Friday, August 04, 2006

Good Point

From Calvary Chapel's statement on the emerging church.

"There are those who say that Emergent movement has some good points, but so does a porcupine. You are better off if you don't get too close!"


Tony Sok said...

Hey Rob, thanks for the link. I don't know much about the emergent church. I only came to know of it partly in due to the fact of Aaron and Josh and Mark Driscoll.
First I would agree with point 5 of Calvary's statement; in agreeing with David Well's assessment of one of the effects of postmodern preaching is that when it comes to sin we've gone from "guilt to shame." If our preaching becomes no more that postulate ideas about Jesus' morals and teachings and doesn't ineract of how sin has damaged our relationship with God, then Christ becomes no more than an universal blanket to hide under. If the weightiness of guilt is replaced by shame, we've reduced "sin" from it's ontological act into merely a subjective response to actions. A person who only feels shame is easily able to to cure the negative effects of such shame by replacing it with other feelings or acts that make them "feel good." Preaching then has the same if not lesser effect than going to a psychiatrist or counselor for secular advice. Is the gospel then reduced to merely a moral and work ethic that is easily found in any other alternative religions especially those of the east?
Second, how much do we allow the syncretism of our culture to pervade the church and it's life? This is nothing new, for the battle between as Augustine would put it "the two worlds." Do we have one foot in each, or one in both and none in the other? And to what extent?
To quote David Wells again in length he has this to say: "In order to influence the world, the people of God have to be quite different from it cognitively and morally. The irony is that to be relevant, the church has to be otherworldly; and when this spiritual otherness is extinguished by the ache for this-worldly acceptance, it loses the thing that it wants above all else-relavance. The church eventually discovers, to its great dismay, that it has lost its voice and no longer has anything left to say." What a profound assessment and also warning.
More words of heeding from the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. taken from his "Letter from Birmingham Jail." He goes on to say of the Church: "There was a time when the Church was very powerful-in the time when the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society."
If the Church doesn't become what it once was then Dr King is right when he goes on to say a couple of paragraph's later: "But the judgment of God is upon the Church as never before. If today's Church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early Church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century."
Just some quick thoughts, any longer would require a blog entry myself.

Rob Tombrella said...

wow Tony---that does require a blog entry. That's the longest comment I've ever read (almost).

Great quotes too--especially the Wells. I agree that so often I've wanted Christianity to come off as "hip" and "cool" to lost friends only to see that by doing so the message of the cross lost its edge and power.

our King was slaughtered naked on a cross for us. Nobody looks cool and hip when nails are being driven in their hands. Nobody looks cool when their dying.