Thursday, May 04, 2006

Emergent Decides Not to Affirm a Statement of Faith

excerpts from Emergent's post by LeRon Shults:

  • "Jesus did not have a "statement of faith."

  • "The writers of the New Testament were not obsessed with finding a final set of propositions the assent to which marks off true believers."

  • "The very idea of a "statement of faith" is mired in modernist assumptions and driven by modernist anxieties...."

  • "...such an approach presupposes a (Platonic or Cartesian) representationalist view of language, which has been undermined in late modernity by a variety of disciplines across the social and physical sciences (e.g., sociolinguistics and paleo-biology)."

  • "...this fixation with propositions can easily lead to the attempt to use the finite tool of language on an absolute Presence that transcends and embraces all finite reality."

  • "...a 'statement of faith' tends to stop conversation."
Shults seems to be differentiating Statements of Faith and Creeds. By doing so, Statements of Faith can be presented as modern. I'm not sure such a hard and fast distinction can be made, but I'm not a professional church historian - perhaps it can be. I do believe that a Statement of Faith might sometimes represent a dotting all the i's and crossing all the t's attitude which we've written on quite a bit here. But I'm not sure that such an imbalance invalidates Statements of Faith.

Nevertheless, Shults notes

"This does not mean, as some critics will assume, that Emergent does not care about belief or that there is no role at all for propositions. Any good conversation includes propositions, but they should serve the process of inquiry rather than shut it down."

- link

1 comment:

JSV said...

My interpretation: Fear to draw a line in the sand. Weak. Trying to please the masses. Disappointed. Naive. Very naive. "Jesus didn't so..." type thinking is OK for a 15yo...not adults.