Culture: March 2006 Archives

In Emergent Church: Apostate or Nothing New Under the Sun?, I addressed the Emergent Church Movement primarily in terms of what's going on with its key philosophical claims, especially its epistemological claims. For non-philosophers, epistemology is the theory of knowledge, justification for belief, and other questions related to our understanding of the world, how we get it, and what makes it a good or bad state of mind regarding a particular belief or set of beliefs. Epistemological issues in the context of Christian belief thus deal with whether we can be certain that Christianity is true, what gives us good reasons to believe it, the status of the Bible as revelation from God, and the nature of truth itself. I ignored many crucial elements of this movement, and I'd like to remedy that now.

Ed Stetzer discusses three strains with the so-called Emergent Church: Relevants, Reconstructionists, and Revisionists [hat tip: Mickey McLean]. My previous post left us with a choice in how evangelical Christians should evaluate this movement, and I suggest that either there's very little new at all about this movement, and it's classic evangelicalism, or it's heresy and/or heteropraxy. There's probably some of both in the movement. What we need to do is isolate strains with it and then consider each separately. Stetzer's three categories provide one categorizing system to begin this work.

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