Friday, May 26, 2006

Note to the Emergent

I would like everyone in the Emergent Conversation to ask yourselves when was the last time you shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ with someone in your sphere of influence. Or have you ever or is this something you do?

I have shared Christ several times recently, not because I am holier than you or more righteous or because I am conservative but because I am not holy or righteous or worthy of God's grace at all. God has made me acutely aware of my hopelessness and helplessness but more than that. Having saved me, He has given me a desperate awareness and compassion for the eternal destiny of people who are lost. I seek no glory here. Let only God be glorified.

Your conversation is like two people standing on the shore talking about the best way to save the guy drowning in the river. You can't even decide if the guy is really drowning.

I'm diving in.


Thomas Moore said...

I found your blog from Tony Jones "is the emergent conversation the new Christian left?"


The Emergent "conversation" (an endeavor you seem disinterested in) is largely a response to the rampant and pervasive arrogance in Christian "Scholarship" (conservative and liberal).

It is a way to try and wrangle with the complexities of subjects like Hemrenuetics and Epistemology and Metaphysics...
By the vitriole and sarcasm in your writing I can only guess how you feel about the broader disciplines in academia, however, it is my opinion that if there is a God is heaven worthy to be praised, that God will not only be tolerant, but encourging of our using the minds God gave us to seek ofter him.

The fact that you think that "sharing Christ" can be done through language shows a great trust in Language's ability to articulate truth. If you cannot honestly engage a debate on the tenuous truth preserving nature of language, you do not belong in the emergent conversation, you will not be satisfied, nor will you persuade anyone of your positions. Language is the thing that we are all bewitched by, we must use it, and we cannot avoid it. It is both beautiful accurate and innaccurate, and it's all that we have.

I am happy for you that you feel so strongly that you are depraved and that your path to salvation comes from your unique experience/interpretation of Christ. (Jesus is your lifeboat)

But as soom as you use totalizing normative language, judging others who have not experienced God the same way as you, you not only remove yourself form the "conversation", but you also further catalyze the genuine DESIRE to have an authentic conversation about God, which we see vis-a-vis the emergent village...

(btw- having a DESIRE to have an authentic conversation about GOD is not the same thing as having it, most emergent folks I respect recognise the contingency of our estate, and temper their language acordingly)
I would encourage you to consider the humility of your beliefs...


Richard Dennis MIller said...

OK, I went back and found your comment and posted it. Happy? What do you think, that I spend my day at the computer working on my blog? I have two jobs, two kids and a wife.

Be that as it may, We are not all bewitched by language. That is your wishful thinking because your “conversation” is really nothing but a tool for avoidance of the things in God’s Word that make you uncomfortable.

The Bible is full of totalizing normative language. God is not tolerant of those who reject him. Don’t confuse my confidence in God and His Word with a personal lack of humility. I have made it very clear that I am not worthy of God’s mercy.

My path to salvation does not come from my unique experience/interpretation.
God has made clear there is one way. You may accept it or reject it but God could not have been any clearer about it.

Dennis Wood said...

richard dennis miller,

Your language, which you have no issue with, belies your Christian graciousness, because you most certainly come accross arrogant ("Have you witnessed to anyone lately?", hello, it's Tony Jones, read other posts from people who have been influenced by him and youth from the youth group he has for the rest of us, I can answer 'yes' and also 'yes' to being in the Emergent Conversation) and holier than thou ("I have 2 jobs..." and still can do all this, "Do I work on my blog all day?", "OK, I went back and found your post...happy?"), so unless you are really a jerk, I'd say you have a problem with language, 'cause that's my impression of you from what you've wrote.

Speaking of language and it's usage, that's the longest run-on sentence I think I've ever seen (my bad!)... You may want to consider the way you come across, i.e. your use of the written language.

Richard Dennis MIller said...

Dude, thanks for the comment and I hope you come back and view mine. I get a kick out of knowing someone besides I read this blog.

You are not the first person to call me arrogant. I have to laugh because if you saw me and knew me, you would realize how little there is about which I could possibly be arrogant.

The thing is you confuse arrogance and confidence. See my post on this very subject. The issue is not one of arrogance. The question is, "In WHAT am I confident?" It is not in myself.

I will not back down from defending God and His Word. I believe your real problem is with the truth which I defend. God's word makes people uncomfortable. Hence, we would rather reason with human wisdom in conversation than preach the Word.

As for Tony Jones, I had never heard of him before I read his article but I am not into putting people on pedestals anyway.