National Pastors Convention – Critical Concerns Course #1

I attended 8 hours worth of a critical concerns course on the emerging movement as published by Zondervan (all the panel was Zondervan authors…sounds fishy…) called The Emerging Church: Theology and Practice, Multiple Perspectives on the Issues with Ryan Bolger, John Burke, Tony Jones, Dan Kimball, Scot McKnight, Doug Pagitt, LeRon Schults.

I am going to add a few of their blogs on the sidebar next time I work on that stuff. For now I will link to each of them and to the name, which takes you to the NPC site and gives bios on each presenter. They all took turns presenting for 30 minutes, then were commented/challenged by the others and then there was audience questions (which actually didn’t happen nearly enough in my opinion). Tony JOnes was the MC and he made sure to note at the beginning the obviousness of Zondrevan’s control of the voices and that the theological discussions will accompany the practical discussions.

Up first…and remember these are just my notes/thoughts/questions…they may or may not be based in your reality…

Dan Kimball

>> emerging from exploring methodology lead to exploring theology * and not being afraid to do so…

>> Judges 2:11 – emerging should never finish; now that I look that up, I’m not sure what that had to do with anything…

>> When we rethink ecclesiology we end up rethinking theology.

methods >>> ecclesiology >>> theology

>> taking the “mental” out of fundamental…you can become comfrotable in being a fundamentalist without becoming a FUNDAMENTALIST!

>> we need correction, rediscovery, reevaluation and change – by approaching Scripture with each of certainty, humility and mystery…of which the former is emphasized for moderns and the latter for postmoderns – and both can never get enough of the middle one.

>> I had an interesting thought that the former attacks on missionaries for contextualizing the gospel (like Hudson Taylor dressing in asian clothing) are not being leveled at emerging. I wonder if that is because instead of us having to go to the mission field, the mission field has come to us…

Challenges from the panel…

>> there was a challenge to change the attitude owards fundamentals; not just assume fewer fundamentals…which seems to be a fair assesment of much that is emerging…

>> many people misunderstand the emerging because they think that their understanding is an absolute fundamental – which negates church history…which is so dang true…

>> I saw a pastor playing solitaire on his computer…I wondered if his church footed the bill for him to be at the this conference. Then I got angry at all senior pastors who are dismissing the emerging movement. Then I recommited myself to not lose my flame…I am a Christian and I will not become the kind of Christian they are….and they know who they are…don’t worry, if you are reading this blog it is very likely you are not them

>> Finally, I came to the conclusion that if we are going to go ahead with a church within a church model of reaching the emerging culture (and allowing us to follow Jesus in the way that He is calling us) then the key question will be:

Are we desperate enough to allow for theological diversity?


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