Emergent is DeadRecently I've found much criticism for McLaren and his host of emerging men, (I'm not talking about the actual reviews found here by my Jake and Jonny) and I've kind of been saddened by them. It's a lot like when someone tells you that your favorite band really sucks and then lists a lot of reasons that are really just insults cloaked in poorly made points. For some fun reading check out Christian Music Superstar Steve Camp's thoughts on the submerging church led by McSharin
However I recently read Andy Crouch's article from CT and found the reason so many people are taking shots at the "emerging church." In said article McLaren drops many qthese gems...
"I don't think we've got the gospel right yet. What does it mean to be 'saved'? When I read the Bible, I don't see it meaning, 'I'm going to heaven after I die.' Before modern evangelicalism nobody accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, or walked down an aisle, or said the sinner's prayer. I don't think the liberals have it right. But I don't think we have it right either. None of us has arrived at orthodoxy."
"Right now Emergent is a conversation, not a movement," he says. "We don't have a program. We don't have a model. I think we must begin as a conversation, then grow as a friendship, and see if a movement comes of it."
I think that Jake responded correctly to these quotes here minus a few words...
"if you share McLaren's presuppositions that Evangelical Christianity is a failed movement and that being like American culture is unsatisfactory DO SOMETHING. Sell your automobile, quit your job, move, start a... revolution, but do not simply claim to have a "conversation" about the presuppositions that are at play in the conventional forms of life as we know it. This is what TV is for. Life is for living, doing, and being disciples of Jesus Christ. We not only need to preach Jesus Christ and him crucified but live it. That is what emergence is missing. This is what the church is missing. They preach a fuller gospel than conventional churches. But if the conviction is there then the lifestyle must match it"
I believe that we've hit the nail directly on the head with this conversation. The difference between the "emergining church" and the "willow-driven church" is the style of music you worship to and the "TARGET MARKET".
I believe that this is what we see in every aspect of American Christianity. We see how things are "meant" to be, but when the going gets tough we just fold back in with the pack and call it something different. You can call it post-modern church, you can call it emergent, you can call it seeker centered, or purpose driven, but what you really have is a Church with an identity crisis.
If only we were as [cool, relevant, hip, fun etc.] as the rest of the [world, MTV, Jonny Depp, Dr. Phil, Jimmy Eat World, Dan Brown, Oprah].