Saturday, April 19, 2008

Are You an Emergent Christian? Take this Test

Brandon O'Brien, Leadership's assistant editor, quotes the following from the book Why We’re Not Emergent: By Two Guys Who Should B by Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck (Moody, 2008) (see the website for more details about the book):
After reading nearly five thousand pages of emerging-church literature, I have no doubt that the emerging church, while loosely defined and far from uniform, can be described and critiqued as a diverse, but recognizable, movement. You might be an emergent Christian: if you listen to U2, Moby, and Johnny Cash’s Hurt (sometimes in church), use sermon illustrations from The Sopranos, drink lattes in the afternoon and Guinness in the evenings, and always use a Mac; if your reading list consists primarily of Stanley Hauerwas, Henri Nouwen, N. T. Wright, Stan Grenz, Dallas Willard, Brennan Manning, Jim Wallis, Frederick Buechner, David Bosch, John Howard Yoder, Wendell Berry, Nancy Murphy, John Frank, Walter Winks, and Lesslie Newbigin (not to mention McLaren, Pagitt, Bell, etc.) and your sparring partners include D. A. Carson, John Calvin, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, and Wayne Grudem;...
if your idea of quintessential Christian discipleship is Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, or Desmond Tutu; if you don’t like George W. Bush or institutions or big business or capitalism or Left Behind Christianity; if your political concerns are poverty, AIDS, imperialism, war-mongering, CEO salaries, consumerism, global warming, racism, and oppression and not so much abortion and gay marriage; if you are into bohemian, goth, rave, or indie; if you talk about the myth of redemptive violence and the myth of certainty; if you lie awake at night having nightmares about all the ways modernism has ruined your life; if you love the Bible as a beautiful, inspiring collection of works that lead us into the mystery of God but is not inerrant; if you search for truth but aren’t sure it can be found; if you’ve ever been to a church with prayer labyrinths, candles, Play-Doh, chalk-drawings, couches, or beanbags (your youth group doesn’t count); if you loathe words like linear, propositional, rational, machine, and hierarchy and use words like ancient-future, jazz, mosaic, matrix, missional, vintage, and dance; if you grew up in a very conservative Christian home that in retrospect seems legalistic, naïve, and rigid; if you support women in all levels of ministry, prioritize urban over suburban, and like your theology narrative instead of systematic; if you disbelieve in any sacred-secular divide; if you want to be the church and not just go to church; if you long for a community that is relational, tribal, and primal like a river or a garden; if you believe who goes to hell is no one’s business and no one may be there anyway; if you believe salvation has a little to do with atoning for guilt and a lot to do with bringing the whole creation back into shalom with its Maker; if you believe following Jesus is not believing the right things but living the right way; if it really bugs you when people talk about going to heaven instead of heaven coming to us; if you disdain monological, didactic preaching; if you use the word “story” in all your propositions about postmodernism—if all or most of this torturously long sentence describes you, then you might be an emergent Christian.*
So are you an emergent Christian?

HT: Brandon O'Brien

5 comments:

Shane said...

Hey Nick
greetings brother
I found you through your comment on the sola panel.
I've been doing some reading on Emerging Church and am thinking about writing from a reformed perspective on the movement in australia.
from what you have read what do you think are the top 10 books for the movement?
enjoy grace

Nick Hill said...

Shane,

Thanks for your comment. The books I think can be divided into three main categories. Descriptions about the emerging church from the emerging church people themselves, writings by emerging folks themselves (both theologically liberal and theologically conservative), and the critiques of the emerging church. The emerging church is broad and the emergent church is an organization headed up by Tony Jones. Here are some of the books and articles that I would recommend:

Reformed Evangelical Emerging:

Confessions of a Reformission Rev.: Hard Lessons from an Emerging Missional Church by Mark Driscoll (Paperback - April 12 2006)

The Radical Reformission: Reaching Out Without Selling Out by Mark Driscoll (Paperback - Sep 16 2004)

Multi-perspectives:

Listening to the Beliefs of Emerging Churches: Five Perspectives by Mark Driscoll, John Burke, and Robert E. Webber

The Church in Emerging Culture: Five Perspectives by Andy Crouch, Frederica Mathewes-Green, and Michael Horton

Against:

Why We’re Not Emergent: By Two Guys Who Should B by Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck (Moody, 2008)

Truth And The New Kind of Christian: Effects Of Postmodernism In The Church by R. Scott Smith (Paperback - Nov 15 2005)

Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church: Understanding a Movement and Its Implications by D. A. Carson

Articles:

http://sites.silaspartners.com/partner/Article_Display_Page/0,,PTID314526|CHID598014|CIID2249226,00.html http://sites.silaspartners.com/partner/Article_Display_Page/0,,PTID314526|CHID598014|CIID2082654,00.html

http://sites.silaspartners.com/partner/Article_Display_Page/0,,PTID314526|CHID598014|CIID2330200,00.html
http://sites.silaspartners.com/CC/article/0,,PTID314526|CHID598014|CIID2249680,00.html
http://sites.silaspartners.com/CC/article/0,,PTID314526|CHID598014|CIID2249688,00.html

In Support of:

The Emerging Church: Vintage Christianity for New Generations by Dan A. Kimball

A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I Am a Missional, Evangelical, Post/Protestant, Liberal/Conservative, Mystical/Poetic, Biblical, Charismatic/Conte by Phyllis Tickle, John R. Franke, and Brian D. McLaren

Everything Must Change: Jesus, Global Crises, And A Revolution Of Hope by Brian McLaren (Hardcover - Oct 2 2007)

The Secret Message of Jesus: Uncovering The Truth That Could Change Everything by Brian Mclaren (Paperback - Mar 15 2007)

Adventures in Missing the Point by Brian D. McLaren and Tony Campolo (Paperback - Jan 26 2006)

A New Kind of Christian: A Tale of Two Friends on a Spiritual Journey by Brian D. McLaren (Hardcover - Mar 28 2001)

The Story We Find Ourselves In: Further Adventures of a New Kind of Christian by Brian D. McLaren (Hardcover - Feb 24 2003)

The Last Word and the Word after That: A Tale of Faith, Doubt, and a New Kind of Christianity by Brian D. McLaren (Hardcover - Mar 25 2005)

I Like Jesus But Not the Church: Following Jesus Without Following Organized Religion by Dan Kimball

They Like Jesus But Not the Church: Insights from Emerging Generations by Dan Kimball

How (Not) to Speak of God by Peter Rollins

The Church in Transition: The Journey of Existing Churches Into the Emerging Culture by Dan B. Allender and Tim Conder (Paperback - Feb 23 2006)

Emerging Worship: Creating New Worship Gatherings for Emerging Generations by Dan Kimball

An Emergent Theology For Emerging Churches by Ray S. Anderson and Brian Mclaren

*Emerging Churches: Creating Christian Community In Postmodern Cultures by Eddie Gibbs and Ryan K. Bolger

Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality by Donald Miller

Searching for God Knows What: Reflections on the Gospel of Jesus by Donald Miller

Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith by Rob Bell (Paperback - Jun 29 2006)

Preaching Re-Imagined: The Role of the Sermon in Communities of Faith by Doug Pagitt, Renee N. Altson, and Ivy Beckwith

An Emergent Manifesto of Hope: Key Leaders Offer An Inside Look by Doug Pagitt and Tony Jones (Hardcover - Feb 28 2007)

Church Re-Imagined: The Spiritual Formation of People in Communities of Faith by Doug Pagitt (Paperback - Sep 15 2005)

Bodyprayer: the Posture of Intimacy With God by Doug Pagitt, Kathryn Prill, and Colleen Shealer Olson (Hardcover - Nov 15 2005)

Reimagining Spiritual Formation: A Week in the Life of an Experimental Church by Doug Pagitt (Paperback - Feb 5 2004)

The Great Giveaway: Reclaiming the Mission of the Church from Big Business, Parachurch Organizations, Psychotherapy, Consumer Capitalism, and Other Modern Maladies by David Fitch

Nick Hill said...

I know that this is more than ten (see above), so to start with I would read, the following (that's 13; I couldn't nail it down to 10):

Confessions of a Reformission Rev.: Hard Lessons from an Emerging Missional Church by Mark Driscoll (Paperback - April 12 2006)

The Radical Reformission: Reaching Out Without Selling Out by Mark Driscoll (Paperback - Sep 16 2004)

Multi-perspectives:

Listening to the Beliefs of Emerging Churches: Five Perspectives by Mark Driscoll, John Burke, and Robert E. Webber

Against:

Why We’re Not Emergent: By Two Guys Who Should B by Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck (Moody, 2008)

Truth And The New Kind of Christian: Effects Of Postmodernism In The Church by R. Scott Smith (Paperback - Nov 15 2005)

Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church: Understanding a Movement and Its Implications by D. A. Carson

In Support of:

The Emerging Church: Vintage Christianity for New Generations by Dan A. Kimball

A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I Am a Missional, Evangelical, Post/Protestant, Liberal/Conservative, Mystical/Poetic, Biblical, Charismatic/Conte by Phyllis Tickle, John R. Franke, and Brian D. McLaren


A New Kind of Christian: A Tale of Two Friends on a Spiritual Journey by Brian D. McLaren (Hardcover - Mar 28 2001)

The Story We Find Ourselves In: Further Adventures of a New Kind of Christian by Brian D. McLaren (Hardcover - Feb 24 2003)

The Last Word and the Word after That: A Tale of Faith, Doubt, and a New Kind of Christianity by Brian D. McLaren (Hardcover - Mar 25 2005)

Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality by Donald Miller

An Emergent Manifesto of Hope: Key Leaders Offer An Inside Look by Doug Pagitt and Tony Jones (Hardcover - Feb 28 2007)

Nick Hill said...

Oh yeah, this is an important one as well:

Emerging Churches: Creating Christian Community In Postmodern Cultures by Eddie Gibbs and Ryan K. Bolger

So that makes 14.

Nick Hill said...

The articles got cut off; here they are again. They are very helpful:

http://sites.silaspartners.com/
partner/Article_Display_Page/
0,,PTID314526|CHID598014|
CIID2249226,00.html

http://sites.silaspartners.com/
partner/Article_Display_Page/
0,,PTID314526|CHID598014|
CIID2082654,00.html

http://sites.silaspartners.com/
partner/Article_Display_Page/
0,,PTID314526|CHID598014|
CIID2330200,00.html

http://sites.silaspartners.com
/CC/article/0,,PTID314526|
CHID598014|CIID2249680,00.html

http://sites.silaspartners.com/
CC/article/0,,PTID314526|
CHID598014|CIID2249688,00.html