Thursday, September 10, 2009

How Wide is Your Faith?

I'm at an Emergent Village event. By and large Emergent's are progressive evangelicals. That is, their ethos is evangelical, but they have a strong social justice component. Some, though not all, seem open on the issue of gays and lesbians (which means their more progressive than a goodly number of old time Mainliners). They're open on women too and sensitive about gender language.

Tonight, in preparation for the main event John Franke of Biblical Seminary set the stage, focusing on the pluralism present within the Emergent movement, but also within the church. The phrase that stuck out in my mind was, however, orthodox biblical theology. I'm not sure why it struck me, but it did raise the question of how wide the community of faith is. Where do we draw the line? Am I within this particular grouping? I'm I outside of the circle? Is the line fairly firmly drawn, or is it blurry?

Jurgen Moltmann, the main event would not, I dare say, fit within conservative or orthodox biblical theology. I think he's very biblical, but he's not conservative. Of course, he's quite willing to hang out and dialogue with them. But he's a product of German theological studies and wasn't the conservative on his faculty. So, is Moltmann inside or out?

Or as we were joking afterwards, if the question was put to Moltmann tomorrow -- Are you saved? Are you washed in the blood? How ever you want to pose the question, how would he answer? I expect he'd not know how to answer, but do such questions really matter?

So, back to the question -- how wide a net does God cast?

1 comment:

John said...

Does having the correct set of beliefs and performing the correct rituals of worship correctly (orthodox according to whichever Christian tradition one choose to measure orthodoxy), affect one's salvation?

Alternatively, if one's beliefs are close but not exactly correct,is that going to present a problem with regard to salvation?

What if one's beliefs and worship practices, while grounded in an indisputable love of God and neighbor, are wholly unorthodox?

How important is it to God that our individual faithlives, doctrine, ritual, and practice, conform to a certain standard?

Does God accept the worship of a human only if it meets a particular standard, that is originates from a particular set of doctrinal beliefs, and follows a prescribed set of rituals?