Before I get to this new obsession, I would like to say that I have taken my two hardest finals, and have felt a surge of relief. I still have three more, but those should be fairly easy.
Okay, so thanks to my friend, Olivia, I have a new obsession: The Emerging Church. Now, it's not like the "oh em gee I love this!" obsession... More like a "What on earth is going on? I want to know more..." obsession. All that I have heard about the Emerging Church has been from skeptics, so when I started reading blogs by Emergent Christians, I was very confused. They don't mention any of the stuff my friends had mentioned, like denial of Hell or watering down the consequences of sin, although one article did talk about keeping theology loose. (read it here!) This idea is put into words in Rob Bell's Velvet Elvis. I loved Velvet Elvis, I really did. But his "spring theory" was a little weird to me. I'm not really sure how I feel about removing pieces of theology like the Virgin birth and the Trinity... I really don't mind that Rob would just say I felt threatened... I just think he's wrong.
Anyway, I have so many questions now. So many things seem good about the Emergent church. The fact that they appeal to my generation is genius. Talk about granola! :) But seriously, they approach pop culture in a very real way. Instead of pretending it's not there, they approach it. I'm tired of Christians who try to pretend that controversies like drugs, sex, alcohol, and porn are not enjoyable. If they weren't enjoyable, no one would do them!! That's what has been cool about working at Pine Cove... When they ask you questions, you can be real. We don't have to pretend that participating in the things of this world isn't fun. That's just confusing. Although I have never really partaken in any of the mentioned "forbidden sins," I can tell by looking around that people like those things. I mean, I enjoy tv shows and movies that are full of that stuff. As Christians, we have to learn to approach those things with an attitude that says, "sure, it brings me pleasure. But I have chosen to stay away because I have decided to live above reproach." That is where I am unsure about the Emergent church... I found stuff about them appealing to my generation by acknowledging the things of our culture, but I could not find anything about how they respond to it... Regardless of if they are considered corrupt, "conservative" Christians can live in this world just as badly as anyone.
I want to read Why We're Not Emergent this summer. I am so excited to learn more. This Saturday, the Village is doing a seminar on the Emergent Church... I want to go SO bad!! But I have a final... of course. But if you are in Dallas on Saturday, you should so go!
And I really want to read Mark Driscoll's new book, Vintage Jesus. Mark was part of the emerging church, and said this about his experience:
In the mid-1990s I was part of what is now known as the Emerging Church and spent some time traveling the country to speak on the emerging church in the emerging culture on a team put together by Leadership Network called the Young Leader Network. But, I eventually had to distance myself from the Emergent stream of the network because friends like Brian McLaren and Doug Pagitt began pushing a theological agenda that greatly troubled me. Examples include referring to God as a chick, questioning God's sovereignty over and knowledge of the future, denial of the substitutionary atonement at the cross, a low view of Scripture, and denial of hell which is one hell of a mistake.
So yeah, I am really interested in seeing what he has to say... The book looks SO cool.
Here are some other websites I checked out while reading about the Emergent church:
An Emergent Christian's blog
5 parts of the Emergent Church