Emerging/Emergent -- What's the Church Coming too?
Tony Jones is Coordinator of Emergent Village -- he's at least to some degree Evangelical and he talks about Emerging Church stuff. Marcus Borg also talks about emerging Christianity. The word is the same, but the meaning may not.
I just finished listening (finally) to the Emergent Conversation at the recent AAR meeting that included Tony, Diana Butler Bass and Scot McKnight. You can find the podcasts at the Emergent Village site. Here is the link for part 1. There were some fireworks -- but nothing like Obama and Clinton last night -- over the Mainline and its future. Tony doesn't have much faith in our survival, but Diana begs to differ. He's right in parts, but I think Diana has the best insights on this.
I suspect that this Emergent conversation may be the first glimpse into modern mainline theology for many Evangelicals. It might be fair to suggest that these young Evangelicals are just now catching up with scholars like Marcus Borg, John Dominic Crossan, and Walter Brueggemann who have been willing to tackle tough theological questions and create dialogue for a long time. There is ample evidence of that trend. His friend and fellow Emergent author Brian McLaren, credits both Brueggemann and Crossan in his latest book “Everything Must Change”. However, Tony Jones is a bit critical of these scholars. He suggests that Borg, in particular, has missed the mark by rejecting orthodox beliefs in the resurrection and interpreting the bible’s miraculous stories as symbolic parables. (p.148, p.156) I feel Tony might have been too quick to make that judgment. Mainline scholars have long been the champions of fresh theological perspectives and he might be overlooking some worthwhile advocates in the journey ahead.