Written on March 07th, 2007 by Shawn Anthony
LeRon Shults, on Emergent: “Emergent aims to facilitate a conversation among persons committed to living out faithfully the call to participate in the reconciling mission of the biblical God. Whether it appears in the by-laws of a congregation or in the catalog of an educational institution, a “statement of faith” tends to stop conversation. Such statements can also easily become tools for manipulating or excluding people from the community. Too often they create an environment in which real conversation is avoided out of fear that critical reflection on one or more of the sacred propositions will lead to excommunication from the community. Emergent seeks to provide a milieu in which others are welcomed to join in the pursuit of life “in” the One who is true (1 John 5:20). Giving into the pressure to petrify the conversation in a “statement” would make Emergent easier to control; its critics could dissect it and then place it in a theological museum alongside other dead conceptual specimens the curators find opprobrious. But living, moving things do not belong in museums. Whatever else Emergent may be, it is a movement committed to encouraging the lively pursuit of God and to inviting others into a delightfully terrifying conversation along the way.”
I’ve been diving deep into Emergent as of late, investigating. This statement is one of the gems I discovered. Yeah, I buy it. It has a strong center (The Biblical God) and it surfs, culturally speaking.
You’ll notice a new “Friend of Emergent Village” banner at the top of the page. It is there because I support - theologically, philosophically, practically, and financially - what this movement is doing. I did not embrace Emergent initially, as I thought they were diluting the Gospel of Christ. I was wrong, and terribly so. These people take the Gospel seriously; perhaps even more seriously than the many who so quickly misunderstand them? My challenge to those folk is to actually read and participate in what is happening in the Emergent/Emerging Movement. Try it, test it. I think you too may be surprised at what you uncover. It’s not your run-of-the-mill religious liberalism. It is Gospel, with an undeniable dedication to praxis.