You see, I go onto the Emergent Village web site because I'm a young 20-something in grad school with a particular bent toward intellectual and theological conversation. This is not normal for someone my age, or for anyone, really. But it's nice for guys like me to have an outlet.
And yet some are convinced that "Emergent" Christianity is going to be the next big thing. Just take a look at the video here. Also read what Phyllis Tickle writes in her post entitled, "The 18 Month Window":
In general, short-range predictions are fairly dangerous things. Like loose boards on an aging country porch, they tend to fly up and hit one in the face. I try to avoid them for that very reason. On the other hand, sometimes something is not only compellingly obvious in and of itself, but so too is the need for its telling. Whether I am accurate in my observations or not remains to be seen … very soon, in this case … but the possibility of error does not eliminate the obligation to speak the truth as one sees it, any more than it defuses the urgency.This truth, as she sees it, which she feels is so urgent to express, is that churches are going to have to decide within the next 18 months whether or not they're going to be "Emergent" or not. Whatever that means.
I'm just really confused. Somehow this thing that almost no one I know in my non-Web-based life even knows or cares about is going to be the thing that transforms Christendom in the next... 18 months? ?? ? ? ? ?
I am just totally bewildered by it all. Hey, I just wanted to be part of the conversation, you know? I have questions, and I think lots of us have questions. Why is it that every movement that starts by having questions ends up thinking that they're so all-important?
Emergent types tend to have a lot of amazing theological points to talk about, and I'm really grateful for that. That's kept me thinking about things a lot this summer. Why, then, why would these folks go and set themselves up to be something that they're not? Just be a source for necessary conversation, and leave the pretension alone.
One commenter had a brilliant phrase to describe this pretension: "chronological snobbery." We all want to be at the most crucial moment in history. I guess there are both good and bad desires buried inside that.
On the one hand, we all have this desire to see the promised land we long for. On the other hand, we all want it to be now because we're thinking mostly about ourselves--our questions, our problems, and our brilliant solutions.
I'm sure this applies to the current political climate just as much as to religion.
I wonder what life could be like if I just lived every day as if no one will ever remember me. Maybe I could just do good for the sake of doing good, and not for the sake of being some super-important part of the narrative of the cosmos.
And who knows? Maybe someone would remember me, just not anyone super-important. And someone else would remember them, also not very important. And so on. None of us would be very important, but we'd all be part of something.
That something wouldn't take place at one crucial time in history, but it might just change the world. Or if it didn't, at least we each did something good.
There has to be meaning in that.