at ya'. BUT if you truly want to "converse" about important theological concepts then brew the coffee, light the candles and let's go. I'll take real coffee black while you kiddies sip your lattes and mochas before hustling back to mom's basement or your dorm room.