Church Theology Is Based Upon Research Paper

  • Length: 10 pages
  • Subject: Mythology - Religion
  • Type: Research Paper
  • Paper: #96829585

Excerpt from Research Paper :

[11: Kimball, Dan. The Emerging Church: Vintage Christianity for New Generations. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2003.]

The Emerging Church essentially sees Scripture as something that can be processed and changed with no problem. This is a direct insult and runs counterintuitive to common sense, dogmatic pursuits and scripture itself. McKnight (2007) suggested that "The emerging movement is consciously and deliberately provocative. Emerging Christians believe the church needs to change, and they are beginning to live as if that change had already occurred. Since I swim in the emerging lake, I can self-critically admit that we sometimes exaggerate. " [footnoteRef:12] This presents a challenging and narrative story as opposed to a more objectionable and paternalistic story more aligned with the philosophic intent of its scriptures'. [footnoteRef:13] [12: McKnight, Scot. "Five Streams of the Emerging Church: Key Elements of the Most Controversial and Misunderstood Movement in the Church Today." Christianity Today 51 (February 1, 2007): 34 -- 39.] [13: Ibid.]

As a result of this philosophical shift, the Emerging culture chooses and opts for an deliberately ambiguous doctrine that escapes the basic tenets of discipline, faith and true connection to the source of our humanity. Tickle (2008) sees this shift as gaining power. She wrote " While no observer is willing to say emphatically just how many North American Christians are definitely emergent at the moment, it is not unreasonable to assume that by the time the Great Emergence has reached maturity, about 60% of practicing American Christians will be emergent or some clear variant thereof." [footnoteRef:14] [14: Tickle, Phyllis. The Great Emergence: How Christianity is Changing and Why. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2008.]

If this trend does indeed continue, the face of Christianity will look very much different than it does today, or has looked throughout its dynamic history. Burke (2005) agreed with this assessment and wondered about the future of the religion in his poignant and reflective work. He wrote " If the thought of reaching our post-Christian culture scares you, take heart! God can use anyone, because it's not ultimately up to us it's up to him. "[footnoteRef:15] Furthermore this new culture should reward the faithful with a bounty of joy and redemption as, " God who is already at work all around us, is making things grow, " [footnoteRef:16] [15: Burke, John. No Perfect People Allowed: Creating a Come As You Are Culture in the Church. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2005.] [16: Ibid.]

Knowledge vs. Experience

The two principles of knowledge and experience can help resolve some of the misunderstandings that those within the Emerging Church have yet to find out about their wrong interpretation. It is first important to realize that propositional truth is not the highest truth. In fact this type of truth is more likely to confuse than to assist on a spiritual path. McLaren alluded to this message in his critique of this new philosophy of truth. He wrote that salvation will be the ultimate experience which can only bring about true knowledge and authentic truth.

This manipulation of personal truth helps to distort the real problems with the Emerging church movement. Followers of this path do not see the written Word as self-contained absolutes. They engage in conversation on it, which they believe opens our hearts to progress and brings back "reason." Those who are most susceptible to this are the disenfranchised from biblical Christianity, which is becoming more rare throughout the landscape of churches.[footnoteRef:17] [17: McKnight, P. 34]

As a movement they are spiritually inclusive, seeking ways to enhance their spirituality that they cannot find contained in the traditional church. They are open to accept other spiritual concepts of God that the Bible calls unbiblical. Many believe that they are on an adventure that will arrive at true faith. They are willing to participate in experimental changes to get us to this place where the church can be more effective to a postmodern culture.

Emergent Church promoters are quick to point out the ways the church fails to reach the culture. But the solution they propose is far worse than the problems they see. New Age concepts and practices from eastern mysticism, universalism, and pantheism are part of their program. They are comfortable using non-biblical ideas from other religions. To be relevant to a postmodern culture in this manner is not the answer. The Lord can reach people in whatever culture they are in- what is more important is what is being used to reach them. The means is as important as the result. In fact, one cannot get a result from God by using what is borrowed from other religions ass the means. "For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God" (1 Cor 3:19)[footnoteRef:18]. [18: The Holy Bible.]

Worship

The divergence away from classical worship is ultimately too much for many traditionalists to handle in dealing with those in the Emerging Church Movement. Emerging Churches disagree with traditional worship experiences at heart and seek to undermine their potential in mockery and sin. The leaders of the Emerging Church make the point that sacred and secular has no division in this world. Postmodern Christianity exposes the lie of "secular space" and celebrates the reign and imminence of God everywhere and at all times. They claim the church created the distinction of the private sector and secular space. The modern church's message is come to us to find God. Instead, they view the world and all in it belonging to God as the Psalms declare, the modern church created "God's house."[footnoteRef:19] [19: Gibbs and Bulger, p. 30.]

Since doctrine is diminished the emphasis in the emergent church movement is spiritual experience. In the Emergent church we find them using contemplative prayer, in yoga positions, eastern type meditation, walking through labyrinths, and other alternative non-Christian practices to induce for themselves a spiritual experience. But when discussing the word of God they view it as if it is not absolutely true. When you deny the importance of doctrine or question it as the emergent church does the only thing left to pursue is experience, which is the modus operandi of worship in their gatherings. This is a religious Pollyanna movement where they accept other methods and practices, believing it will enhance or improve their spirituality without any consequences. By using these other religions practices it will make you more like Jesus. But when you open yourself up using other spiritual methods to produce an experience you are no longer practicing the way of Christ Jesus, his Spirit is not involved.[footnoteRef:20] [20: Tomlinson, Dave. The Post-Evangelical. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2003.]

Conclusion

Ultimately the Emerging Church is seriously deviating from the Word of…

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