Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Are you Emergent?
You might be an emergent Christian: if you listen to U2, Moby, and Johnny Cash's Hurt (sometimes in church), use sermon illustrations from The Sopranos, drink lattes in the afternoon and Guinness in the evenings, and always use a Mac; ... if your idea of quintessential Christian discipleship is Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King Jr, Nelson Mandela, or Desmond Tutu; if you don't like George W. Bush or institutions or big business or capitalism, or Left Behind Christianity; if your political concerns are poverty, AIDS, imperialism, war-mongering, CEO salaries, consumerism, global warming, racism, and not so much abortion and gay marriage; if you are into bohemian, goth, rave, or indie; if you talk about the myth of redemptive violence and the myth of certainty; if you lie awake at night having nightmares about all the ways modernism has ruined your life; if you love the Bible as a beautiful, inspiring collection of works that lead us into the mystery of God but is not inerrant; if you search for truth but aren't sure it can be found; if you've ever been to a church with prayer labyrinths, candles, Play-Doh, chalk-drawings, couches, or beanbags (your youth group doesn't count); if you loathe words like linear, propositional, rational, machine, and hierarchy and use words like ancient-future, jazz, mosaic, matrix, missional, vintage, and dance; if you grew up in a very conservative Christian home that in retrospect seems legalistic, naive, and rigid; if you support women in all levels of ministry, prioritize urban over suburban, and like your theology narrative instead of systematic; if you disbelieve in any sacred-secular divide; if you want to be the church and not just go to church; if you long for a community that is relational, tribal, and primal like a river or a garden; if you believe doctrine gets in the way of an interactive relationship with Jesus; if you believe who goes to hell is no one's business and no one may be there anyway; if you believe salvation has a little to do with atoning for guilt and a lot to do with bringing the whole creation back into shalom with its Maker; if you believe following Jesus is not believing the right things but living the right way; if it really bugs you when people talk about going to heaven instead of heaven coming to us; if you disdain monological, didactic preaching; if you use the word 'story' in all your propositions about postmodernism - if all or most of this tortously long sentence describes you, then you might be an emergent Christian..."

Some random quotes I really enjoy...
“I don't preach a social gospel; I preach the Gospel, period. The gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is concerned for the whole person. When people were hungry, Jesus didn't say, "Now is that political or social?" He said, "I feed you." Because the good news to a hungry person is bread.”
"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
"The church is a whore, but she's my mother."
"We cannot fully recover until we help the society that made us sick recover."
"There is enough for everyone's need but not enough for everyone's greed."
"We can tell the world of life after death but what the world seems to be wondering about is life before death."
"The oppressed are freed from being oppressed and the oppressors are freed from beign oppressors."

But the segment from this book was read to me while going to get coffee and I was talking about the Irish pub intown later on. U2 was on the radio so I kept it on as I drove home after soccer due to the irony and also Sunday Bloody Sunday is a good song. Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King Jr., and Desmond Tutu are pretty awesome and so on and so forth. A few things don't fit with my background, but what knowledge comes in and wisdom (I hope wisdome) that comes out after reading such things fits me. So perhaps I am described as in this Emergent church movement. There are unknowns to our Faith and definite Truths about our Faith (in which some of those truths are pretty complicated to understand... like the trinity or have you read any of the old testemant? Some of that is tough to swallow.) Lables are fun and all but, I think I remember somethign saying, be weary of lables or don't lable yourself? It's good to make divisions and makes it easier for critiquing the body.

Last thought, can't we call the emerging/emergant church the reformed or constatnly in reformation church? Is that not what we are supposed to do? One foot in today and one foot in the Word? ahaha Paul was pretty sweet.

As for me, I have more research to do to understand both sides of this 'conversation' of emerging, emergent, reformed, and post-emergent/emerging... wow so much different termonology for the same word. Peace easy. (That sucks...)