Saturday, September 24, 2005

PyroManiac: Some recycled thoughts for the weekend: Brian McLaren and the assurance of faith

PyroManiac on Brian Maclaren and the Emerging Conversation

Here is an excellent and brief summary of some of the key problems within the Emerging Church movement. There are some great links at the end of the article, too. The Pyromaniac has a gift for summarizing that I truly envy! It is almost like he was an editor or something...


  1. Pyromaniac refers to Bob DeWaay's writings in this post. His Critical Issues Commentary was tremendously helpful to me in the doctrinal struggles I was having in my previous church.

    If you haven't read any of the CIC issues let me enthusiastically recommend them to you. DeWaay's background is particularly well-suited to commenting on some of the mystical/healing/demon tripe that has leaked into too many churches. With his background as a former deliverance counsellor, he can speak both exegetically and experientially, and brings a good healthy dose of Scripturally-informed common sense where it is desperately needed.

  2. My problem with all that is that Phil equates the Emergent Church with Brain McLaren. Personally, I think the best thing that could happen to the Emergent Church is that McLaren would just go away. He is an example of the worst of the EC but not an example of all that the EC is. McLaren is just such a darned easy target he's irresistible.

  3. tim,
    do you really think that McLaren is that far removed from basic pulse of Emergent? I agree he is an easy target, but he seems to be representative of the whole based on the stuff I have read at emergent village plus other related books. I am curious though - I would be glad to hear that he is "on the fringe" of the movement... I am just wondering what makes you say so. This is a very honest question! I wish there was some way to communicate "tone" in print!

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  6. [Note: I deleted those two posts. The preview looks good but when I post the links get wonked out. Made a few changes and this is it, last post!]

    Pastor Paul, I wouldn't say that he is on the fringe and there are a fair amount that follow him. But the Emergent Church is a pretty loose "converstaion" more than a movement. You have on one hand McLaren, Campolo, Yaconelli and others who are published and speak a lot. But in the trenches are others.

    Take a look at Steve McCoy's . Also, I would commend in Seattle. I listen to their podcast and was floored after listening to the first few sermons. They weren't fluffy and empty, Driscoll told people that they were going to hell if they didn't come to Jesus. They did a series on the doctrine of the Trinity. I mean, these are the things that you hear the Emergent ARE NOT supposed to do.

    Check out also Tim Keller's church and writing. I don't think he uses the term "emergent" but his approach is. DA Carson holds up Keller as example of doing post-modern missions right. I agree.

    My (poorly stated) point was that McLaren does not exhaust all that it means to be Emergent. I think in the next 10 years or so you're going to see the Emergent church divide and the chaff (like McLaren) will go one way and the rest will move forward.

  7. tim,
    I had a moment to look at the websites (very nice!). I have not been able to listen to sermons yet, but will try. I appreciated Tim Keller's thoughts in Worship by the Book (edited by Carson). That is all I have read by him.
    If Keller does not refer to himself as "emergent," I wonder if we should categorize him that way? Is there another label out there that would better describe his position?
    I will try to listen to that Driscoll sermon.
    Thanks for an encouraging post!

  8. I think Keller's term of preference is missional. That is a term the Emergent church proponents use to describe themselves also.

    It could be that eventually the EC will split and some will go with McLaren's model and slide off into irrelevancy and others will follow Keller's model and produce a vibrant church. Who knows.

    Last term I wrote a paper on the Emergent Church and Liberation Theology. I just got it back yesterday and my prof said that with a little more work it would be ready for the school's journal. Just braggin' :)