Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Emerging from the Internet

Another blog I like to read tipped me off to a web site that I have found rather fascinating: it's called Recycle Your Faith, and you can watch the introductory video here.

One of the statements in that video was just amazing: "An already divided Christianity creates new enemies every day. Too often, these enemies are other Christians."

The whole site is just a series of videos designed to help spiritual explorers continue to involve themselves in Christianity; yet it has no pretense of being traditional Christianity.

Probably my favorite video on this web site is this one.

Anyway, all this exposure in the past several days to web sites like this Recycle Your Faith as well as Emergent Village has caused me to think, wow, God is really doing something radical on the Internet. It is something of a revolution, I think.

And is it any wonder? The Reformation got a boost from the invention of the printing press. Perhaps this so-called "great emergence" is finding the Internet to be the printing press of our time. See video below.

I don't know about this 500 years thing... but still, it is an exciting time to be alive. I wonder what will come of all this?


  1. I'm very hesitant about the whole Emergent movement. I'm still trying to figure out why it makes me uneasy.

    I think the 500 years thing is a stretch... and if you really look at church history most change went in the direction of error not correction. It is fallacious reasoning to assume that the "change" happening now is good... (I know you must realize this... Obama's presidential campaign comes to mind).

    Of course it is good to help people. It is not good to judge the lost by Christian standards, as these videos point out. We are simply to share Christ with people through our good example, and also tell them about Him. But if I am involved with a charitable organization that doesn't allow me to tell people about God, how can I really ultimately help those people?

    Christ spent His time with prostitutes and tax collectors, but He also told them to "go and sin no more." He told them about His Father in Heaven and His mission on earth.

    The Bible says"love your neighbor." That means the people in your everyday life. What good is it to "Feed the Hungry" if you can't even smile at the old man who lives next door to you, get to know him, and share the gospel with him? (I know this sounds silly but so few of us actually do that type of thing).

    Perhaps the Emergent movement is half a step in the right direction... but maybe getting back to heart of the early church is far simpler than what this movement proposes.

    I'm just thinking out loud. I need to read more about it.

  2. I think hesitation is a good thing. I would say the best thing about the Emergent church is their desire for an extended conversation. One thing Church history shows me is that we are often too quick to shut down the conversation. Maybe there's really never a good time to shut it down. I understand that at some point there has to be some action, but often that action is coupled with an overconfidence that comes from thinking the conversation is over. Zeal is not the only thing that moves people to action. I kind of wish that both the Catholic church and the Reformers had understood that a little better.

    I assume you refer to the video I liked when you ask, "If I am involved with a charitable organization that doesn't allow me to tell people about God, how can I really help those people?" That's a legitimate question, but there are answers that might be acceptable. I don't think every charitable activity has to be coupled with telling people about the gospel. For one thing, it's just the right thing to do, even if no one accepts Christ. For another, it builds credibility; it shows people, this is what the kingdom of God looks like in action. Later, when we talk about the gospel, that record of doing good in the community could be useful. But while you're actually helping people, it can be counterproductive to start talking about God. They might think, "Oh, so they don't really care about me as a person, just as a prospect." And that's a shame. It can be hard for Christians to understand why people feel that way, but they do.

    I don't think there is really an "ultimate" solution. Ultimately, we believe that Christ will come again, and his kingdom will have no end. In the meantime, do we really think any of our solutions to the world's problems can be "ultimate"? I guess the real reason Emergents seem so radical is because of where they're coming from. A lot of them have made the journey from fundamentalism to postmodernism. Such a person is simply no longer going to fit in with the faith community he grew up in. For others, it might be perfectly acceptable to toy with different ideas and remain part of the same faith community. So who knows what this will all end up looking like? It's definitely not a linear progression.


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