Posts Tagged ‘Emerging-Church’

Study guide — Deep Church, Deep Truth

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

We’re writing a study/discussion guide at my church, for Jim Belcher’s book Deep Church–an examination of the “emerging church” controversy.  I was writing my contribution, and since my blog has been lying fallow for a couple weeks, I thought I’d post it.

The author is trying to present both sides fairly on each area of the controversy, and lay out a balanced, faithful approach to each issue.  Someone summarized the book as:

  1. There are problems in the English-speaking church.
  2. There are fair criticisms of the church.
  3. There are faithful solutions to those questions.

If you’re interested in some reviews, check out: (1) A thorough summary & review by Kevin DeYoung (notice the comments left by Jim Belcher).  (2) A review from a hard-nosed conservative, Frank Turk, explaining what’s so good about this book, even though it’s too nice sometimes.  (This one includes an mp3 of a interview featuring both Turk and Belcher on a radio show.)  (3) A negative review from 9Marks.  (4) A response from Belcher, and a response from Frank.

I was assigned to make the summary & discussion questions for the chapter on epistemology–”Deep Truth”.  Here goes!

By the way, if you have any suggestions for more discussion questions, I’d love to hear ‘em.

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On the Trinity and On the Emerging Church

Wednesday, August 1st, 2007

I read a couple thought-provoking exchanges today. The first is theologically heavy, and the second is funny, witty, and somewhat profound.

The first is on the Trinity. Greg Stafford, a Jehovah’s Witness apologist, posted an entry with an argument against the Trinity based in part on John 17:3, in which Jesus refers to the Father as “the only true God“. Steve Hays at Triablogue responded, as did Jeff Downs at Countercult Apologetics. Be forewarned, it’s somewhat high-level.

The second is a series of poster wars on the Emerging Church movement. Stand To Reason’s blog alerted me to a set of “motivational” posters satirizing the Emerging Church, using most of the Emerging buzzwords. Some of them are pretty funny, and point out some of the potential abuses and dangers of the movement. Of course, I can understand why some in the movement would take offense. Then an ECer posted a set of posters in response. They have a wonderful tone, and do a good job of explaining some of their concerns. They set forth an image of what the Church should look like. Food for thought.

For those unfamiliar with the Emerging Church: It’s a somewhat hard-to-define movement. It’s associated with the newer generations (teens to early thirty-somethings). It’s a reforming movement, aimed at modifying some of the ways we do things and view things in the Church. It’s a diverse movement, with some heading off into major theological problems (i.e. heresy), and some who are entirely orthodox in their theology but who are concerned with matters of church practice and matters of how we live out our lives as Christians. As with any generation-based movement, there’s a mixture of naiveté and insight–and in the reaction from the “traditional” church, there’s a mixture of dismissiveness and mature wisdom.

If you’re interested in a more thorough introduction, you can read Five Streams of the Emerging Church from Christianity Today, and a paper presented at the Evangelical Theological Society called Essential Concerns Regarding the Emerging Church.

Update: The original satirical posters were created by the folks at the Team Pyro blog.  Here’s the first entry with the posters.  It includes a critique of the Five Streams article.  If you look around the blog, you can also find some entries dealing with Emerging reactions to the posters.