Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Knight Ridder Piece on the Emerging Church

Brother Maynard draws our attention to a piece that The Ledger (Lakeland, FL) ran a couple of Sundays ago on the emerging church.

I think I read once that when you are deeply involved in something and then the news media covers it, that you see how sometimes major news media miss the nuances. In a similar connection, the Baltimore Sun recently ran a treatment on Brian McLaren (Cedar Ridge is in their backyard) and Brian posted some corrections on his site.

While the Paul Nussbaum article didn't do a bad job at capturing some of the emerging church ethos, it missed the mark in some ways. That may have very well been the writer simply following the direction he was given by one or more of his interviewees.

  • there's no distinction drawn in the article between between emergent and the emerging church. As Jason Clark said earlier this year, "Emergent is not the emerging church." Of course, it is a very influential subset as an formal organization.
  • this might not be an error because it's a subjective call, but the article calls emergent a movement. Some would dispute this.
  • those two statements cascade when tony jones is declared the coordinator of the movement, something he would likely be the first to deny!
  • It states that Brian "questions the existence of hell." Similarly, in the Baltimore Sun article mentioned above, the author there wrote, "To the horror of many evangelicals, he [Brian McLaren] questions the idea of hell..." On his site, Brian responds, "Her statement makes it sound like I'm simply rejecting or discounting the Bible's teaching on hell, which I would never do. What I do question is the conventional teaching on hell - and I question this based on the Bible."
These points being made, overall it gives a descriptive picture of the emerging church.

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