Monday, February 07, 2005

Frustrated with Emergent

I am so frustrated with many of those that I site on the sidebar as those I enjoy reading. The wh0le goal of anything "emergent" (small "e") is that it builds up what already is, but does is of different matter. Like the rings seen in the cross-section of a tree. Swinging pendulums in the same ring is NOT emerging. It's not really even thinking (see last quote of last post by Scott). Yet I do not negate nor disapprove of what they are doing.

These writers are bright. They are well-versed. They love God. They love and interact with people (no isolationists in the list). But it's as if they revel in the release (deep peace, not just lack of frustration or conflict - it's obvious they still fight daily) they have found by leaving the ridiculous stretch that is "typical Christianity." Like a rubber band that has been increasingly taut for decades (WOW! if that is not a play on words -- taut and taught!!) and has now been released.

But instead of taking new form, it seems as if they are preserving the non-tautness. AAAHHHHHGH!

I have come across many lovers of philosophers (philophilosopher?) lately, commentators giving prelude to a philosopher's writings. EVERY TIME they speak of how the given philosopher (Plato and Ibanez are two of late) always saw himself as part of an ongoing road. What the Reformers (according to what I have read second-hand) called "always reforming." Yah, even Plato. But now we have Platonists and even Neo-Platonists. Neither of which are consistent with Plato for he was a traveler on a road, not a city-maker. Not places to sit and enjoy rest on the journey. Not a place to release tautness.

I mentioned that I think N.T. Wright is a dispensationalist. He uses this "5 act" metaphor for the Bible. "You need to be careful, Dispensationalists are so much about the coming Kingdom of Christ that they forget to impact the world today." GEEESH! Grow, for crying out loud. It's the lame "I know someone who . . . " Am I to throw out everyone who says one thing hypocritical?!?!

How about "there is no metanarrative" and "there are no absolutes." Statements that have no power except in their enemy! I pray to God (I joke not) that these thinkers and writers will CREATE! If they did, then we all will gain unspeakably. I know they don't see it this way, but they spend their energy correcting. And there is certainly need for it. But I wish they would get on with creating.

Why does the Church stop creating? Why do I? For me, why did I let my "fear of __________" always be the next defining thought of Sunday nights (until it literally un-created)? Why do we look at how things are and simply try to make them incrementally better? Why not asses (even enlist others) what is desired and what is and what is missing and then CREATE a new thing? a new method. a new test, a new measure. Why do we educate the way we do - if for knowledge, then do so; if for learning to learn, then do so; if for socialization, then do so.

This is where I love Doug Pagitt. If I want people to walk with Jesus, then I stop preaching and start doing it. Amazing.

Here endeth the rant.


Rick said...

hi, david - found you thru your profile link to "emergent church". i know your frustration, at least as much as it's run through me, too. there are some who take "emergent" to mean that everything gets thrown away and we start from scratch with what makes sense. others i think get it right more often than not: tear down to Jesus, leave Him alone as a foundation, and rebuild accordingly. deconstruction without reconstruction on something more solid than "my opinion" is too weak to move forward with.

just started me rambling - good stuff :)

David M said...

For the record - I LOVE these "Emergent guys" referenced above (and on the side. And I believe in them. And I'm sad.

Felt the need to clarify today.


Jason said...

Creativity has been something that I've begun to strive for much more lately, in my conversation, prayers, life in general. I want to be creative but it almost seems to go against what is natural at times. I guess b/c its work and my flesh does not want to be stretched any more than necessary. But theres also a wind of fresh air that comes with any kind of creativity, whether its creatively describing Christ to someone or creatively worshipping Him. Thats all just some rambling thoughts. Thanks for the prod though.

itsnotaplace said...

sometimes I get tired of the labels... even "emergent church" has become a label and has taken on a meaning that it sought to be different from. I sometimes think that it is mostly the labels that Christians love to use to define things... that is the biggest trouble in the church. We label everything that it becomes some new "movement" when in fact, we should simply live seeking Jesus.

StorminNormin said...

dave, your blog is about "history repeat"ing am i wrong? I wonder about this entry. There is something you are touching, it seems to me, yet are unaware of the implications - but you know it to be true. It seems this way and i won't disagree.

you talk about emergent (which i am still searching for an adequate definition -see my blog) not creating, but just negating and banishing the rubber band and all that. you mention how socrates (plato) and the 16th cent. reformers saw themselves as persons on a journey remolding, reforming what has always been while not denying the past - and then you talk about the emergent peoples who seem to just abolish the rubber band and begin anew. am i understanding you right?

i wonder, what it means to recognize all that lay behind you is wrong and you must begin anew and how that is realted to history repating itself and the pendulum swinging. Where did the pendulum come from? Because that is where we are headed