Wednesday, December 01, 2004

criticism of the emerging church

Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.

Proverbs 27:6 (English Standard Version)

Darryl Dash has some wise things to say about the coming storm that will likely be precipitated by, among other things,

I have no doubt that the emerging church and mainstream evangelicalism have something to learn reciprocally. I do doubt that this conversation will occur without pain. Unfortunately, when we are at our worst, we might have a tendency to absolutize and "demonize".

But the conversation does not have to be a fight; it can be a dance - a beautiful dance of thesis/antithesis working its way toward a greater grasp of truth, a more profound experience of community, and even a closer relationship with the One Who knows all truth.

This can occur when those who disagree

  • remember that a gentle answer turns away wrath,
  • lean toward the other rather than away,
  • seek very hard to listen,
  • ask non-rhetorical and genuinely curious questions,
  • do the very difficult spadework of working to understand the presuppositions of the other,
  • believe the best about the other rather than the worst,
  • and, most importantly, be willing to provisionally consider that the other may be saying something of value - that they might even be able to correct.

If these things are done, the coming storm might yield a beautiful harvest.

4 comments:

timsamoff said...

Great thoughts, Stephen! :)

Robbymac said...

seeking to understand what each group is trying to "protect" or "safeguard" is also a helpful piece.

Sivin Kit said...

thanks for the post ... I guess, for someone on the other side of the ocean - i.e. Malaysia, I like what you are proposing. And yet, I realize as in any storm like it or not - a lot of energy will be involved in often just trying to understand. Controversies often are very tiring. I really enjoyed the days when "emergent" was kind of under the radar. I guess, I've been a little naive to think it would stay like that for long :-)

Ajit-Prabhakaran said...

Live And Let Others Live In Peace.