Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Emerging Church Part Five--Strengths

When I was an emergent Christian I believed that the modern evangelical church was: boring; out-of-touch; shallow; entertainment driven; Biblically illiterate; materialistic; etc.

Now that I have left the emergent village idiots behind I still believe that the modern evangelical church stinks and for all of the reasons listed above.

The emergent movement was born partially out of a rebellion against the complacency of the modern evangelical church. Indeed many, if not most, of all the early emergent leaders were lapsed evangelicals who felt malnourished by 40 days of experiencing God by praying the prayer of Jabez, etc. I was, and am, one of those starving evangelicals. Initially the hope was to reform the modern evangelical church but, like most reform movements, the emerging church's antagonism helped create a deep shift between the movement and the institution it sought to reform possibly producing an irreconcilable gulf. Years ago, I published an article about Luther's over caustic approach to reform and what we can learn from it. Unfortunately, no one seems to have learned anything.

All that aside, the emerging church is right to criticize the modern evangelical church as a hollow shell of what Jesus envisioned. The emergents diagnosis is correct but their prescribed method of treatment is lacking. Why? More on that later my friends.